WASHINGTON — Melania Trump underwent a medical procedure on Monday morning to treat what the White House called a “benign kidney condition” and was reported to be recovering without trouble at a military hospital outside the capital.
The White House said she underwent an embolization procedure. The Johns Hopkins Patients’ Guide to Kidney Cancer describes an arterial embolization as a procedure in which a special spongelike material is placed into an artery that supplies blood to the kidney. A thin tube catheter is inserted into a vessel in the leg and into the main vessel feeding the kidney.
Such a procedure would block the blood supply that feeds the kidney and might be used to stop bleeding from a benign tumor or a small aneurysm, according to specialists. The Johns Hopkins guide said it can also be used to make it easier for a surgeon to remove the kidney but is more frequently used to control symptoms for someone who cannot undergo surgery.
The fact that Trump will remain in the hospital for the rest of the week was unusual in the most typical cases, according to a leading medical expert.
“It’s like literally an outpatient procedure,” said Eleanor D. Lederer, a professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and past president of the American Society of Nephrology. “You go in, you have it done, you lie in bed for a while to keep the blood vessel from bleeding, and then you go home.”
The White House did not explain what led Trump to seek treatment or whether the “benign kidney condition” meant she had a benign tumor or something else.
Lederer said a patient needing an embolization might have noticed blood in the urine or any bleeding might not have been noticeable at all. It could have been discovered by doctors conducting routine tests for other reasons or because she complained about back pain or stomach pain and they found it incidentally.
The procedure came just a week after Trump formally kicked off a public campaign to encourage children to put kindness first in their lives, particularly on social media. She has generally maintained a low profile during her 16 months as first lady, focusing primarily on raising her son, Barron.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.