August 13, 2001 01:05 PM

Portly funnyman Drew Carey, 43, was released from St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank on Saturday following a successful procedure to unblock a coronary artery, his publicist has announced. The star of ABC-TV’s “The Drew Carey Show” and “Whose Line Is It Anyway?,” who’s been known to joke about his bulky shape and dubious health habits, experienced chest pains on Thursday. “It was very successful, and he’s feeling fine,” Carey’s publicist, Christina Papadopoulos, said Friday night about the procedure. “He was joking and his usual, jovial self.” Once Carey was released, Papadopoulos said, “He’s doing great . . . He’s happy to be home.” Carey is expected to return to work next week, she said. Surgeons installed a “stent” to keep the blocked artery open. (Stents are tiny mesh tubes used to prop open arteries cleared through angioplasty, a surgical procedure in which a balloon catheter is snaked through the artery and inflated to clear a blockage.) Last March, Vice President Dick Cheney, 60, underwent a similar procedure.

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