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Barbara Bush in good condition, spirits

March 5, 2009 12:28:26 PM PST
Former first lady Barbara Bush is said to be in good condition, and in good spirits following Wednesday's open heart surgery. Mrs. Bush, 83, is in intensive care after undergoing a 2 1/2 hour procedure at a Houston, Texas hospital to replace her aortic valve. The surgery was scheduled last week after Mrs. Bush experienced a shortness of breath, doctors said.

Dr. Gerald Lawrie, the heart surgeon at the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center who performed the surgery, said the operation went well.

"I expect her to recover fully and soon resume her normal activities," he said.

The hospital said the former first lady was expected to be released in seven to 10 days.

Mrs. Bush was said to be up and talking just hours after the procedure, according to a family spokesman.

"Everything's status quo. She continues to recover, and everybody's pleased with her progress," said Jim McGrath.

Former President George H.W. Bush reportedly spent the night at his wife's bedside.

"I am very impressed with and grateful to the wonderful team of doctors and nurses at The Methodist Hospital who have helped Barbara," the former president said. "We have every confidence she is in the best hands."

This is the second surgery in four months for Mrs. Bush. Last November, she was operated on for a perforated ulcer, after feeling pain she described as "worse than childbirth."