Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anesthesia to resolve a bladder issue on Monday, officials said in a statement.
Austin was admitted to the hospital on Sunday for what the Pentagon called an “emergent bladder issue” and was moved to the critical care unit later that evening for further care after a round of initial tests, the Pentagon said in a statement. His doctors said in a statement he will achieve a full recovery and resume his normal duties as President Joe Biden’s defense secretary as early as Tuesday.
“Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III underwent non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia to address his bladder issue. We anticipate a successful recovery and will closely monitor him overnight,” his physicians, Dr. John Maddox and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, said in the statement.
Austin’s prostate cancer prognosis is “excellent,” they added, referring to the ailment that sent the secretary to the hospital in December and again in January.
“The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery,” the doctors said. They do not expect him to be in the hospital long.
Austin’s security staff brought him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Sunday afternoon for “symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue,”
The secretary retained his duties at first, but at around 5 p.m. Austin transferred his authority as secretary to his deputy, Kathleen Hicks.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. C. Q. Brown, the White House staff, and other officials had been notified within hours, a deliberate divergence from the way Austin handled his earlier hospitalizations.
Austin faced harsh criticism from Congress and others after his closeted two-week stay to address complications that arose from a Dec. 22 procedure to treat prostate cancer.
Roughly one week after he underwent non-invasive surgery to treat prostate cancer, an operation that was not disclosed to the president or other national security and defense officials, Austin was transported in an ambulance to Walter Reed after experiencing complications. Doctors placed him in the Intensive Care Unit on Jan. 2 to treat a urinary tract infection, but he received only non-surgical care and never underwent general anesthesia.
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Author: Micaela Burrow
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