First Lady Melania Trump underwent a successful procedure Monday to treat a benign kidney condition and was expected to remain hospitalized for the rest of the week, her staff said. President Donald Trump took a helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit her and tweeted that his wife was in “good spirits.”
Mrs. Trump, 48, had the embolization procedure Monday morning. The president spoke with Mrs. Trump before the procedure and with her doctor afterward, the first lady’s office said.
The president tweeted shortly before arriving at Walter Reed outside Washington, saying it was a “successful procedure,” describing his wife as being “in good spirits” and offering his thanks “to all of the well-wishers.”
The White House did not offer any additional details on Mrs. Trump’s condition. In opening remarks in the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., sent well wishes for “a speedy recovery to the first lady.”
Mrs. Trump was last seen in public on Wednesday at a White House event where she joined the president to honor military mothers and spouses for Mother’s Day.
Two urologists who have no personal knowledge of Mrs. Trump’s condition said the most likely explanation for the procedure is a kind of noncancerous kidney tumor called an angiomyolipoma. They’re not common but tend to occur in middle-aged women, and if they become large enough, they can cause problematic bleeding, said Dr. Keith Kowalczyk of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
“The treatment of choice” is to cut off the blood supply so the growth shrinks, added Dr. Lambros Stamatakis of MedStar Washington Hospital Center. 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. Embolization patients often go home the same day or the next.