Susan Lucci reveals she had to undergo another heart operation

Daytime icon Susan Lucci, who is known around the world for her portrayal of Erica Kane on All My Children, recently had a major health scare. As longtime fans know, this wasn’t the first time this had happened to the beloved star.

An affair of the heart for Susan Lucci

The Daytime Emmy Award-winning actress recently appeared on Good Morning America and told Amy Robach that she recently underwent emergency heart surgery for the second time in her life.

Lucci explained how she suffered from shortness of breath and felt some discomfort around her ribcage and back, and these are feelings she was familiar with having experienced them three years ago when she had her first episode of heart problems.

“I thought, ‘This is crazy. These are the same kinds of symptoms I had three years ago, but it’s not possible,” she said. “But when I lay down I started to feel a sharp throbbing pain in my jaw.”

The 75-year-old quickly called her doctor who wisely told her to go to the emergency room, stat. While there, Lucci learned she had an 80% blockage in one of her arteries due to plaque buildup and was rushed to a cardiac catheterization lab, where doctors placed a stent to open the blockage.

Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, chairman of cardiology at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, NY, also appeared on the show and described the scene.

“She didn’t have a heart attack this time and she wasn’t unstable,” he said. “But she had symptoms that certainly concerned me that something was wrong.”

And the doctor issued a warning to others who may be going through what Susan Lucci did, noting that if she hadn’t called the doctor and waited, it could have turned into a major emergency.

Knowing the danger that heart problems can cause, Lucci is an advocate for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign and urges women to take the warning signs seriously.

“Listen to your heart and act on it [the symptoms],” she said. “Give yourself permission to take good care of yourself. Be your best friend. Be your own advocate. You’ll save your life.”