WASHINGTON | Melania Trump underwent a procedure Monday morning to treat a benign kidney condition and will likely be hospitalized for the rest of the week, the White House said.
President Donald Trump was expected to visit his wife at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington later Monday, according to a White House official who was not authorized to disclose the plan and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said the embolization procedure on the 48-year-old first lady was successful and there were no complications. The president spoke with Mrs. Trump before the procedure and with her doctor afterward, the first lady’s office said.
The White House did not offer any additional details on Mrs. Trump’s condition. The president had no public appearances scheduled for Monday.
She 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.
The former model from Slovenia is Trump’s third wife, and the couple has been married for 13 years. They have a 12-year-old son named Barron.
Two urologists who have no personal knowledge of Mrs. Trump’s condition said the most likely explanation 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. Many times, embolization patients go home the same day or the next.
Mrs. Trump, who has been gradually raising her profile as first lady, recently hosted her first state dinner and launched a public awareness campaign to help children.
With the president watching in the Rose Garden, Mrs. Trump last week unveiled the “Be Best” campaign, which she said will focus on childhood well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.
The first lady lived full time in New York during the administration’s opening months so Barron would not have to change schools midyear. She and Barron moved into the White House last June and since then the first lady has been raising her public profile.
Mrs. Trump joined her husband last month to host the prime minister of Japan for a two-day summit at the Trumps’ Florida estate, and the Trumps hosted the president of France at the White House on a three-day state visit, including a lavish state dinner. Mrs. Trump also represented the administration at the April funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.