Melania Trump’s Lengthy Recovery From Surgery Has Us Questioning How Serious Her Procedure Actually Was

Melania Trump’s team originally said she had a benign kidney procedure done at a local hospital. But it took the first lady nearly one month to officially come back into the spotlight, which has led many people to ask the question: How serious was the procedure? Here’s everything we know about Trump’s recovery, plus how long something like this should actually take (page 5).

Melania Trump had a kidney procedure on May 14

Melania Trump Joint Base Andrews

Melania disappeared for weeks. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Melania Trump’s privacy is something she refuses to give up, no matter what her role is. When the first lady needed a kidney procedure, she gave no warning. The country was shocked when they found out Trump had been hospitalized and had undergone a procedure. At the time the procedure was completed, her recovery time was unknown, but her team said he was doing well.

Next: Her office described her condition as not serious, but her recovery said otherwise. 

Her office described the condition as benign but ‘requiring medical attention’

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

Her office tried to downplay the procedure. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

When Trump’s office announced her surgery, they calmed the public by saying Trump’s condition was benign, but it still required medical attention. The public instantly assumed Trump would be fine and back in the spotlight in a matter of days. Plus, it was not being called a surgery at the time, but a procedure. But over the course of the next month, things became more serious. What was first known as an embolization procedure was now being called a serious operation.

Next: It took Trump a surprisingly long time to recover. 

The benign procedure kept her out of the spotlight for nearly one month

Trump made her operation sound even more serious. | Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images

  • Donald Trump’s comment about the first lady’s “four-hour operation” sparked concern.

The supposed benign procedure Trump underwent had her looking at nearly one month’s recovery time. Experts thought the recovery time seemed odd for something so simple. But Donald Trump made a comment that surprised the public, including the medical experts trying to determine Melania Trump’s condition: “She had a big operation that was close to a four-hour operation,” the president said. And while embolization procedures can take up to a few hours to complete, they can also take as little as 30 minutes. This made the public question why Melania Trump’s was so serious.

Next: Melania also supposedly had medical restrictions that affected her job. 

Donald Trump said she ‘can’t fly’ and left without her for the G7 Summit

Donald Trump waving on an airplane

Trump said the first lady isn’t cleared to fly. | Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

  • Melania Trump would not be cleared to fly internationally for one month.

For about three weeks, Melania Trump did not make any public appearances. And when it came time for the G7 Summit, the first lady did not travel with the president. According to Donald Trump, his wife could not fly for a month after the procedure. And Melania Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said Melania had not yet been cleared to travel internationally. At this point, the public had become extremely speculative of the first lady’s well-being.

Next: Experts don’t think Trump’s recovery should have taken so long. 

Melania Trump’s prolonged absence makes us question how serious the procedure actually was

Melania Trump looking somber or angry

Did the White House mislead the public on Melania’s operation? | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

  • Experts suggest a procedure like Trump’s should only have a few days’ recovery.

The lack of information given by the first lady’s team has made the public question what kind of health the first lady is currently in. While Melania’s team continuously says she is doing well, her lack of public appearances says otherwise. Plus, experts say that a week of hospitalization followed by at least two weeks of recovery seems very bizarre for this kind of procedure; it is usually an outpatient procedure (less than a full day hospitalization) followed by a short recovery. This has created a dark cloud of concern; the public can’t help but wonder if Trump is hiding something.

Next: Conspiracy theories began to surface. 

Some suggest Trump was not staying in the White House during her recovery

Trump pointing at the White House and telling reporters that Melania is ‘right there,’ June 8, 2018. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • People suspected Trump was divorcing the president or had moved out of the White House.

When Trump failed to make a public appearance for weeks, rumors swirled about where she was actually staying. Conspiracy theories, such as that she was divorcing Donald Trump or that she moved back to New York City, were all over the place during her recovery time. Trump tweeted in response to the media’s rumors that she was “feeling great” and recovering at the White House. But many people thought the tweet sounded more like something written by the president than by the first lady, prompting even more speculation.

Next: Trump finally made her first official public speaking appearance after more than 1 month. 

She recently made her first public appearance in one month at the Ford’s Theater Gala

The Trumps at the Ford’s Theater Gala. |  Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Trump finally made her first public appearance and spoke at the Ford’s Theater Gala on June 11. (She did make a public appearance at a press briefing on June 6 but remained silent for its duration.) Trump officially put herself back in the spotlight more than one month after her last official public appearance on May 10. But the surgery saga doesn’t end there — the public still wants answers about why the first lady needed so much time off and had such serious medical restrictions.

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