Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals That He’s Had a Pacemaker Fitted

Seven-time Mr. Olympia, Hollywood superstar, and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger has revealed that he is doing well after getting a pacemaker fitted on Monday, March 18.

“The Austrian Oak,” now 76, has shared his latest health news following three previous heart surgeries direct to the 750,000 plus subscribers of his Arnold’s Pump Club Newsletter.

“Last Monday, I had surgery to become a little bit more of a machine: I got a pacemaker,” wrote The Terminator star. “I have to tell you, just saying this to all of you goes against so much of my upbringing in Austria, where nobody—ever—talked about medical issues. Everything related to healthcare was kept to yourself.” Schwarzenegger says that he chose to be open about the genetic condition that he has in order to help others. The actor says that bicuspid aortic valve is the source of his previous heart health scares.

Arnold Schwarenegger addressing an audience of fitness professionals
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What is a Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

A bicuspid aortic valve means that there are two parts to the valve (known as leaflets) whereas most people are born with three. It can be diagnosed through echocardiography or other methods including chest X-ray or an MRI.

“First of all, I want you to know I’m doing great!” reassured the big man. I had my surgery on Monday, and by Friday, I was already at a big environmental event with my friend and fellow fitness crusader Jane Fonda. By the way, when we talk about exercise being the only magic pill to slow down aging, look at Jane. She’s ten years older than me, turning 87 this year!

“Nobody would ever have thought I started the week with a surgery. I want to thank my whole team at the Cleveland Clinic. All of the doctors and nurses took amazing care of me and made the surgery as painless as possible. They also advised me that it was time to go through with this because some scar tissue from my previous surgery had made my heartbeat irregular. It had been like that for a few years, so I stayed in touch with my medical team and visited in person at least once a year to get a full checkup and see how my heart was doing.

“That’s life with a genetic heart issue. But you won’t hear me complaining. My mother and her mother’s bicuspid valves killed them. I’m still here because of medical innovation and being very diligent about staying in touch with my doctors and listening to them. My mom refused to have the valve replacement surgery. But back then, the only option was open-heart. Today, they’re replacing valves with non-invasive procedures where you can go home the same day.

“I had my valves replaced for the first time in 1997, which required open-heart surgery. They told me both valves would last 12 to 15 years. Dr Starnes did a wonderful job, and they made it 21 years, so by the time I went in for replacement in 2018, the non-invasive option was available. Of course, you know that there was a little screwup at the hospital in Los Angeles, and my non-invasive surgery became open-heart … They only replaced one of the two valves, so I headed to the Cleveland Clinic in 2020 and did the other one. This time, the non-invasive Transcatheter valve replacement worked!  But with all of those surgeries, my doctors told me it was more important than ever to stay on top of the situation, and I checked in all of the time, sharing heart rate information from home. We knew the heartbeat was irregular, and my fantastic team watched it like a hawk.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Recovering Well After Getting a Pace Maker Fitted

“They told me they would let me know when it was time for a pacemaker,” continued Arnie in his open letter to subscribers. A pacemaker is a small, battery powered device that corrects the heartbeat. “Man, if I can be honest with you, I struggled with those 16-hour days at the Arnold Sports Festival US at the beginning of March and in the UK last week, visiting as many sports as possible and walking through those crowds of hundreds of thousands of fitness fanatics … knowing I had six weeks until it was time to film FUBAR Season 2, it was time to go for it. The doctors told me they want many more seasons of FUBAR, and this was the best way!” Schwarzenegger explains that he made a stop in Cleveland on his way home from the UK, and it was there that he had his ”new machine part” installed.

“Like I said, by Friday, I was out doing my normal environmental work, and nobody knew anything,” says the Commando and The Running man star. “I can’t do my serious training in the gym for a while, but I will be 100% ready for FUBAR next month! I could have kept it a secret. But I know that we have more than 750,000 subscribers now (775,000 to be exact — the village is a city now!), and a lot of you are probably dealing with your own health challenges. I want you to know you aren’t alone. And if you’re putting something off out of fear, I hope I inspire you to listen to your doctors and take care of yourself.”

M&F applauds Arnold Schwarzenegger for bravely sharing his personal health story, and have no doubt that his words will help improve the lives of many other people once again. To subscribe to Arnold’s Pump Club Newsletter, visit!

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