Ex-president Lee had surgery, may be released soon

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jul 13, 2013 - Page 3

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) underwent a successful vertebral artery stenting procedure yesterday and may be released from the hospital if his recovery proceeds smoothly, the office of the former president said in a press release yesterday.

The 90-year-old, who has been hospitalized since Wednesday last week for dizziness, accepted the recommendation of a Taipei Veterans General Hospital medical team and underwent a 90-minute surgery yesterday morning at the hospital, the press release said.

Lee had been taking medication during the past week to relieve his dizziness as his medical team discussed the option of invasive surgery, which poses risks of breathing problems or coma for a senior patient like Lee, although the probability ratio was estimated at 3 percent.

However, he could have suffered strokes if the surgery was not performed, Wang Yan-chun (王燕軍), director of Lee’s office, quoted his doctors as saying.

The medical team consulted US medical experts and recommended that the former president and his family agree to the procedure, Wang said.

Lee had to cancel a speech at the Taiwan Brain Trust think tank, scheduled for Wednesday last week, a trip to Hualien and Yilan counties next week and all other public appearances due to his health condition.

Lee underwent a two-and-a-half-hour surgery in November 2011 to remove a cancerous tumor in his right ascending colon. He also received a catheterization heart surgery in August 2003.