Argentina’s President Under Knife for Obstruction in Neck Artery
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) _ President Carlos Menem complained of dizziness Thursday shortly before he was to fly to Chile, and hospital doctors operated after finding a partially blocked artery in his neck, his doctor said.
Presidential physician Alejandro Tfeli told reporters the obstruction was in Menem’s right carotid artery. The carotids are the two principal arteries of the neck that carry blood to the head.
Dr. Juan Parodi, one of the surgeons, said the operation was ″a complete success,″ and that Menem would remain hospitalized for three days.
Menem, 63, entered the Cardiovascular Institute of Buenos Aires under his own power and told reporters: ″I’m fine. My health is very good, thank God.″
He became dizzy just before he was to travel to Santiago for the Rio Group summit of Latin American leaders. Foreign Minister Guido Di Tella left instead to lead the Argentine delegation.
The president was visited at the clinic by his estranged wife, Zulema, who is suing Menem for divorce; their two children, Carlos Jr. and Zulema; and his brother Eduardo, provisional president of the Argentine senate.
Menem, who took office in 1989, had not suffered any known health problems before Thursday. He plays tennis, soccer and other sports.