- Associated Press - Thursday, August 10, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas’ senior senator says he will have surgery next week as a follow-up to emergency heart surgery he had three years ago.

In a handwritten note posted in a photograph on Twitter Thursday, Sen. John Boozman said 30 percent of patients who have had surgery for a torn aorta need additional surgery. He compared his upcoming hospitalization to driving 100 mph with a bad radiator hose.

“Everything is fine until that thing blows. That’s the situation I’m in,” he said in an interview after speaking at the annual meeting of the Association of Arkansas Counties.

In his statement on Twitter, the senator said having surgery now would let him return to work next month.

“My doctors have been monitoring me since the surgery. After consulting with my doctors, I have elected to go ahead and have this done during the August recess so I will be ready to go when the Senate comes back into session in September,” he wrote.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of Little Rock reported on the upcoming surgery first.

Boozman had emergency surgery on April 22, 2014, after complaining of chest and arm pain before a highway dedication at Gravette. Boozman, who is an eye doctor, was re-elected to a second term last year.

The senator said he had played golf Wednesday in the Washington area with Vice President Mike Pence. He wouldn’t reveal his score.

“I think the reason they had me along was to make the vice president feel good about his game,” Boozman said.

Boozman also spoke briefly to the municipal officials about increasing hostility between North Korea and the United States. He told members of the group that they bore a responsibility to be prepared regardless of the rhetoric.

“I grew up in an age, with the Cold War, where you practiced getting under our desks and we had all this Cold War nuclear preparedness. We’re not there yet, but with Iran lurking on the corner, with North Korea, it is something that we need to be very, very concerned about. At the forefront of that preparedness are you all. That is a mission that really does break all the way down to the city and county level of government,” he said.

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