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Barbara Walters taking time off from 'The View' for heart surgery

May 10, 2010 |  9:39 am

Barbara-walters-web Barbara Walters, the 80-year-old creator of "The View," announced on the show Monday that she'll be taking time off starting "later this week" for surgery to replace a heart valve.

Her co-hosts got the news Monday morning shortly before viewers did. "I thought it best not to talk about it too far in advance," Walters said.

The recovery process is expected to take one to three months. With a break in July and hiatus in August, Walters and her doctor decided that now was a good time to take care of business. Walters said she's known about the problem for "many months." 

"You scared?" asked Whoopi Goldberg.

"Oh, only you would ask that question," Walters replied -- laughing and making the point that "it's not elective, it's not like ... having your face lifted." After praising her doctors and mentioning the support of her daughter, she continued: "I don't think I'm really scared; I'm glad it's going to be over with. It's going to be taken care of."

She plans to come "roaring back" in September.

Click here to watch video of Walters' announcement and the discussion that followed. 

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Barbara Walters attends the "Women in the World: Stories and Solutions" global summit at Hudson Theatre on March 12 in New York City. Credit: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

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