UA President Peter Likins underwent emergency open-heart surgery today after a lead from his pacemaker poked a small hole in his heart, causing it to leak blood into his pericardium (heart sac). The condition could have been fatal without immediate surgery, a UMC cardiologist said.
Surgeons repaired the hole and replaced the pacemaker wire. The pacemaker itself sits near the collarbone, but leads go into one of the heart’s four chambers.
Likins had a pacemaker implanted at the hospital Dec. 31.
Likins was taken to the hospital earlier today after complaining of faintness. He’d been in the middle of a business meeting in his office at UA’s Administrative building, said Sheri Hill, his executive assistant.