WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 07:  U.S. first lady Melania Trump arrives in the Rose Garden to speak at the White House May 7, 2018 in Washington, DC. Trump outlined her new initiatives, known as the Be Best program, as first lady during the event.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Gupta: Surprising Melania still in hospital
01:33 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

The first lady had an embolization procedure to treat a benign kidney condition

It's unclear why she is still there, but experts say it may be out of an abundance of caution

CNN  — 

First lady Melania Trump has been in the hospital for four days, with no word on exactly when she will be released.

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, would not give any details about why the first lady was there, but a White House statement said she underwent an embolization procedure on Monday morning to treat a benign kidney condition. President Trump tweeted Monday that she “is doing really well” and would be leaving the hospital in “2 or 3 days” after her procedure.

Embolization “cuts off the blood supply to a certain part of the body,” according to the National Institutes of Health.

This procedure is mostly done as an outpatient, meaning the patient is discharged the same day.

Dr. Mohamad Allaf, vice chairman of urology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said the planned length of the first lady’s hospitalization is “somewhat atypical but not out of the question,” noting that it’s hard to tell absent more information about Trump. “It may be just out of an abundance of caution and privacy. Certainly, staying a little longer may imply that this is a little bit more of a complex situation.”

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that she was “feeling great” and looking forward to getting home.

It’s unclear why she hasn’t returned to the White House, and experts say, it’s hard to speculate.

“There are so many unknown factors about what was involved in the procedure. Was she under full sedation? … There are many factors that could keep someone [in the hospital] in a little longer,” said Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, a urological surgeon at Orlando Health. He has worked with patients under similar circumstances, but is not involved in the first lady’s case.

Brahmbhatt, also an assistant professor of urology at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, said he would expect some patients to resume some regular activity the day after the procedure. But there could be pain, he said, and to discharge a patient, doctors typically look for three things: “They’ll be waiting to see how she eats. They’ll want her pain to be in control. They’ll want to make sure that the labs show she is stable. Once you meet those criteria, then we can send you home,” Brahmbhatt said.

Dr. Gregory Bernstein, a urologist and former military physician, said he’s gotten a lot of questions this week about the length of the first lady’s hospital stay. He did not treat her but has treated patients in similar circumstances.