The Terminator star, 70, took to Twitter on Thursday to post a video thanking fans for their support after he underwent open-heart surgery at the end of March.

By Mike Miller
April 12, 2018 08:48 PM
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Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, but he’s still got some recovering to do.

The Terminator star, 70, took to Twitter on Thursday to post a video thanking fans for their support after he underwent open-heart surgery at the end of March. It’s the first time the former governor has been seen on video since the operation.

“Thank you so much for all your wishes and for all the cards and the phone calls and the emails and the texts and all this kind of stuff that I got from around the world,” a healthy-looking Schwarzenegger said. “I really appreciate that very much.”

As for his health, the actor said, “I just wanted you to know that I’m feeling much better. I can’t say, even with my positive attitude, that I’m great, because I’m not great yet. Great is at a totally different level. But I’m good. I feel good. I get good care, good doctors, good nurses, everything is fantastic.”

Schwarzenegger delivered the message from behind a chess board, and explained that he was playing the game “to freshen my mind and memory a little bit.” He also promised to “stay in touch” with fans as he continues to recover.

The day after the operation, his representative Daniel Ketchell released a statement explaining the procedure. “Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger underwent a planned procedure at Cedars-Sinai to replace a pulmonic valve that was originally replaced due to a congenital heart defect in 1997,” he said.

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The replacement the actor underwent nearly 20 years ago was “never meant to be permanent,” so Schwarzenegger “chose to replace” it “through a less-invasive catheter valve replacement,” Ketchell added.

An open-heart surgery team was standing by in case of complications, which is common during these types of procedures, according to Ketchell. When complications arose during the procedure, the doctors on standby were able to successfully step in and perform open-heart surgery, the actor’s rep confirmed to PEOPLE.

“Governor Schwarzeneggers’ pulmonic valve was successfully replaced and he is currently recovering from the surgery and is in stable condition,” Ketchell added, before thanking the “entire medical team for their tireless efforts.”

The actor posted to social media himself for the first time on April 2, writing, “It’s true: I’m back! I went to sleep expecting to wake up with a small incision and woke up with a big one. But guess what? I woke up, and that’s something to be thankful for.”