President Donald Trump said his wife Melania will leave 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!” Mr Trump tweeted.
The first lady, 48, underwent an “embolisation” procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre outside Washington on Monday morning, her office announced.
The president visited her on Monday evening and tweeted that the procedure was “successful” and that his wife was in “good spirits”.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 15, 2018
Mrs Trump’s spokeswoman had said on Monday that the first lady was likely to remain in hospital 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 in Washington on Monday night.
She was last seen in public on Wednesday at a White House event where she and the president honoured 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 embolisation procedure is a kind of noncancerous kidney tumour called an angiomyolipoma.
Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania. Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2018
They are not common but tend to occur in middle-aged women and can cause problematic bleeding if they become large enough, 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 Centre.
Doctors do that with an embolisation, 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 tumours are found when people undergo medical scans for another reason, but sometimes people have pain or other symptoms, Dr Kowalczyk said.
Many times, embolisation patients go home the same day or the next.
The Slovenia-born former model married Mr 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 US dollars to keep quiet about claims she had sex with Mr Trump in 2006.
Mr 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 Mr Trump in 2006.
Mr Trump also denies the allegations from Karen McDougal.
Mrs Trump has, at times, 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.