Sen. John Boozman is expected to make a full recovery and should be able to return to his full job duties without any restrictions in the future, according to the doctor who performed the senator’s emergency heart surgery on Tuesday.
“Sen. Boozman is doing amazingly well after surgery to replace his ascending aorta,” said Dr. E.J. Chauvin, the thoracic surgeon who performed surgery on the senator at Mercy Medical Center in Rogers. “One reason he is doing so well is because of his great physical condition.
Boozman was moved from the intensive care unit Thursday and is walking frequently with the aid of hospital staff, according to a statement released Friday by the senator’s office.
“The senator is mobile and conversational,” said Boozman spokesman Patrick Creamer. “He’s spent a great deal of time talking with his family and even spoke briefly with his Chief of Staff.”
Boozman’s family released a statement Thursday saying he is doing “good” and continues to “move forward.”
The 63-year-old Republican had surgery Tuesday after being diagnosed with an acute aortic dissection, according to the senator’s family.
The operation lasted several hours. Boozman responded well to the procedure, and doctors said they are pleased with his progress.
Boozman remains hospitalized while doctors monitor his recovery. His family has been with him, and he has expressed gratitude for the support he has received.
No timetable has been given for Boozman’s recovery, but a doctor familiar with the procedure told 5NEWS recovery time for patients is typically three or four weeks.
An aortic dissection is the tearing in the aorta, the main artery in the body that carries oxygenated blood from the heart, a local doctor told 5NEWS.
“The aorta is the biggest pipe that connects the heart to the rest of the body,” said Dr. Nasser Adjei, MD, Interventional Cardiologist, Sparks Health System. “Any time it is bigger than 1.5 it’s size, then there could be an aneurysm, which means the aorta has ballooning of the artery.”
Adjei continued, “It’s an extensive surgery. We don’t underplay that.”
Boozman, a former University of Arkansas football player, was in Rogers visiting family when taken to a hospital, said spokeswoman Sara Lasure.
A schedule from Boozman’s office sent out on Monday (April 21) shows that the senator was supposed to visit Gravette City Hall at 8 a.m. on Tuesday for a breakfast discussion with local mayors about regional issues, including the Bella Vista Bypass and the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare.
He then was scheduled to meet at 1:15 p.m. at the Boston Mountain Rural Health Center with staff and administrators to discuss “issues facing the health community.”
From there he was scheduled to be in Harrison at 3 p.m., where the Northwest Regional Housing Authority was set to discuss a $5.5 million 4-unit apartment complex under construction.