Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overnight Saturday underwent a cardiac pacemaker implantation procedure.
Doctors at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan said the operation was successful and that they expected to discharge the 73-year-old Netanyahu later on Sunday.
During the operation, which was carried out under general anesthesia, Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Yariv Levin acted in Netanyahu’s place.
In a video message released ahead of the surgery, Netanyahu said that he was feeling “excellent” and following the advice of his doctors. He added that he expected to be released from the hospital later in the day, in time to attend scheduled Knesset votes on proposed legislation related to his government’s judicial reform effort.
However, the weekly Cabinet meeting was ultimately postponed, as was a scheduled Likud faction meeting.
The 73-year-old Netanyahu was hospitalized overnight exactly a week ago after briefly losing consciousness in his private home in Caesarea.
After he was discharged, the hospital released a statement indicating that “at no point was any heart rhythm disorder diagnosed.” However, “we decided to use a subcutaneous Holter, as is customary, to allow the prime minister’s own medical professional team to continue regular monitoring.”
The device, also known as a cardiac event recorder, is implanted under the skin of the chest or shoulder. They are commonly used if a patient experiences an unexplained stroke, fainting or irregular heartbeat.
This week, the recorder “had an alert,” said professors Roy Beinart and Eyal Nof in a video shared by Sheba Medical Center on Sunday, adding that the prime minister likely suffered a transient heart block.
“Yesterday night we received the data from this monitor that suggests [a] transient atrioventricular block, and this was an indication for urgent pacemaker implantation… During the night we implanted a pacemaker, all went well. The prime minister is doing very well this morning,” explained the doctors.
“I would like to thank the many of you who have asked how I am doing. I am doing great,” Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday. “Tomorrow morning I will join my colleagues in the Knesset.”
According to Channel 12, Netanyahu has been monitored for a heart conduction problem “for twenty years… not a life-threatening condition but a chronic one.”
In October, Netanyahu spent a night at the hospital under medical observation due to chest pains that began while he was attending Yom Kippur synagogue services.