Brisbane: Roving Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd went under the knife on Monday for heart surgery, with the four-hour operation deemed a success.
Rudd, who was ousted as the country`s leader by his Labor Party deputy Julia Gillard just over a year ago, needed to replace an aortic valve that his doctors advised him was "wearing out".
It follows a valve transplant almost two decades ago and he had always known he would likely need another.
"At this stage we`re extremely pleased with his progress. The surgery has gone according to plan and he is in a stable and very satisfactory situation," his cardiologist Dr Malcolm Davison told reporters.
"We expect a full and complete recovery by about eight weeks."
The surgery, at Brisbane`s St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, was considered routine by doctors with Rudd`s new heart valve coming from a cow.
Rudd is expected to be out of action for at least two months with Trade Minister Craig Emerson assuming the responsibilities of foreign minister until he returns.