Arnold Schwarzenegger reveals he has had pacemaker fitted: ‘I am now a machine’

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ARNOLD Schwarzenegger has had a pacemaker fitted after scar tissue from previous heart operations left him with an irregular heartbeat.

The Terminator actor had the secret procedure last week and is currently in recovery.

Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed he had a secret surgery last week to have a pacemaker implanted

Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed he had a secret surgery last week to have a pacemaker implantedCredit: Getty
The Hollywood actor said scar tissue from previous heart surgeries had left him with an irregular heartbeat

Arnold, 76, previously underwent three surgeries on his heart after being born with a congenital heart condition, a bicuspid aortic valve.

“Last Monday, I had surgery to become a little bit more of a machine: I got a pacemaker,” he revealed on his Arnold’s Pump Club podcast.

“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.

“Nobody would ever have thought I started the week with a surgery.”

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The former California governor underwent the procedure on the advice of his doctors who said his three previous heart surgeries had affected his body.

“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,” he explained.

“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 check up and see how my heart was doing.

“That’s life with a genetic heart issue.

“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.”


Arnold first had open heart surgery in 1997 to replace a defective, congenital aortic valve.

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Then, in 2018, he had another open heart surgery to replace a pulmonary valve.

The surgery did not go as planned, however, as it was supposed to be a non-invasive procedure.

However, the doctor accidentally poked through the heart wall and had to open him up in order to save his life quickly.

Since only one valve was replaced, he headed in for another surgery four years ago – this time a non-invasive Transcatheter valve replacement.

Arnold further opened up about his decision to speak publicly about his procedures.


The bodybuilder turned actor has undergone four procedures since the 90s. (Getty)

1997 – Open heart surgery to replace a defective, congenital aortic valve

2018 – Open heart surgery to replace a pulmonary valve

2020 – Non-invasive Transcatheter valve replacement

2024 – Surgery to have pacemaker implanted

“I’ve gotten so many messages and emails from people who were born with a bicuspid aortic valve, like me, telling me that talking about my valve replacement surgeries has given them courage and hope to deal with their own,” he explained.

“So, since I know that going against my secretive instinct and being transparent helps people, what choice do I have?”

Arnold said he wanted his listeners to know that they “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,” he added.