George W. Bush's routine physical uncovered a life-threatening artery blockage, calling for a heart stent procedure to restore blood flow to his heart.
Aberrant electrocardiogram readings at a checkup prompted physicians at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas to order a CT angiogram for the former president. The scan pinpointed to an obstruction that blocked over 95% of a major coronary artery. A heart stent procedure was performed on George W. Bush at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on the following day.
"With a blockage like that in a main artery you're supposed to die. He was pretty lucky they caught it," an authoritative source told the National Journal.
The heart has to work much harder to pump through the occluded coronary artery, which supplies blood to the heart itself. "All that has to happen is that plaque has to rupture and completely block up the blood vessel," Dr. Kevin Campbell, a physician at the University of North Carolina told FoxNews.com. "When you have blockage like he did...he most certainly would have had a heart attack in his lifetime if he hadn't had that (procedure) done."
The heart stent is placed into the obstructed artery with a catheter. As the balloon within the catheter expands, the stent stretches open the obstructed artery and improves blood flow.
George W. Bush was one of the most athletic presidents, unhealthy diet over the years can also lead to heart disease.
"Exercise is not a guarantee against developing heart disease," Dr. Chet Rihal from the Mayo Clinic said in an NBC report. "Therefore it is very important to keep in touch with our doctors to make sure our blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol are regularly monitored and checked."