Dick Cheney Considers Heart Transplant After Five Attacks

January 18, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Dick Cheney is considering a heart transplant after suffering from five heart attacks over his adult life. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Dick Cheney is considering a heart transplant after suffering from five heart attacks over his adult life. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
After experiencing a series of heart attacks, former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview aired by NBC News on Tuesday that he is considering a heart transplant.

The five heart attacks in 30 years have led doctors to insert a special pump in his heart. Cheney said the pump, known as the Left Ventricular Assist Device, is “a miracle of modern technology” but is only a “temporary measure” to keep him alive.

Cheney explained that the pump is usually used when a person needs a transplant, but a transplant is not immediately available. He has yet to make a decision about getting a heart transplant.

Cheney, 69, suffered his first heart attack at age 37 in 1978. Thereafter, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 1988 and was equipped with a pacemaker in 2001. His most recent heart attack was in February 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Despite his health, Cheney, who was vice president to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, remains an influential Republican, is writing his memoir, and often criticizes President Barack Obama.

Cheney told NBC’s Today Show that he thinks Obama is a "one-term president."

“He embarked upon a course of action when he became president that did not have as much support as he thought it did,” he said.

Nevertheless, Cheney complimented Obama’s handling of the Tucson shooting. Following the shooting on Jan. 8 in Arizona, President Obama led the nation to observe a moment of silence on Monday, Jan. 10 and visited Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and other victims from the shooting.

“I’m not an Obama supporter by nature, but I thought this was one of his better efforts,” he said.