‘We anticipate a successful recovery and will closely monitor him overnight.’
Doctors have cleared Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to return to his official duties on Tuesday after an emergency non-surgical bladder procedure, the Pentagon has said.
In a statement released on Monday, doctors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center said Mr. Austin underwent non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia to address his bladder issue and that a prolonged hospital stay is not anticipated.
“We anticipate a successful recovery and will closely monitor him overnight,” Dr. John Maddox, director of Trauma Medical, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, director of the Center for Prostate Disease Research of the Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, stated.
“A prolonged hospital stay is not anticipated. We anticipate the Secretary will be able to resume his normal duties tomorrow. The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery. His cancer prognosis remains excellent,” their statement reads.
Mr. Austin was hospitalized in Walter Reed’s intensive care unit on Feb. 11, according to Maj. Gen. Ryder, who noted his “good condition” and eagerness “to perform his duties.”
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks is currently acting in his stead.
Maj. Gen. Ryder did not clarify if the “emergent bladder issue” was related to previous cancer surgery and the ensuing complications. This incident follows a series of hospitalizations earlier this year, with Mr. Austin not informing the White House or explaining to the deputy secretary the reasons for the transfers of authority that she received.
Diagnosed with prostate cancer in December, Mr. Austin underwent surgery on Dec. 22, 2023, followed by emergency surgery at the end of the month following complications. The White House learned of the hospitalization on Jan. 4, with congressional notification on Jan. 5, and awareness of the cancer diagnosis on Jan. 9.
The White House wasn’t told of the hospitalization until Jan. 4. Congress wasn’t notified of the situation until Jan. 5, and the White House didn’t learn of the cancer diagnosis until Jan. 9.