Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the hospital on Tuesday, 10 days after a heart transplant, a spokesman said.

"As he leaves the hospital, the former vice president and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor's family for this remarkable gift," his spokeswoman Kara Ahern said in a statement.

Cheney, 71, who has had a history of five heart attacks starting from the age of 37, was released from Inova Fairfax Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute.

In the statement, Cheney expressed thanks to medical teams and the anonymous donor he had received the heard from after being on the waiting list for more than 20 months.

Cheney had been hospitalized in June 2010 at George Washington University for conditions related to his coronary artery disease, and had a left ventricular assist device surgically implanted to help his heat pump.

The former Wyoming congressman and vice president with President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009 had gotten a pacemaker nine years earlier after experiencing irregular heart rhythms.

Cheney had served in and out of government since the late 1960s, and after leaving office following eight years as vice president, he remained a vocal defender of the administration's policies in fighting terrorism.