Eitan Hess-ashkenazi  /  AP file
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Tel Aviv in an October 2003 file photo. Sharon had surgery for a kidney stone Monday.
updated 2/10/2004 12:25:28 AM ET 2004-02-10T05:25:28

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent successful treatment Monday to remove a kidney stone, his office said.

The development, though not considered serious, focused attention on the health of Sharon, who is 75 and overweight. Though he was severely wounded as a soldier a half century ago, he is not reported to be suffering from any significant health problems.

Since becoming prime minister in March 2001, Sharon has rarely missed work because of illness. In December 2003, he was confined to bed for several days with what was described as influenza.

Israel TV showed Sharon’s motorcade arriving at Tel Hashomer Hospital outside Tel Aviv after nightfall for the procedure.

Ultrasound treatment
Professor Boloslov Goldman, Sharon’s physician, had told Israel TV that ultrasound would be used to break up the stone for expulsion through the urinary tract.

A statement from Sharon’s office said he expected to be back at work Wednesday. Before checking into the hospital, he was resting at his home at his Sycamore Ranch in the southern Negev Desert.

Doctors discovered the stone Sunday during a routine exam, Sharon’s office said.

Kidney stones are a common and often painful disorder that develop from crystals that separate from the urine and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney.

Following the discovery of the kidney stone, Sharon canceled several meetings, including sessions with Cabinet ministers from his Likud Party, aimed at garnering support for his plan for unilateral disengagement from the Palestinians if peace talks fail.

Many Likud members have come out strongly against the plan, which includes removing almost all Israeli settlements from the Gaza Strip and a few isolated enclaves from the West Bank.

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