Coudersport, Pa. -- John Rigas, the 74-year-old cofounder,
chairman and CEO of Adelphia Communications Corp., underwent successful heart surgery last
Wednesday, and he is expected to recover fully, the company said
Surgeons at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., performed
a triple-bypass operation on Rigas -- a procedure that took three-and-a-half hours to
complete. The surgical team was "pleased with the outcome of the surgery, and it
anticipates no complications," company spokesman Paul Heimel said last Thursday.
Rigas was expected to be moved out of the intensive-care
unit last Thursday, and he could be discharged in five to seven days. After that, he will
stay in Rochester for about 10 days of outpatient care.
The Adelphia chairman expects to "resume all normal
activities" after he returns to his home here. "He's in good shape,"
Heimel added that a local doctor recommended the surgery
after Rigas took a stress test last week. Rigas had just returned to Coudersport from a
checkup at the Mayo Clinic, and he had to go back for the operation.
Rigas -- whose three sons (Michael, Timothy and James) are
all executive vice presidents at Adelphia -- had an angioplasty procedure performed at the
Mayo Clinic Dec. 22 to clear a block in one of his main arteries, Heimel said. But the
procedure failed to completely correct the problem.
Adelphia recently agreed to a pair of cable acquisitions,
of FrontierVision Partners L.P. and Century Communications Corp., that will roughly double
the size of the company, creating an MSO with about 4.7 million subscribers, good for
about fifth place on the list of domestic operators.
Rigas and his brother, Gus, built one of the first U.S.
cable systems here in 1952. Adelphia also owns a competitive local-exchange carrier,
Hyperion Telecommunications Inc., and the company and the Rigas family own the Buffalo
Sabres National Hockey League team.