Skip to main content
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
Inside Politics

Surgery possible for Ashcroft

Attorney general's schedule canceled for the week


FACT BOX
WHAT IS PANCREATITIS?
  • Pancreatitis often is caused by gallstones leaving the gallbladder and lodging near the pancreatic duct, obstructing the duct.
  • Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, high fever, difficulty breathing and abdominal bruises from internal bleeding.

    Source: MayoClinic.com
  • HEALTH LIBRARY
    Mayo Clinic
    YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
    John Ashcroft
    Justice Department
    Pancreatitis

    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft could undergo surgery Tuesday as part of his treatment for gallstone pancreatitis, CNN learned Monday.

    The Justice Department would not comment.

    Sources familiar with Ashcroft's case said the decision to operate would be made Tuesday after doctors review his condition.

    Ashcroft remains in the intensive care unit of George Washington University Hospital as doctors treat the inflammation of his pancreas.

    While officials have refused to provide specifics on his condition, they have characterized it as a serious case of gallstone pancreatitis.

    The illness can be caused when gallstones travel into the bile duct and create a blockage. The condition causes a patient a lot of pain.

    The sources would not describe the nature of the surgery Ashcroft could undergo.

    Doctors expert in treating the disease say it is common to have surgery to remove the gallbladder as a way to prevent a recurrence.

    It is also possible to remove the gallstone that is usually stuck in the patient's bile duct, blocking pancreatic enzymes. In most cases, though, doctors said the stone passes naturally.

    Aides said the attorney general, 61, continues to receive medication for pain and antibiotics to fight an infection in his pancreas.

    Ashcroft's planned testimony before two congressional appropriations committees this week will be re-scheduled, and officials canceled his other planned activities for the week.

    After complaining of stomach pain Thursday night, Ashcroft went to the emergency room at the hospital, and doctors later admitted him into the intensive care unit.

    CNN's Terry Frieden and Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


    Story Tools
    Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
    Top Stories
    Panel: Spy agencies in dark about threats
    Top Stories
    CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
     
     
     
     

    International Edition
    CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
    SEARCH
       The Web    CNN.com     
    Powered by
    © 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
    A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
    external link
    All external sites will open in a new browser.
    CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
     Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
    Add RSS headlines.