On Monday, First Lady Melania Trump underwent surgery for a "benign kidney condition" at a military hospital. Her prognosis was good, and she was expected to be out in a week. But now it seems her recovery time might be much quicker. President Trump tweeted about Melania's condition Tuesday morning and suggested she'd be leaving the hospital in just two or three days.
Donald Trump went to visit the 48-year-old first lady at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in the early evening, he wrote on Twitter. And The New York Times reported that he had spoken with her before the procedure and with a doctor after by telephone. Then Trump tweeted his reassurance about her Tuesday morning:
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!
The White House's statement Monday also pointed to the first lady doing well but said she would be in the hospital for the rest of the week. "The procedure was successful and there were no complications," the statement said. "The first lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere.”
Trump also shared news when he tweeted about his Monday visit to the hospital. "Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania," Trump posted to Twitter in the afternoon. "Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!" Trump arrived at the hospital in Marine One and waved at reporters.
The surgery was an embolization, which stops the flow of blood to the kidney using a sponge in the artery and a tube that redirects the blood elsewhere. It can be used to stop the growth of a benign tumor, keep it from bleeding, and for other reasons. The AP reported, though, that urologists who are not working on the first lady's case think it is related to a benign tumor.
The White House did not comment on whether this was an emergency surgery or if it had been planned for some time. Vice President Mike Pence, though, did suggest it was routine at an appearance Monday evening, according to the AP. He said it was "long-planned."
The first lady has not commented herself or posted to social media. In recent weeks she has been more in the spotlight than at any point in the Trump presidency. Just last week she took center stage at the White House to launch her children's initiative that she has dubbed "Be Best."
Melania Trump also was busy at work hosting the French president and his wife for the first state dinner. She took a main role in planning the event, picking things for the decoration and menu herself. Her fashion choices also drew coverage far and wide.
The surgery could push her back to her more typical behavior. Following the news that Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen may have paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet an alleged affair (that Trump denies having) the first lady stepped back from the public view.
The Washington Post published a report on the first lady's routine. Per sources, she hardly sees the president throughout the day, and they often don't eat together. The two also sleep in separate bedrooms. His visit to the hospital, then, might fit in with the typical amount of time the two spend together during a day.
In any case, kidney surgery will throw a wrench in her agenda for this week and the implementation of Be Best program, too. The first lady's recovery, of course, comes first.