Shimkus recovering from heart procedure

News-DemocratJuly 9, 2013 

— U.S. Rep. John Shimkus is expected to make a full recovery from a heart procedure, according to his spokesman.

Shimkus, 55, underwent a "non-surgical heart procedure" at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis on Tuesday, according to spokesman Steve Tomaszewski.

Shimkus had an electrophysiology study, which involves threading a catheter through the veins into the heart to examine it from the inside. He then underwent radiofrequency ablation, which uses high-frequency radio waves to effect changes in the heart tissue without having to open the chest.

Tomaszewski said Shimkus had noticed an abnormal heart rhythm and sought medical advice, which led to the scheduled procedure.

Shimkus will miss votes in the House of Representatives this week due to his recuperation, as well as a hearing in the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, of which he is chairman. That hearing, scheduled for Thursday, involves regulation of new chemicals and protection of confidential business information.

In 2005, Shimkus had open heart surgery to repair a severe mitral valve regurgitation, a genetic condition in which the valves of the heart do not close completely. That condition and this arrhythmia are genetic conditions, Tomaszewski said.

Shimkus, R-Collinsville, is serving his eighth term in Congress representing what is now known as the 15th Congressional District.

Shimkus is expected to return to work next week. Tomaszewski said if anyone wishes to send cards, they should be directed to the congressman's office at 15 Professional Park Drive, Maryville, IL 62062.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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