Rice undergoes fibroid surgery

/ Source: The Associated Press

Condoleezza Rice, President Bush’s choice to be the next secretary of state, underwent surgery Friday to treat noncancerous growths in the uterus, a White House official said.

The national security adviser underwent uterine fibroid embolization at Georgetown University Hospital, and it appeared to be successful with no complications, said Jim Wilkinson, a deputy national security adviser. Rice was resting comfortably, Wilkinson said.

“So far things are fine,” said the interventional radiologist who performed the surgery, Dr. James B. Spies. “It’s been very routine and a success technically.”

Rice was given a sedative, not a general anesthetic, Spies said. Patients experience discomfort after the procedure, so they are routinely kept overnight, he said.

Uterine fibroid embolization blocks blood flow to fibroids, noncancerous tumors in the uterus. It is meant to shrink the growths by injecting small particles into the blood vessels that “feed” the fibroids to cut off their blood supply. For some women it is an alternative to hysterectomy. Radiologist Dr. James Spies performed the procedure, Wilkinson said.

Rice was scheduled to stay overnight at the hospital and go home Saturday. She could return to work as early as Monday, Wilkinson said.

Bush announced on Tuesday that Rice, 50, will succeed Secretary of State Colin Powell. Her nomination must be confirmed by the Senate.

Bush traveled Friday to Chile for an international summit. He brought Steve Hadley, Rice’s deputy and the president’s pick to head the National Security Council if Rice is confirmed.