Inhofe 'great' after heart surgery

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Monday he was feeling great after emergency heart surgery. 

The 78-year-old senator underwent quadruple bypass surgery in Tulsa, Okla., Friday after a routine test showed the senator had heavy blockage in five arteries. 

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A few days later, he told the The Oklahoman newspaper he was feeling much better. “I’m going to be an Olympian,” he joked Monday. 

The newspaper said he was seen walking around the hospital that day, talking on the phone. He said he expected to return home Tuesday and would return to Washington as soon as he could. 

Inhofe had a virtual colonoscopy last week that indicated a healthy colon but revealed his heart problem. The senator said he doesn’t have a history of heart trouble and didn’t feel any symptoms of clogged arteries. 

Two arteries, Inhofe told reporters, had 100 percent blockage, two had 90 percent and another had 75 percent. 

Inhofe said it would be several days until it would be safe for him to fly back to Washington. 

"I may miss some votes," Inhofe told the Tulsa World newspaper. "[But] I encourage the Senate to pass a bill that will reopen the government while sticking with our conservative principles."

Congress is now evaluating how to end the government shutdown that’s now in its seventh day. 

The Oklahoma senator plans on seeking a fourth term in the Senate in 2014. He was first elected in 1994. 

A number of other politicians in Washington have previously had heart surgery, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and former President Clinton.