Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma is recovering in a Tulsa hospital after undergoing emergency heart surgery last week, the lawmaker said in a statement Tuesday.
“Look folks, this is serious,” Inhofe said. “I went in for a routine thing and ended up with quadruple bypass surgery.”
Inhofe said he saw doctors for a “routine colonoscopy that everyone gets and was sent immediately for open heart surgery.”
“As the doctors said, ‘your colon is perfect but your heart is what we are worried about,’ he said.
According to the Oklahoman, doctors in Washington told the lawmaker that routine tests indicated he had blockage in five arteries. Inhofe underwent quadruple bypass surgery in Tulsa on Friday.
The newspaper reported that two of Inhofe’s “arteries had 100 percentage blockage, two had 90 percent blockage and another had 75 percent.”
In his statement Tuesday, Inhofe said, “Today, I am feeling great and am fully engaged with my work here in Oklahoma.”
But because of medical concerns associated with flying after heart surgery, Inhofe said he may miss some votes as Congress works to negotiate a deal to re-open the government after last week’s shutdown.
Inhofe is one of the most conservative members in Congress. He’s well-known for outspokenness on the topic of global warming. He wrote a book called, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”
“I encourage the Senate to pass a bill that will reopen the government while sticking with our conservative principles,” he said. “I may miss some upcoming votes on the Continuing Resolution, but my doctors agree I will return as soon as possible.”
He added: “It takes a few days after open heart surgery to fly on an aircraft.”