Barbara Walters to Have Heart Surgery

"View" host tells colleagues she'll have valve replaced this week

Octogenarian interview queen Barbara Walters gave her co-hosts on "The View" a scoop about herself, telling them she is having heart surgery.

During the ABC show's "A Day of Hot Topics" Walters, 80, revealed that she will soon go under the knife to have a leaking valve replaced.

"You know how I always say to you how healthy I am. ... I've never missed a day's work," Walters said. "Later this week, I'm going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve. Lots of people have done this and I have known about this condition for a while now."

"You kept it secret very well, Barbara," Joy Behar said, and Walters explained, "I thought it best not to talk about it too far in advance."

Walters, who said that she has known about her faulty valve for awhile, discovered it during an echocardiogram, and said the one-to two-month recovery time will do her good.

"Since the summer is coming up, I can take a nice vacation," she quipped. "I don't think I'm really scared," she concluded. "I'm glad it's going to be over with."

ABC News president David Westin said in statement, "There's no denying that this is serious surgery. But it's also a type of surgery that has been done often and successfully. And, as those of us who work with Barbara know, she's in excellent condition. So, we have every reason to expect a great result and a speedy recovery."

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