What's Under Cheney's Skin...

Dick Cheney called it a "pacemaker plus," but the pager-size device that was tucked under the Vice President's skin and wired to his heart Saturday morning might just as accurately be described as a "defibrillator plus"--a portable E.R. that can, if necessary, jump-start the heart like the big electrical paddles that appear with such regularity on TV hospital dramas.

The model the V.P. received--a Medtronic Gem III DR--is a miracle of medical miniaturization, a fully automated, battery-powered, custom-programmed combination pacemaker and defibrillator that can monitor the complex rhythms of the heart and correct any abnormalities it discovers with carefully measured pulses...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!