Regis Philbin to Have Heart Bypass Surgery

Regis Philbin to Have Heart Bypass Surgery
Regis Philbin
Jennifer Graylock/AP

03/12/2007 AT 02:10 PM EDT

Regis Philbin made a heartfelt announcement on Live With Regis and Kelly on Monday: He will have heart bypass surgery this week.

"I gotta tell you something," Philbin, 75, told the audience. "I had been feeling chest pains, you know, and shortness of breath and all those little symptoms that you hear about."

After Philbin underwent a series of medical tests, his doctors recommended a bypass.

Philbin said he had been hoping to have an angioplasty, a less-drastic procedure in which a balloon is inserted into the coronary arteries, because "you get in – bang, bang, bang – they blow it open and you leave the next day."

But, he said, "there's some plaque in some arteries, and I've got to get it cleaned out."

Cohost Kelly Ripa said she's ready to lend her support. "My primary job will be, like it or not, to get your pills ready – your sponge-bath nurse," she said.

Quipped Philbin: "Why don't you give me a quick dip before I go?"

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