On Monday, May 14, we learned on NBC’s Today that Melania Trump underwent a surgical procedure for a benign kidney health problem. Details at the time of the announcement were not given, but this morning Today gave us a better understanding of the diagnosis and procedure. It seems it may have been a mass that was causing problems for America’s First Lady.
She spent the first night [last night] of many to rest and be more closely monitored. The hospital along with President Trump has said the procedure was successful and Melania is expected to have a full-week hospital stay.
President Trump spoke with Mrs. Trump on Monday morning before the procedure and later spoke with the doctor after it was over, according to a White House official who asked not to be identified describing the private communications. In the late afternoon, the president flew by helicopter to Walter Reed to visit the first lady for about an hour before returning to the White House.
“The procedure was successful and there were no complications,” the White House said in a statement. “Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week. The first lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere.”
The White House said Mrs. Trump, 48, underwent an embolization procedure. The Johns Hopkins Patients’ Guide to Kidney Cancer describes an arterial embolization as a procedure in which a special spongelike material is placed into an artery that supplies blood to the kidney. A thin tube catheter is inserted into a vessel in the leg and into the main vessel feeding the kidney.
Such a procedure would block the blood supply that feeds the kidney and might be used to stop bleeding from a benign tumor, a small aneurysm or to reverse the growth of such a tumor, according to specialists. The Johns Hopkins guide said it can also be used to make it easier for a surgeon to remove the kidney but is more frequently used to control symptoms for someone who cannot undergo surgery.
“It’s like literally an outpatient procedure,” said Dr. Eleanor D. Lederer, a professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and past president of the American Society of Nephrology. “You go in, you have it done, you lie in bed for a while to keep the blood vessel from bleeding and then you go home.” Still, embolization kills some surrounding healthy kidney tissue, which causes swelling and pain as a patient recovers, so a longer stay could be helpful or necessary, doctors said.
The White House did not explain what led Mrs. Trump to seek treatment or whether the “benign kidney condition” meant she had a benign tumor or something else. Specialists said it could be that doctors had been monitoring a mass for a while and decided to act on it now because it had grown. Or they said it could be that she experienced symptoms of some sort, like noticing blood in the urine or experiencing back pain or stomach pain.
Mrs. Trump was probably being kept in the hospital longer because of her position. “That’s because she is the first lady,” said Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu, a professor of urology and radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “If it was you, you’d be in and out in a day, I promise.”
We send our well-wishes to Mrs. Trump for a speedy and full recovery.
Ref. TODAY, New York Times, MSN, Twitter
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