"The View" creator and co-host Barbara Walters wasn't just one of the moderators of the "Hot Topics" segment on Monday's (May 10) show. She herself was one of the hot topics, as Walters revealed that she'll undergo heart surgery later this week to replace a faulty heart valve.
"Later this week, I'm going to have surgery to replace one faulty heart valve," she announced to the audience. "I have known of this condition for a while now, and my doctors and I have decided this is the best time to do the surgery."
"There's no denying that this is serious surgery," ABC News President David Westin said in a statement. "But it's also a type of surgery that has been done often and successfully. And, as those of us who work with Barbara know, she's in excellent condition. So, we have every reason to expect a great result and a speedy recovery."
Walters predicted that the recovery process would prevent her from appearing on "The View" for one to three months. As the show takes a break in July and goes on hiatus in August, Walters said she plans to come "roaring back" in September, once she's fully recovered.
Her co-hosts were not aware of Walters' plans until shortly before the public announcement. When co-host Joy Behar told Walters that she kept the secret "very well" hidden, Walters replied: "I thought it best not to talk about it too far in advance."
Asked if she was scared to undergo surgery, Walters said: "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, and it's been on my mind for a long time."
Walters said that despite her hiatus from "The View," she expects "to be calling in from time to time."