updated 1/30/2007 6:02:18 PM ET 2007-01-30T23:02:18

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is recovering from surgery to remove his gall bladder, his office said Tuesday.

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The 65-year-old Republican went to Rush University Medical Center in Chicago on Friday and had the surgery the same day, Hastert spokesman Brad Hahn said.

It was not clear when Hastert might be released, Hahn said.

"We're not looking at weeks, but it's a matter of when doctors decide they're comfortable with him going home," Hahn said. "He's getting restless to get back to work."

Hastert, who represents a district in Chicago's suburbs, is expected to make a full recovery and plans to resume his full schedule, his office said.

He lost his post as House speaker when the Democrats won a majority in last year's elections, but he retained his seat in the Congress.

More than 500,000 Americans have surgery every year to remove their gallbladders, typically because the organ is inflamed or to treat painful gallstones. The surgery also is done to treat gallbladder cancer, which is rare.

The pear-shaped organ stores digestive fluid, or bile, produced by the liver. People can function well without a gallbladder; when it is removed, bile from the liver goes directly into the intestine.

Last July, Hastert spent several days in a suburban Maryland hospital after being treated for a skin infection. He also was hospitalized in early 2005 for removal of a kidney stone.

Hastert was the longest-serving Republican speaker in history, holding the post from 1999 until earlier this month, when he handed over to Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

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