Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings is currently recovering from surgery on his heart valve at Johns Hopkins Hospital, his office announced today.
A statement from his team said he underwent a “minimally invasive medical procedure” on Wednesday to treat a condition called aortic stenosis. The surgery “was used to correct narrowing of the aortic valve,” the statement said.
Cummings is recovering at the East Baltimore hospital. He will remain there “for a few days” before he returns to Capitol Hill and resumes a normal schedule.
Aortic stenosis happens when the aorta, the main valve carrying blood from the heart, narrows and restricts blood flow to the rest of the body, according to the American Heart Association. The condition can be a congenital heart defect, or develop “as calcium or scarring damages the valve” while a person ages.
The exact procedure Cummings underwent was a “trans arterial aortic valve replacement,” according to his office. It involves using a catheter to insert a collapsible replacement valve into the old, damaged one, rather than through more invasive means like open heart surgery.
National outlets have picked up the news. The longtime Baltimore congressman is the leading Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, and is leading an investigation into former Trump administration advisor Michael Flynn’s speaking gigs paid for by Russian entities. He’s also drafted a subpoena for the Trump administration to hand over any documents related to former FBI Director James Comey’s firing, alleged campaign-season collusion with Russia and other matters.
He’s represents Maryland’s 7th congressional district, which includes about half of Baltimore City. He’s served in that office since 1996.
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