CLEVELAND (AP) _ Former Sen. Bob Dole was in good condition Thursday following an experimental procedure to treat an aneurysm, hospital officials said.
Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential candidate, underwent the procedure Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic. The aneurysm was in his aorta, the body's main blood vessel.
``He maintained his sense of humor throughout his care,'' said Dr. Kenneth Ouriel, one of three surgeons on the team that inserted a stent graft in his aorta.
The 77-year-old Dole's condition was upgraded from satisfactory to good Thursday morning, spokeswoman Marion Moseley said. Dole is expected to be released by Saturday and will be able to resume normal activities within 10 days.
An aneurysm is a bulge on a blood vessel. When it occurs in the nearly inch-thick aorta descending from the heart, it can burst and kill nearly instantly. Dole's abdominal aortic aneurysm was small enough that it wasn't in danger of bursting.
The aneurysm was first diagnosed two or three years ago when the former Senate majority leader from Kansas was being examined for another condition.
Doctors watched the aneurysm until it grew worse. Earlier this month, doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said he should have it treated.
The traditional way of treating such aneurysms involves a major abdominal incision. The experimental device used on Dole is used in 15 research centers nationwide and is awaiting government approval.
Ouriel said the team inserted a Y-shaped tube through an incision in Dole's leg and placed it inside the weakened portion of the aorta. The aneurysm will eventually contract around the stent, which will remain in place for the rest of Dole's life.