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Abbas Has Artery Blockage Cleared

The Palestinian leader undergoes angioplasty in Jordan. A quick recovery is expected.

June 02, 2005|Laura King | Times Staff Writer

JERUSALEM — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas underwent a medical procedure in Amman, Jordan, late Wednesday to open a constricted blood vessel, family members said.

Abbas' son Yasser, speaking by telephone from the Jordanian capital, said his 70-year-old father had an angioplasty, a procedure he had undergone at least once previously.

The Palestinian leader was spending the night in an Amman hospital and was expected to return to the West Bank today or Friday, his son said.

Abbas has been on an extended overseas trip that included a May 26 meeting in Washington with President Bush.

Angioplasty is a common operation, undergone in the United States by more than a million people a year, to clear blockage of arteries that supply blood to the heart.

The procedure involves the threading of a catheter, tipped with a balloon, to the site of a blocked artery. The balloon is inflated to ease atherosclerotic plaque buildup and then removed.

Patients typically are allowed to resume normal activities within a day or two.

Abbas has suffered from ailments that included prostate cancer, a disease for which he underwent treatment in the United States.

The Palestinian leader was devastated by the death in 2002 of his eldest son, Mazen, from whom he takes the name by which he is popularly known, Abu Mazen, or "father of Mazen." Mazen Abbas died of a heart attack.

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Times staff writer Thomas H. Maugh II in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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