Singapore— Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong announced on his Facebook page on Thursday, July 25, that he was back in his office after he had undergone a medical procedure on his arteries.
The country’s former second Prime Minister is 78 years old.
He recounted how, after he went for his yearly medical checkup last week, his doctors advised him to have an angioplasty, since it had been discovered that some of his arteries had narrowed.
He also wrote on Facebook that while he was already back at the office, he still had some appointments that needed to be cancelled.
“On doctors’ advice, went for angioplasty on Tuesday. It is a common procedure especially for those around my age. I am now back in my office. With stronger blood flows, I expect to be better than before. Will have to cancel some events in the meantime though. Sorry for that.”
What is an angioplasty?
An angioplasty is a procedure that restores blood flow through the artery. People who experience coronary heart disease, wherein the arteries of their heart are blocked or narrowed by a sticky substance known as plaque.
This is how an angioplasty is done. “The doctor threads a thin tube through a blood vessel in the arm or groin up to the involved site in the artery. The tube has a tiny balloon on the end. When the tube is in place, the doctor inflates the balloon to push the plaque outward against the wall of the artery. This widens the artery and restores blood flow.”
People who undergo an angioplasty are usually discharged from the hospital the day after their procedure, and go back to work one week after their discharge date.
It looks as though ESM Goh is staying ahead of the pack by returning to work two short days after his procedure, though.
Mr Goh added, “This episode is a good reminder for everyone to go for regular medical check-ups. As they say, prevention is better than cure. So watch your diet, as I will with mine! Health Promotion Board, Singapore offers affordable health screenings under its “Screen for Life” programme. So go for it.— gct”
ESM Goh is also a cancer survivor, having successfully undergone treatment for prostate cancer nearly five years ago.
When Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was 72, he also underwent not just one but two angioplasty procedures. This was in 1996. After his first surgery in January, he was operated on again seven weeks later due to his arteries getting clogged again.
Many netizens wished the Emeritus Senior Minister a speedy recovery from his procedure.