Here’s Everything We Know About Melania Trump’s Kidney Surgery

It’s extremely rare for a first lady to go in for surgery out of the blue. When the announcement was made that Melania Trump had kidney surgery at Walter Reed medical center, the world was collectively shocked. So, here’s what we know about the whole situation and why we think she kept the whole thing secret in the first place.

She had her surgery at Walter Reed

U.S. first lady Melania Trump hosts a roundtable discussion on cyber safety and technology.

Melania Trump received this treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center.| Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure at Walter Reed. Apparently, the surgery was a success and finished out her recovery there. An embolization procedure is when doctors block a blood vessel for therapeutic purposes.

Next: Here’s why people need an embolization procedure.

Embolization procedures help with tumors or aneurysms

Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron standing together.

Melania Trump’s procedure is performed routinely to shrink tumors or block aneurysms. | Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

Embolization procedures effectively cut off blood flow to certain areas. This can be used to shrink tumors or block an aneurysm. There is no indication that Melania had either because her office said that it was used to address a benign kidney problem.

Next: Here’s how long her recovery was expected to last.

Melania was expected to be in the hospital for a week

Melania Trump at the address to congress.

The First Lady will be away for a few days. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Melania Trump’s office said in a statement that she was expected to remain in the hospital for the remainder of that week. Embolization procedures are generally minimally invasive and generally have a faster recovery time than other surgeries.

Next: Most family members are by their spouse’s side when they have surgeries.

Donald Trump remained at the White House until later in the day

President Donald Trump kisses his wife Melania Trump.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump stayed at the White House. | J. Scott Applewhite – Pool/Getty Images

So far as we know, there were no other Trumps by Melania’s side during her surgery. Donald Trump remained at the White House for the surgery, but tweeted he was going to see her later in the day. The delayed visit only fans the flames about rumors that the Trump’s marriage is on the rocks.

Next: Here’s the why Melania kept the problem secret.

Melania Trump is a very secretive person

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump in Florida after hurricane.

She might not have wanted this news to leak out. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Melania may come across a little stoic, but that is because she is a very quiet and secretive person. She only recently laid out her platform at the beginning of May 2018. It is likely that she didn’t want anyone knowing about the kidney problems because she values her privacy. Which isn’t surprising considering she didn’t want to be the first lady for that same reason.

Next: Melania is not the first first lady to have surgery while in office. 

Other first ladies have had life-saving procedures

Nancy Reagan signing a book.

Plenty of First Ladies found themselves checking into hospitals. | Frederick M. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Before Melania, Nancy Reagan was the last first lady to have surgery. She had a Mastectomy in 1987. Betty Ford had one as well in 1977 and Rosalynn Carter had a lump removed from her breast in 1974.

Next: Here’s a list of problems that could be affecting her kidneys.

Kidney conditions that would require an embolization procedure

The Walter Reed National Military Center.

Melania Trump might have had this procedure to prevent other illnesses. | Wellesenterprises/iStock/Getty Images

Embolization procedures can treat many things, but for a kidney, they generally treat these problems.

  • Malignant hypertension due to end-stage renal failure.
  • Tumors
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Cancer

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