Pat Robertson Recovering From Heart Surgery

Televangelist Pat Robertson is recovering at his home in Virginia Beach, Va., after an extensive 10-hour heart surgery.

"Only the prayers of thousands of believing people kept me on this earth," said the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in a statement earlier this week.

Robertson was treated Aug. 19 at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, N.C., to repair an atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat that can cause chest pain and heart attacks, and increase the risk of stroke.

According to CBN, Robertson underwent what is called convergent procedure, which uses a device to cauterize the continually beating heart muscle with heat generated by a radio frequency. The procedure is less invasive than traditional heart surgery and uses four small openings rather than full chest incisions to speed recovery time. The ministry said the "groundbreaking" procedure had only been done once in the U.S.

During the surgery, doctors also removed an abnormally enlarged appendage on Robertson's heart, which they believe was the cause of his atrial fibrillation.

Robertson is expected to make a full recovery and said he anticipates "many more years of creative service" in the ministries he founded and "other endeavors devoted to the service of mankind."

In March Robertson celebrated his 79th birthday. At that time, his son, Gordon Robertson, was appointed to lead CBN as its CEO.

Robertson is expected to resume his full schedule, including hosting The 700 Club, in several weeks.

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