Ray Romano revealed he recently underwent heart surgery to have a stent put in after doctors discovered a 90 percent blockage in one of his major arteries.
“I got kinda lucky that we found it before having a [widow-maker] heart attack,” the “Everybody Loves Raymond” star said in Monday’s episode of the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast.
Romano, 65, shared that he battled high cholesterol for 20 years but never went on medication despite his doctor’s recommendation.
“Every time, I said, ‘Let me do it myself.’ And I would go home, and I would eat right — not vegan, but a little healthier — and get it down a couple ticks,” he explained.
However, the actor admitted that over time he would start cutting corners and eating food that was not good for him, putting him back where he started.
“I’d go home and think I was hot s–t. I’d get it down already, and I’d start cheating, cheating, and that was the cycle,” he said.
Romano recalled his doctor telling him that his high cholesterol did not necessarily mean he was “in danger” but that it definitely needed to be lowered.
“Now, I’m on the meds,” he shared, adding that if he “could go back 20 years,” he would have taken the pills and prevented the blockage from ever happening.
“It’s hard for me to sustain that diet stuff,” the comedian acknowledged.
But the medication can only do so much, and Romano still has to worry about his sugar intake.
“I’m on the meds, and it’s got [my cholesterol] all down now, so I figure now I can enjoy and eat some food. My sugar level’s up now,” he said. “I’m on the pre-diabetic side.”
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Earlier this month, the “Irishman” star revealed he went to see his cardiologist after experiencing chest pains while directing and starring in his upcoming movie “Somewhere in Queens.”
“I called my agent at one in the morning because I couldn’t sleep. I go, ‘I can’t do it, can’t do this,’” he told “Entertainment Tonight” at the time. “Because — I’m not joking — I had to go to my cardiologist in New York and get on the treadmill and do a stress test because I was getting chest pains.”
Romano’s former co-star Peter Boyle, who played his father in “Everybody Loves Raymond,” notably had a heart attack on the set of the CBS sitcom in 1999 after experiencing chest pains.
Boyle died in 2006 at the age of 71 as a result of multiple myeloma and heart disease.