U.S. First Lady Melania Trump Undergoes Kidney Procedure, Expected To Make Full Recovery
U.S. First Lady Melania Trump (Photo: Marine Barracks Washington)

The White House says First Lady Melania Trump underwent a surgical procedure today for a benign kidney condition at Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, DC, according to a statement from her office.

The First lady underwent an "embolization procedure" to treat a benign kidney condition, the White House said Monday. The first lady's office said in a statement that the procedure was "successful and there were no complications."  "Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week.  The First Lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere," the statement added.

The U.S. President was not present for the procedure but visited her later in the afternoon. The president tweeted that he was going to see her, adding, "Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!"

The Mayo Clinic describes an embolization as a treatment in which a thin tube is used to inject an agent that reduces blood flow to an area of the body — to kill off a growth, for example, or stop a haemorrhage.

Two urologists who have no personal knowledge of Melania Trump's condition said the most likely explanation is a kind of noncancerous kidney tumour called an angiomyolipoma, reported CTV. They're not common but tend to occur in middle-aged women and Melania is 48 years old.

There's no indication whether Melania's procedure was an emergency or a planned one but she was not spotted publicly on Mother’s Day, May 14.

The CNN reports that Melania Trump is the first U.S. first lady to undergo such a serious medical procedure while in the White House since Nancy Reagan had a mastectomy in October 1987. Rosalynn Carter underwent surgery to remove a benign lump from her breast in April 1977.

Melania has been a relatively private first lady as compared to her predecessors but despite her limited time in the public gaze her approval ratings are way higher than her husband Donald Trump. A new CNN poll released May 7 had the first lady's favourable rating up 10 points since January to 57%.