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Bush back in action after colon procedure

President Bush
President Bush  

From John King
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush took back powers of the presidency Saturday morning after transfering them briefly to Vice President Dick Cheney while under sedation for a colon procedure.

Bush transferred the powers at 7:09 a.m. EDT, anesthesia was administered and the colonoscopy was completed at 7:29 a.m. Bush awoke at 7:31 a.m. and resumed powers at 9:24 a.m., spokesman Ari Fleischer said in a statement.

A colonoscopy is a diagnostic examination to check for early signs of colon cancer. Bush said Friday it was the third such procedure he has had.

"The doctors recommended I have another because the last time they found some benign polyps," Bush told reporters on Friday before leaving for Camp David, where the procedule was done.

"I did so because we're at war, and I just want to be super cautious."
— President Bush

A polyp is a mass of tissue that projects into the colon.

Cheney arrived at the White House shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday for a briefing before the transfer of power took place.

"This is a routine physical examination that will be done at Camp David. I'm going to be sedated for a period of time and will transfer power to the vice president during that time," Bush said.

The president said Friday he felt great and has had "no signs, no symptoms" of trouble. He said he is looking "forward to exercising tomorrow afternoon."

CNN's Christy Feig explains the medical procedure known as a colonoscopy (June 28)

Play video
What is a colonoscopy? 
How a colonoscopy works 
25th Amendment outlines presidential succession 

Asked about the decision to transfer power, Bush said, "I did so because we're at war, and I just want to be super cautious."

Bush said he and his staffers had discussed the issue and looked at precedent before he decided on the transfer of power, which is authorized under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.

"I'm the first president to have done so under this type of procedure of physical examination," Bush said.

Even when President Ronald Reagan was shot and underwent surgery, there was no transfer of power.

Bush's doctors said the procedure would take about one to three hours and the ultra short-acting intravenous anesthesia propofol will be used.


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