Wed, May 16, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Melania to be hospitalized for a week

‘ON THE MEND’:The US first lady is recuperating from a ‘long-planned’ procedure, which two physicians said was likely treatment for a noncancerous kidney tumor


US first lady Melania Trump was expected to remain hospitalized for the rest of the week following a “long-planned” procedure to treat a benign kidney condition, White House officials said.

Trump, 48, had an embolization procedure on Monday morning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, her staff said.

US President Donald Trump visited her later on Monday and tweeted that the procedure was “successful” and that she was in “good spirits.”

The White House did not offer any additional details on Melania Trump’s condition, although US Vice President Mike Pence described the procedure as “long planned” as he opened a speech at an event on Monday evening celebrating Israel’s independence.

“Melania is already on the mend,” Pence said.

Melania Trump was last seen in public on Wednesday last week at a White House event where she and the president honored military mothers and spouses for Mother’s Day.

Two urologists who have no personal knowledge of Melania Trump’s condition said the most likely explanation for the procedure is a kind of noncancerous kidney tumor called an angiomyolipoma.

They are not common, but tend to occur in middle-aged women and can cause problematic bleeding if they become large enough, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital physician Keith Kowalczyk said.

“The treatment of choice” is to cut off the blood supply so the growth shrinks, MedStar Washington Hospital Center physician Lambros Stamatakis added.

Doctors do that with an embolization, meaning a catheter is snaked into the blood vessels of the kidney to find the right one and block it.

Most of the time, these benign tumors are found when people undergo medical scans for another reason, but sometimes people have pain or other symptoms, Kowalczyk said, adding that many times, embolization patients go home the same day or the next.

The Slovenia-born former model married Donald Trump in 2005. They have a 12-year-old son named Barron.

Melania Trump, who has been gradually raising her profile as first lady, recently hosted her first state dinner and launched a public awareness campaign to help children.

With the president watching, Melania Trump last week unveiled the “Be Best” campaign, which she said would focus on childhood well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.

Melania Trump last month joined her husband to host Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a two-day summit at the Trumps’ Florida estate, and the Trumps hosted French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House on a three-day state visit, including a lavish state dinner.

Melania Trump last month also represented the administration at the funeral of former US first lady Barbara Bush.

The Trumps and their marriage have been under scrutiny in recent months after revelations that an adult film actress was paid US$130,000 in hush money to keep quiet about claims she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006.

Donald Trump has acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer for the payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, but denies her allegations.

Separately, a former Playboy model has revived her allegations of a 10-month affair with Donald Trump in 2006. He also denies the allegations from Karen McDougal.

Melania Trump has, at times, been noticeably absent from her husband’s side.

However, both made a point of displaying affection during last week’s Rose Garden event where she announced the “Be Best” initiative.

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