U.S. President Donald Trump greets U.S. First Lady Melania Trump during a celebration of military mothers and spouses event in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg)

Melania Trump Underwent Surgery to Treat Benign Kidney Condition

(Bloomberg) -- First Lady Melania Trump underwent successful surgery to treat a kidney condition on Monday and is expected to remain in the hospital for the duration of the week, the White House said.

The first lady had “an embolization procedure” at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to treat “a benign kidney condition,” the White House said in a statement. The White House didn’t otherwise describe her medical diagnosis.

Embolization is a common medical procedure used to cut off blood flow to treat a range of conditions, from uterine fibroids to deadly tumors. While it was first used in the kidneys in the 1970s for renal cancer, urologists now use it for a wide range of ailments including hard-to-control bleeding, infections, end-stage kidney disease and benign tumors.

The surgery was successful and there were no complications, the White House said.

President Donald Trump remained at the White House as his wife underwent the procedure. Trump spoke with the first lady before the surgery and spoke with the doctor afterward, a White House official said. Trump tweeted Monday afternoon that he was going to visit the first lady in the hospital.

“Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania,” Trump tweeted. “Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!

The procedure is often used for the treatment of a benign tumor if it grows to a size that raises the risk of a spontaneous bleed, said Ketan Badani, director of the comprehensive kidney cancer program at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. The procedure is also used to cut off blood flow to an artery with a malformation that is also at risk of uncontrolled bleeding, he said.

When the procedure is used as a preventive measure to control the risk of a spontaneous bleed, it typically requires only an overnight hospital stay, said Badani, who wasn’t involved in the first lady’s treatment.

A kidney bleed can become a serious problem, Badani said. A patient’s blood pressure can drop and other issues can crop up.

If a doctor is performing an embolization to stop bleeding, the patient may be asked to remain in the hospital for observation to be sure the procedure was successful, he said.

The procedure wasn’t announced in advance. A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on questions about whether the surgery had been scheduled.

Numerous first ladies have undergone medical procedures while their husbands were in office, including the mastectomy procedures performed on Nancy Reagan and Betty Ford.

The surgery comes a week after Trump unveiled her "Be Best" childhood wellness program designed to combat bullying and promote the emotional well-being of children. Late last month she organized her first state dinner, welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron to the White House.

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