TODAY | March 25, 2012
>>> breaking news aboutq former vice president dick cheney . his second cameu q years later followedt(?r by ako quadruple emergency bypass in 1988 . cheneyr attacks, including one in 2000 during the florida3w recount after which he and george w. bush took office. his fifth heartq attack came in 2010 . after that, doctors inrvalled?i a special device known as a lap ventricle assist or clvan to aid his ailing heart, a device hei] later showe3 to jamie gengel. take whatever the doctors f? recommend, the latest thing, and i've been able toq@)r+e a full, normal, active a5 life.
>> and joining us nowf? isc nbc chief medical editor dr.?? nancy f? snyderman.
>> hey, jenna.
>> hi, nancy, good morning. how difficultw3 of an operation is this??iq we hear heart trans)$9q and it?rs7 sounds so serious.
>> technically, it's not difficult, sewing things in place. the hard part is the waitinkr list because there aren'0o enough organs to go around and the special tissue type. this is not a donor who fits anybody. there is an elegant tissue typing . he was on the waiting list ?i 20 months, average than thexd longer person.
>> the former vice president has had a history of cardiology trouble -- fivei] heart attacks , quadruple surgery --
>> hisxd first was at 37.
>> 37 years old. quadruple bypass , angioplasty. was this inevitable?t(
>> he was born withr heart and he has been at the end stage cardiac failure.c? c1 they even had a device put in1 - as we've been able to see, he went from thw? robust, people who are in?r otherwise good?i?i health. his overall survival rate should be ?i75% e $ the next five years. he does havef? extraordinary bu