Voinovich has successful pacemaker implant

WASHINGTON (AP) - Doctors successfully implanted a pacemaker in Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio on Friday, spokeswoman Marcie Ridgway said.

"The senator's procedure was uneventful and totally satisfactorily performed," said Dr. Helen Barold, who performed the operation. "I anticipate his recovery will be uncomplicated and that he will return to his normal routine in a few days."

Voinovich, 66, decided to have the optional procedure done to maintain a normal heart rate.

The Republican said earlier this week that his heart rate had slowed down over the past several years due to a condition called progressive sinus bradycardia.

The operation was performed at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., a Washington suburb.

Voinovich (pictured, above) will spend the night at the hospital, then rest over the weekend at his Washington apartment. He plans to return to a full schedule Monday.

"I have every expectation that he will be able to maintain his normal schedule and exercise," Barold said.

Voinovich, a former Ohio governor and Cleveland mayor, is up for re-election to the Senate in 2004. The surgery was not expected to have any impact on the campaign, Ridgway said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)