First Lady Melania Trump Undergoes Kidney Surgery

Melania Trump Kidney Surgery
Susan Walsh/AP/REX/Shutterstock

UPDATED WASHINGTON — First Lady Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure to treat what was described as a benign kidney condition, her communications director said on Monday.

“The procedure was successful and there were no complications,” said Stephanie Grisham. “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.”

President Trump said in a tweet, “Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania. Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!” He left the White House via a Marine One helicopter shortly after 5 p.m. “She is in good spirits & doing well!” Grisham wrote on Twitter.

An embolization is minimally invasive, but it can be a significant, requiring a hospital stay. It is generally a way to block blood flow to an organ to try to shrink a tumor. The White House statement described it as benign, a term that typically means there was no detection of cancer.

The first lady, who is 48, unveiled her set of initiatives — aimed at children — at a White House Rose Garden ceremony last week. The slogan for the campaign is “Be Best,” and it will focus on wellness, social media use, and opioid abuse.

She said at the event that “it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and often turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction, or even suicide.”

The first lady posted a Mother’s Day message on Twitter on Sunday.

First Lady Nancy Reagan underwent a mastectomy in 1987 after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and five years earlier had a skin cancer removed from her lip.

In 1974, First Lady Betty Ford underwent a mastectomy after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her willingness to go public in talking about the surgery was credited with raising awareness of breast cancer, at a time when many women kept their diagnosis private.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was among those wishing the first lady well.

“Just heard news that underwent surgery today. Sincere wishes for her speedy recovery,” he wrote in a tweet.