President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his wife, Melania, will come home from the hospital in a few days, after receiving medical treatment this week for a kidney condition the White House said is noncancerous.
“Our great First Lady is doing really well. Will be leaving hospital in 2 or 3 days. Thank you for so much love and support!" Trump tweeted.
The first lady, 48, underwent an “embolization” procedure Monday morning at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center outside Washington, her office announced. The president visited her Monday evening and tweeted that the procedure was “successful” and that his wife was in “good spirits.” Mrs. Trump's spokeswoman had said on Monday that the first lady was likely to remain hospitalized for “the duration of the week.”
The White House has not offered any additional information about the first lady's condition, citing her privacy. Vice President Mike Pence, however, described the procedure as “long planned” as he opened a speech Monday night in Washington.
She was last seen in public on Wednesday at a White House event where she and the president honored military mothers and spouses for Mother’s Day. She later accompanied the president to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to welcome home three Americans who had been detained in North Korea.
Two urologists who have no personal knowledge of Mrs. Trump’s condition said the most likely explanation for the embolization procedure is a kind of noncancerous kidney tumor called an angiomyolipoma.
They’re not common but tend to occur in middle-aged women and can cause problematic bleeding if they become large, 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.
The Slovenia-born former model married Trump in 2005. They have a 12-year-old son, Barron.
Mrs. Trump, who has been gradually raising her profile as first lady, recently hosted a state dinner — her first — for the president of France and launched a public awareness campaign called “Be Best” to help teach kindness to children. The president looked on from the Rose Garden as she announced the initiative.
She also 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.
The Trumps and their marriage have been under scrutiny in recent months after revelations that a porn actress was paid $130,000 to keep quiet about claims she had sex with Trump in 2006. Trump has acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer for the payment to Stormy Daniels but denies her allegations. Separately, a former Playboy model has revived her allegations of a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006. Trump also denies the allegations from Karen McDougal.
Mrs. Trump has, at times, has been noticeably absent from her husband's side but both made a point of displaying affection during last week's Rose Garden event.
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 to the White House last June.