Iowa State Fred Hoiberg had surgery on Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to replace his pacemaker.
The pacemaker was put into place back in 2005, when Hoiberg underwent open-heart surgery to correct an enlargement on his aortic root. Due to complications during the surgery, a pacemaker was placed in his shoulder. The issues with his heart ended his NBA playing career.
A pacemaker is a device that is connected to a person’s heart by wires to quite literally control how fast the heart beats. It’s powered by batteries, which last around eight years.
Hoiberg’s batteries were dying. He found out during a workout, as Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune describes:
This past weekend, though, Hoiberg experienced light-headedness while in St. Louis recruiting.
“I’m very hyper-sensitive to my heart – I feel every beat – I’ve been like that ever since I had the surgery in ’05,” he said on Monday. “My heart rate is never supposed to go under 70 (beats per minute), that’s the bottom rate they have because of my leaky valve. I could feel that it wasn’t at 70. My thought was, ‘Had my pacemaker stopped working?’ Then I’d feel OK, I’d get through the day and I’d do the same thing the next day.”
Monday morning, though, after exercising, Hoiberg could feel that his heart rate was not elevating. He sprinted on a treadmill and checked his pulse, finding it was at just 65 beats per minute.
The timing isn’t ideal for Hoiberg, as the second July live evaluation period will kick off at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, although he does expect to be out of the hospital by then.
UPDATE (11:45 a.m.): Surgery went well, it seems:
— Carol Hoiberg (@mayorswife32) July 15, 2014