(Photo by Winslow Townson/Invision/AP)

Former Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Undergoes Open Heart Surgery

February 11, 2019
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lindsey Buckingham underwent open heart surgery that left the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist with damaged vocal cords.

Buckingham's publicist said in a statement Friday that he experienced chest pains last week and was taken to the hospital where he had the life-saving procedure. Buckingham is recovering at home with his family.

The 69-year-old rocker's wife, Kristen Buckingham, said on social media that it's unclear if the damage after the surgery is permanent. She says the past year has been stressful, but she is thankful her husband is still alive.

I am sad to say that last week Lindsey underwent emergency open heart surgery. He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last. While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not. This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family to say the least. But despite all this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate he’s alive. As does he. He looks forward to recovery and putting this behind him. Needless to say, all touring and shows currently scheduled have been put on pause for the moment as he gathers the strength to heal completely. Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care. Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 to heart related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician. We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time. We can’t thank you enough for all you did for our family. We will never forget you. XO ❤️

A post shared by Kristen Buckingham (@kbchrush) on

Last year, Buckingham sued Fleetwood Mac after being kicked off the band's new tour. The guitarist-songwriter is seeking his share of the tour income because he felt he was able to perform.

Fleetwood Mac disputes the allegations made by Buckingham.