Former U.S. President George W. Bush is hospitalized in Dallas after successfully undergoing heart surgery on Tuesday to clear an artery, his spokesman said.

"At the recommendation of his doctors, President Bush agreed to have a stent placed to open the blockage," Freddy Ford said.

"The procedure was performed successfully this morning, without complication, at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital," the spokesman said in a statement.

Bush, 67, is "in high spirits" and eager get home, Ford said.

The problem was detected Monday during Bush's annual medical exam at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, the city where he has lived since leaving the White House in 2009.

Bush "is grateful to the skilled medical professionals who have cared for him," Ford said. "He thanks his family, friends, and fellow citizens for their prayers and well wishes. And he encourages us all to get our regular check-ups."

Bush is expected to be released from hospital on Wednesday.

Unlike his erstwhile vice president, Dick Cheney, who has suffered numerous cardiac problems, Bush had enjoyed good health up to now and is known for exercising and practicing sports regularly.

The ex-president went running every day for decades and later switched to bicycling when he began to have knee problems.

Since he left the presidency, Bush has taken part in the annual 100K (60 mile) cycling races in Texas together with wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. EFE