José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar Team) will undergo an operation on Wednesday to correct a heart abnormality that was just discovered last week during routine medical examinations. The 30-year-old Spaniard was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, he announced on Twitter. The condition affects the electrical pathways in the heart and can cause an abnormal heartbeat.
Rojas gave more detail in a press release from his agent. "It's a disease that was diagnosed last week in team testing; with an electrocardiogram and ultrasound, I was found to have an arrhythmia," he said.
He will undergo a surgery at the Hospital de Navarra in Pamplona on Wednesday where doctors will insert a catheter through a vein in his groin and go up into the heart and destroy the offending circuit. "I have to undergo surgery, but on paper the operation is uncomplicated and quick. In a normal person [the condition] has no effect, but by subjecting the body and heart so hard during riding, there is more risk of tachycardia. It is the safe decision."
Rojas expects to be able to race as normal for his sixth season with Movistar. "If there are no complications, the doctors have told me that I can leave the hospital in the afternoon and go home.
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