Melania Trump underwent an “embolization procedure” Monday morning to treat a benign kidney condition.
The procedure was successful and there were no complications, according to a statement from the White House.
“Mrs. Trump is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and will likely remain there for the duration of the week,” the statement added. “The First Lady looks forward to a full recovery.”
President Donald Trump was expected to visit his wife at the hospital outside Washington, D.C., later Monday.
Speaking with CBS News, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said she visited the 48-year-old first lady and said she is “doing very well” and is in “good spirits.”
The exact nature of Melania Trump’s condition remains unclear. But kidney specialists who were unconnected to her case said embolization is often used to remove benign growths called angiomyolipomas — benign masses of fat and muscle.
“They are more common in women,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kavaker, a urology specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Angiomyolipomas “can grow, but they are not cancerous — the only risk of an angiomyolipoma is that it can bleed,” she explained. “Once it gets larger than 4 [centimeters], the risk of bleeding increases and the treatment is to embolize the mass to keep it from bleeding.”
Dr. Manish Vira helps direct urologic research at Northwell Health’s Arthur Smith Institute for Urology in New Hyde Park, N.Y. He explained that, “renal [kidney] angioembolization is a procedure in which a small catheter is threaded through an artery in the groin to the kidney blood vessels. Under X-ray, contrast can be injected to define the anatomy of the blood vessels in the kidney.”
He added that, “the procedure is very common and generally requires a short recovery period under observation. Although in many patients the procedure can be done as an outpatient, it is not uncommon for patients to remain overnight in the hospital for monitoring.”
Find out more about benign kidney tumors at the American Cancer Society.