Dr. Kevin Most: Melania Trump’s kidney issue

Dr. Kevin Most

We heard yesterday that MrsTrump had a kidney procedure at Walter Reed . Although a lot is not known of exactly what the reason for the procedure was, some hints were given as to what the procedure was and that it was for a benign condition.

First the procedure, it was shared that she had an embolization and it was for a benign condition. First what is an embolization? This is a procedure that is done endovascular, what that means is the procedure was done with a catheter that has access of a blood vessel in the leg. The catheter is then advanced up to the kidney and brought to the area of concern. The catheter is visualized using xray so the doctor knows exactly where it is at. They advance it to the blood vessel of concern and position it to as close to the area of concern and then they embolize it, which means they block the blood flow to the area. This is essentially done with a chemical like super glue.

The goal is to block blood flow to the area of concern. This is done to prevent growth of cysts and to prevent them from rupturing and causing a bigger problem. The good thing about this procedure is it saves the kidney. We have talked about kidney’s and that we have 2 of them but can survive with one. That being said we do not want to remove a kidney if we don’t have to and doing an embolization to a small part of it really does not impact its function, so we can save the kidney as well as minimize the chance of future issues. Those issues could be a ruptured cyst causing bleeding and possibly need to have the kidney removed urgently

This procedure often is curative to the condition

In many cases this condition is treated and the patient is monitored for a short time and then discharged. I understand that Mrs Trump will be held in the hospital for a few days so they must have some concerns or they are being over cautious.

How was this even found is probably interesting as many are found with an incidental CT scan for another problem. It may have been found with an extensive physical exam that I assume they are offered.

As the condition is asymptomatic there was no rush or urgency to do this procedure, so it is not unusual that she had public appearances in days before