The routine procedure preformed on former President George W. Bush's heart doesn't appear to be so routine after all.
According to a report in the "National Journal" yesterday, the president's artery was 95 percent blocked and his life was in danger before a stent was implanted last month.
In August, the 67-year-old former president underwent a procedure to have a stent inserted, after a routine stress test discovered a blockage in one of his arteries.
The news of Bush's blocked artery came as somewhat of a surprise, since the former president is known to exercise regularly and is considered to be in great shape
Doctors note that even people in good physical shape can have plaque in their blood vessels that pose risks that may go unnoticed without an examination.
During a stent procedure, a small mesh tube is inserted in the blocked artery through the use of a catheter. Once inside, a balloon located within the stent expands, smashing the plaque against the walls of the artery and clearing out the blockage. The stent then remains in the blood vessel and acts somewhat like scaffolding, keeping the artery open and restoring blood flow.