From Reuters via yahoo news:
Sharon to have heart operation
By Corinne HellerMon Dec 26, 6:36 PM ET
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will undergo an operation to close a tiny hole in his heart which is believed to be the reason for his mild stroke last week, his doctors said on Monday.
Sharon, 77, is already back at work after the December 18 health scare and his new Kadima party formally launched its election campaign on Monday to secure the bulky ex-general a third term with a pledge to try and end conflict with the Palestinians.
Doctors suspect a blood clot resulting from a 2 mm hole in the heart, a common birth defect, caused Sharon's stroke.
A tiny tube will be inserted to the heart via a blood vessel in a routine procedure known as Cardiac Catheterization that takes about 30 minutes. Sharon will not need to be readmitted to hospital. It should be carried out in two to three weeks.
"This will be done to prevent future blood clots," said Tamir Ben-Hur of the Hadassah hospital.
After that, the risk of a further stroke should have been removed. Strokes are caused by a lack of blood flow to the brain. Doctors emphasized that Sharon's blood pressure and cholesterol levels were normal despite his girth.
They said he had lost 3 kg (6.6 lb) since the stroke and now weighs 115 kg (254 lb).
Sharon returned to work on Sunday in a show of vigor. Polls have also showed the health scare did not harm his chances of winning a third term in a March election, but they have raised a question over how long he can dominate Israeli politics.