McCain’s Surgery May Be More Serious Than Thought, Experts Say

Republican Senator John McCain’s surgery last Friday was more serious than we first realized, as it “may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two,” according to The New York Times.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has already made it clear that voting to “dismantle the Affordable Care Act will not begin until Mr. McCain’s return.”

The New York Times reports:

A statement released by Mr. McCain’s office on Saturday had suggested that he would be in Arizona recovering for just this week, but neurosurgeons interviewed said the typical recovery period could be longer.

The statement from Mr. McCain’s office said a two-inch blood clot was removed from “above his left eye” during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision” at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, “following a routine annual physical.” Surgeons there are not conducting interviews. Mr. McCain’s communications director, Julie Tarallo, said further information would be made public when it became available.

McCain’s craniotomy consisted of opening his skull as “an eyebrow incision would be used to reach a clot in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain.”

Recovery for this type of procedure takes a number of weeks as this is not a routine surgery. Indeed, one assistant professor of neurosurgery called the blood clot “a very concerning issue.”

But, McCain seems to be doing well, but his “history of melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that can spread to the brain and cause bleeding” is what likely prompted doctors to do a brain scan, despite the lack of symptoms.

According to Dr. Philip E. Steig, he said “it seemed a good sign that Mr. McCain was able to go home so quickly” but there is still concern considering “melanomas are known to go to the brain and they can bleed.”

Regan Pifer

About Regan Pifer

Reagan Pifer has taught and researched American history and politics in higher education for ten years. These are her rants.