updated 2/1/2007 10:49:54 PM ET 2007-02-02T03:49:54

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert left a Chicago hospital on Thursday after spending nearly a week there recovering from surgery to remove his gallbladder, his office said.

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The 65-year-old entered Rush University Medical Center last Friday after he complained of abdominal pain caused by gallstones. He had surgery the same day.

A short statement from his office Thursday said only that Hastert returned home from the hospital and that he "is eager to return to his regular schedule in Washington, D.C., upon medical approval to travel."

His office has said that Hastert, who represents a congressional district in Chicago's western suburbs, is expected to make a full recovery.

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 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.

Hastert was the longest-serving Republican speaker in history, holding the post from 1999 until last month, when Democrats took control of the House.

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