Doctors said Tuesday that Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon will return to work in a month, after undergoing successful undergoing emergency heart bypass surgery on Monday.
According to Colombian daily El Tiempo, the 63-year-old needs a further three days in intensive care, a week on a monitor and the remaining time in rehabilitation.
“This week, for example, they are making sure that there will be no complicating infections or no difficulties in the lungs, kidney or other organs. At the same time, they will begin a process to adapt him to his daily activities,” Jamie Calderon, former president of the Colombian Cardiology Society, told the newspaper.
After getting back on his feet and leaving hospital, the vice president will need to continue the cardiac rehabilitation program.
“Clearly, the vice president will need to drastically change his lifestyle to protect his heart and his health,” Calderon stressed.
El Tiempo claims that Garzon was not a smoker, but that he was affected by certain risk factors such as being overweight, high cholesterol, and high triglyceride levels.
Under Colombian law, there is no mechanism to replace a vice president in the case of temporary absence. Article 202 of the constitution only provides for a stand-in, in the case of a permanent vacancy.
However, former vice president and constitutional expert, Humberto del Calle, argues that, by analogy, Congress could temporarily fill Garzon’s role.
The Colombian second-in-command suffered an ischemia, a condition which precedes a full heart-attack, at 5AM Monday.
Garzon took office as Colombia’s vice president on Saturday, when the Santos administration officially replaced former president Alvaro Uribe‘s government at the helm of the Andean state.