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Pataki undergoes second surgery

Procedure relieves blockage in N.Y. governor’s digestive system

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ALBANY, N.Y. - Gov. George Pataki underwent a second surgery Tuesday afternoon to relieve a blockage in his digestive system, five days after he had his appendix removed.

The surgery to alleviate the blockage lasted a little more than an hour, according to a news release from the governor’s office. A Pataki spokesman said doctors indicated the surgery was performed without incident.

Pataki was transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan on Monday from the Westchester hospital where he had the first surgery.

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Pataki spokesman David Catalfamo said the governor is, "awake, alert and resting comfortably."

An update on his condition is expected Wednesday.

Pataki’s intestines weren’t functioning and he was being given water and nutrients intravenously, said Dr. Wiji Ratnathicam, a surgeon at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, where the governor had been treated before the transfer.

Pataki, 60, checked himself into Hudson Valley Medical Center early Thursday complaining of severe abdominal pain. His appendix, which had begun to rupture, was removed during emergency surgery.

The governor was initially to be released Saturday, but he was still showing no improvement Tuesday, so he was transferred to the Manhattan facility, Catalfamo said.

The three-term Republican governor is considering a run president in 2008.

Fellow Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky also remained hospitalized Tuesday after contracted a blood infection while recovering from gallbladder surgery last week. The bacteria in Fletcher’s blood was moderately resistant to antibiotics, but treatment seems to be working, doctors said.

In Connecticut, another Republican governor, M. Jodi Rell, was involved in a car accident Tuesday morning but escaped injury. The governor’s driver and the teenager whose vehicle hit the car’s driver’s side were also uninjured, authorities said.

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