NEW YORK, N.Y. ? Former President Bill Clinton will undergo heart bypass surgery after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath, his office said Friday.
Clinton was being admitted to New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia, a statement said. He had seen a doctor first on Thursday, and additional tests Friday revealed the need for the surgery, it said.
Clinton canceled a two-day joint trip with his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, across upstate New York.
The senator and the couple's daughter, Chelsea, will be with the former president in New York City, the statement said.
Clinton, 58, had a cancerous growth removed from his back shortly after leaving office in early 2001. It turned out to be basal cell carcinoma, the most treatable form of skin cancer. In 1996, he had had a precancerous lesion removed from his nose and a year before that had a benign cyst taken off his chest.
Other than that, Clinton has had the normal health problems that often accompany aging -- periods of slightly elevated cholesterol and hearing loss -- and an appetite for junk food. In 1997, he was fitted with hearing aids. He has also suffered from allergies.
In Little Rock, Ark., Clinton's mother-in-law, Dorothy Rodham, said Clinton had called her to tell her about his chest pains.
"He sounded wonderful as usual and very upbeat as he always is," she said. "I just told him how much I love him."
She said she didn't know if he was in the hospital when he called.
There was no official word on when the surgery would take place. A source said the surgery was not likely to take place Friday, but instead at a later date. CNN said that tests had been concluded and that the surgery would take place Saturday.
An angiogram given to Clinton revealed "significant blockage," said a Democratic official, who had discussed the condition with the former president's staff. It did not appear that Clinton suffered a heart attack, he said. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity.
The statement by Clinton's office said the former president "went to Northern Westchester Hospital yesterday afternoon after experiencing mild chest pain and shortness of breath. Initial testing was normal and he spent the night at home in nearby Chappaqua, N.Y. After undergoing additional testing this morning at Westchester Medical Center, doctors advised he should undergo bypass surgery."
Hillary Clinton is gearing up for a 2006 re-election bid seen by many as a prelude to a run for president in 2008 should John Kerry fail in his bid for the White House this year.
The Clintons had planned a stop at the State Fair in Syracuse on Friday afternoon and then had been expected to head north for stops in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties near the Canadian border on Friday night and on Saturday.