Rep. Dingell Has Heart Procedure

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.) former chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee and Congress' longest serving member, had what was described as a "minimally invasive" heart procedure Thursday at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

His office described him as in good spirits and resting comfortably.

He had developed atrial fibrillation and the operation was described as one to find and correct the abnormal rhythm. Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia that can cause the heart to beat too fast, too slow, irregularly or a combination of those. In extreme cases it can cause heart failure or stroke.

The doctor who performed the procedure in the cardiac catheterization lab said it was to correct a right atrial flutter. His office said the Congressman plans to return to work in Washington March 24 and will be put on blood thinners and arrhythmia medication.

According to his office, he was expected to be released March 14.

Dingell has announced he will not be running for re-election. He has been one of broadcasters most stalwart defenders in Congress, most recently pressing the FCC to complete negotiations with Canada over station repacking after the incentive auctions.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.