VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) announced Monday that its founder and Chairman, M.G. "Pat" Robertson, has returned home after extensive heart surgery at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, NC.
Robertson has suffered a condition known as atrial fibrillation, an often-debilitating heart disorder involving shortness of breath and weakness affecting an estimated five million Americans.
In the recent procedure, which required ten hours of surgery, cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Andy C. Kiser and electrophysiologist Dr. Mark Landers performed a state of the art technique they pioneered called Convergent Procedure. The groundbreaking procedure, which Drs. Kiser and Landers performed for the first time in the United States earlier this year, uses a device to cauterize the continually beating heart's muscle with heat generated by radio frequency. The resulting scar tissue controls the heart's electrical impulses more effectively. The procedure uses four small openings rather than full chest incisions, allowing for much faster recovery time, minimal scarring, and short hospital stay.
"The Convergent Procedure integrates the expertise of the cardiac surgeon and the electrophysiologist into a single procedure," said Dr. Kiser, chief of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital. "The co-disciplinary approach provides a successful treatment for patients, like Mr. Robertson, who have difficult-to-treat, chronic atrial fibrillation."
During the surgery, the doctors also discovered an abnormally enlarged left appendage on Robertson's heart, which is now believed to have been the cause of his atrial fibrillation. The 6cm appendage was successfully removed during the surgery.
"Only the prayers of thousands of believing people kept me on this earth," Robertson said. "As it is, I anticipate many more years of creative service in the ministry I founded (CBN), as well as Regent University and other endeavors devoted to the service of mankind."
"I cannot praise enough the dedication and professionalism of Dr. Andy Kiser and his staff who removed this growth from my continuously beating heart," he continued.
Robertson celebrated his 79th birthday on March 22nd of this year. At that time, the CBN Board of Directors appointed his son, Gordon Robertson, a former Norfolk attorney, to lead The Christian Broadcasting Network as its chief executive officer.
Robertson expects to return to a full schedule, including hosting "The 700 Club", in several weeks.