Doctors in New York say former President Bill Clinton is recovering from successful quadruple heart bypass surgery to relieve clogged arteries.
The medical team at New York Presbyterian Hospital told reporters Monday several arteries were well over 90 percent blocked.
The doctors said it was likely that Mr. Clinton would have had, in their words, "a substantial heart attack in the near future."
The doctors said he could leave the hospital in four or five days.
President Bush, on a campaign stop in Missouri, wished his predecessor the very best in his recovery and said it is "good news" the surgery went well.
A statement from the Clinton family thanked the public for its prayers and support.
The 58 year old Mr. Clinton was admitted to the hospital Friday after complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.