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Arnold Schwarzenegger's First Words After Open Heart Surgery: ‘I’m back’

People logo People 3/30/2018 Mike Miller
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(Video provided by Veuer)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is stable and recovering after undergoing open-heart surgery following complications that arose during a planned heart valve replacement.

His first words after waking up were “I’m back,” his representative Daniel Ketchell tweeted on Friday, adding that the actor “is in good spirits.”

In a statement, Ketchell said, “Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger underwent a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997.”

The replacement the actor underwent nearly 20 years ago was “never meant to be permanent,” so Schwarzenegger “chose to replace” it on Thursday “through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement,” Ketchell added.

An open-heart surgery team was standing by in case of complications, which is common during these types of procedures, according to Ketchell. When complications arose during the procedure, the doctors on standby were able to successfully step in and perform open-heart surgery, the actor’s rep confirmed to PEOPLE.

FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2017 file photo, Arnold Schwarzenegger waves as he arrives at the Elysee Palace prior to a meeting on climate change in Paris. Schwarzenegger is recovering in a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing heart surgery. He had a scheduled procedure to replace a pulmonic valve on Thursday, March 29, 2018, according to Schwarzenegger’s spokesman. He is in stable condition. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2017 file photo, Arnold Schwarzenegger waves as he arrives at the Elysee Palace prior to a meeting on climate change in Paris. Schwarzenegger is recovering in a Los Angeles hospital after undergoing heart surgery. He had a scheduled procedure to replace a pulmonic valve on Thursday, March 29, 2018, according to Schwarzenegger’s spokesman. He is in stable condition. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File) “Governor Schwarzeneggers’ pulmonic valve was successfully replaced and his is currently recovering from the surgery and is in stable condition,” Ketchell added, before thanking the “entire medical team for their tireless efforts.”

This isn’t the first time Schwarzenegger has gone under the knife for heart surgery. He also had an aortic valve replaced in 1997.

The actor previously opened up about the surgery after breaking six ribs in a motorcycle crash in 2001.

“It was very painful, much more painful than the heart surgery,” he said at the time. “A rib breaking is, like, the worst.”

Schwarzenegger was also in a second motorcycle accident in 2006, but walked away with only a few minor bruises and scratches.

Related slideshow: Arnold Schwarzenegger: Career in pictures  Arnold Schwarzenegger: Career in pictures

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