LSU's Kim Mulkey Undergoes Heart Surgery After Artery '95-99% Blocked'

kim mulkey

LSU women’s basketball head coach Kim Mulkey was forced to undergo heart surgery in June after doctors discovered she had an artery that was nearly completely blocked.

But, thankfully, she says she’s now doing well.

The 61-year-old revealed the ailment was initially discovered way back in May after she had noticed some tingling in the tip of one of her fingers.

She said the problem led to her going to a doctor — and following some testing, she told ESPN she found out she had “plaque on her carotid arteries.”

Further testing showed she had a blockage in her heart — and would need to have two stents put in to fix the issue. She held off on the surgery until after the Tigers’ May visit to the White House.

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“You’re awake for the procedure,” she said, according to ESPN. “Then they told me, ‘You were 95-99% blocked in one artery.’ And I said, ‘Doc, why didn’t I feel bad in any way?’ He said, ‘You’re what’s called an asymptomatic patient. You’re the ones that can die suddenly and drive cardiologists crazy.’ I asked if I was likely to have had a heart attack without the procedure, and he said, ‘Yes, eventually.'”

Mulkey is now feeling good and taking medication to make sure the problem doesn’t return. She’s also urging people to go get checked out, even if they’re feeling OK.

kim mulkey

“The issue with my heart, it was really just luck that we found it,” she said. “So I will keep telling people, ‘Get yourself checked out. You have nothing to lose, and it could save your life.'”

Mulkey just became the highest-paid women’s college basketball coach this year after agreeing to a $32 million contract. She helped LSU win their first NCAA title this April.

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