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Betty Ford in Fine Condition After Bypass

November 21, 1987|LOUIS SAHAGUN | Times Staff Writer

RANCHO MIRAGE — Former First Lady Betty Ford was reported in "excellent condition" on Friday at Eisenhower Medical Center here after undergoing a six-hour quadruple bypass surgery.

"She will be going home on Thanksgiving Eve," said Dr. Jack J. Sternlieb, the hospital's director of cardiac surgery who led a nine-member team in performing the operation.

"But her family has promised she won't have to cook over the holiday," Sternlieb added.

Former President Gerald R. Ford, daughter Susan Ford Vance, and son Steve Ford visited Mrs. Ford shortly after her surgery was completed. Another son, Jack Ford, visited his mother later in the day.

'Doing Extremely Well'

"Mrs. Ford is doing extremely well and the family is most appreciative for the great job that Dr. Sternlieb and his team have done," Gerald Ford told The Times.

Mrs. Ford was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, complaining of "chest discomfort" that began in April, Sternlieb said.

"These chest pains increased in severity and were unrelenting--even on medications--after simple activity," he said.

In a coronary bypass operation, a healthy vein, usually from the leg, is used to bypass a diseased artery that leads into the heart muscle, hospital officials said.

Mrs. Ford is expected to remain in a cardiac surgery unit until Monday, said Sternlieb, who has performed more than 2,400 heart operations since joining the hospital in 1978.

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