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Elizabeth Taylor adds a heart procedure to her extensive medical record

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Hollywood diva Elizabeth Taylor underwent a procedure to fix a leaky valve in her heart. The 77-year-old, evidently not a techno-phobe, announced she was having the procedure on her Twitter page.

On October 6, 2009, Taylor wrote: “Dear Friends, I would like to let you know before it gets in the papers that I am going into the hospital to have a procedure on my heart. It’s very new and involves repairing my leaky valve using a clip device, without open heart surgery, so that my heart will function better.”

A leaky heart valve is a serious issue that can lead to heart failure. Essentially the heart is made up of two halves with two atriums. Heart valves exist in the heart to ensure that blood only runs in one direction as the heart pumps blood throughout the body. If a valve does not function properly, it can have grave consequences, for example accumulation of fluid in the lungs or elsewhere in the body.

Elizabeth Taylor, who starred in classics like ‘Cleopatra’ and ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’, reported soon after her operation that everything went “perfectly”. On her Twitter page she wrote: “Dear Friends, My heart procedure went off perfectly. It’s like having a brand new ticker. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.”

Taylor underwent the procedure in Los Angeles.

A leaky valve is not the only health issue Elizabeth Taylor has presented herself with. Often appearing in a wheelchair in public, she has had her fair share of battles. Included in her medical record are a whopping three bouts with pneumonia, one so severe in the 1960s she required life-saving surgery, she has reportedly broken her back five times, she has had hip replacement surgery as well as having a brain tumor removed.

Taylor, who has been married eight times (all of her marriages were divorced, with the exception of one, which left her widowed), fought a tough battle against food addiction. Unhappiness is what she says caused her to overeat. Taylor lost a commendable 60 pounds and wrote a book on weight loss.

In 1983 Taylor entered the Betty Ford Center at a Los Angeles hospital in order to overcome her addiction to alcohol and drugs. ”She selected the Ford Center because she has great admiration for Betty Ford and believed her problems to be very similar to that experienced by Mrs. Ford in that much of her trouble stems from prescription drugs administered over a period of years to combat her various medical problems,” a hospital spokesperson said at the time.

After more than 30 admissions into hospital, we wish Dame Elizabeth all the best for her future.

Other celebrities who have battled addictions include Burt Reynolds, Charlton Heston, David Hasselhoff and Britney Spears.

Other celebrities who have had heart problems include Jennie GarthRobin WilliamsLarry King and Bill Clinton.

Image: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elizabeth_Taylor36.JPG

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