Bethesda, Maryland, USA: U.S. First lady Melania Trump, 48, is recovering from an embolization procedure that she underwent Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to treat a benign kidney condition, the White House announced.
Mrs. Trump, 48, likely will remain under observation at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the duration of the week, communications director Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
The news of Mrs. Trump’s hospitalization came as a shock, as many Americans were unaware she had a kidney condition. The day before, she was wishing everyone a “Happy Mother’s Day” on Twitter.
What is an ’embolization procedure’?
Embolization procedures are performed to cut off blood supply to a tumor, aneurysm or abnormal growth, typically growing in the kidney or liver, to shrink the foreign mass.
“In this procedure, an interventional radiologist uses imaging guidance to insert a catheter into a primary artery and advance it to blood vessel leading to a tumor or other area where the bloody supply needs to be blocked,” Cancer Treatment Centers of America explains in a post on its website.
Since the surgery is non-invasive, recovery time tends to be quick. Patients are usually monitored for about 2 hours after the procedure. If vital signs are strong and patients can walk down a long hall with a nurse successfully, then they’re generally discharged that same day, according to Northwestern Medicine.
“Kidney embolization procedures are generally well tolerated,” John Friedewald, M.D., medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, told Women’s Health on Monday, adding that it causes only minor side effects such as fever, pain or bleeding at the injection spot.
What is a benign kidney condition?
When an abnormal mass is “benign,” that means it’s non-cancerous and contained, meaning it won’t spread to the rest of the body. It’s unclear whether Mrs. Trump had a benign tumor (angiomyolipoma), cyst or other unusual growth — but, as the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) points out, a “simple kidney cyst” is the most common benign kidney condition.
“A simple cyst is a round or oval fluid-filled sac. One or more cysts can develop in a kidney,” the CCS explains, adding that it’s most common in adults 50 years or older.
It’s actually pretty hard to identify a kidney condition, experts say.
“Most kidney masses… are discovered incidentally – meaning that they are found by chance during radiologic studies obtained for an unrelated medical condition,” the Mayo Clinic says.
The white house announcement of First lady Melania Trump’s surgery came just minutes after word of Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nevada) operation to treat his pancreatic cancer spread.
The surgery, carried out on Monday at Johns Hopkins cancer center, was to remove a tumor from his pancreas, according to a statement from Reid’s family.
Reid’s doctor spotted the problem early during a routine screening and surgeons are confident the operation was a success, the statement said.
Reid will undergo chemotherapy as the next part of his treatment, according to the statement.
Reid served in the Senate for 30 years.
In 2015, Reid suffered broken ribs and facial bones after an exercising accident.
What is pancreatic cancer?
Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body
Pancreatic cancer starts when cells in the pancreas start to grow out of control. The pancreas is an organ that sits behind the stomach. It’s shaped a bit like a fish with a wide head, a tapering body, and a narrow, pointed tail. In adults it’s about 6 inches long but less than 2 inches wide. The head of the pancreas is on the right side of the abdomen (belly), behind where the stomach meets the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The body of the pancreas is behind the stomach, and the tail of the pancreas is on the left side of the abdomen next to the spleen.
Exocrine cancers are by far the most common type of pancreas cancer. If you are told you have pancreatic cancer, it’s most likely an exocrine pancreatic cancer, the American Cancer Society says.