Senator McCain’s surgery likely to delay health care votes

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Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, had surgery on Friday to remove a blood clot — and it appears to be more serious than initial reports suggested. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said votes on the Senate GOP health bill won’t begin until McCain returns — and that might not be for week or two.

The statement from Mr. McCain’s office said a two-inch blood clot was removed from “above his left eye” during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision” at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, “following a routine annual physical.” Surgeons there are not conducting interviews. Mr. McCain’s communications director, Julie Tarallo, said further information would be made public when it became available.

A craniotomy is an opening of the skull, and an eyebrow incision would be used to reach a clot in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain, neurosurgeons who were not involved in Mr. McCain’s care said.

“Usually, a blood clot in this area would be a very concerning issue,” said Dr. Nrupen Baxi, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

He added, “The recovery time from a craniotomy is usually a few weeks.”

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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