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U.S. first lady Jill Biden has surgery to remove skin lesion

2023-01-11T20:49:47Z

First lady Jill Biden, accompanied by U.S. President Joe Biden, spent more than seven hours at a military hospital on Wednesday for outpatient surgery to remove a lesion discovered during a routine skin cancer screening.

A small lesion was found above the first lady’s right eye recently and she will have an outpatient procedure to remove it, presidential physician Kevin O’Connor said in a statement last week, citing an “abundance of caution.”

The president and first lady, 71, arrived at Walter Reed National Military Center in suburban Bethesda, Maryland just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday and were still at the hospital seven hours later.

Dr. O’Connor will provide an update later today, the White House said on Wednesday afternoon. The operation is “proceeding well and as expected,” the first lady’s office said.

President Biden “wanted to be there to support her,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “They’ve been married for 45 years now and he wanted to be there with his wife.”

O’Connor said in his statement that the first lady would undergo a common procedure known as Mohs surgery to remove and definitively examine the tissue.

Mohs surgery involves cutting away thin layers of skin after which each is looked at closely for signs of cancer. The process continues until there is no sign of cancer, preserving healthy tissue and reducing the need for further treatment.

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U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk to board the Marine One helicopter to travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the first lady to undergo Mohs surgery for skin cancer, from the White House in Washington, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. first lady Jill Biden walks before boarding the Marine One helicopter to travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to undergo Mohs surgery for skin cancer, from the White House in Washington, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. first lady Jill Biden walks before boarding the Marine One helicopter to travel to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to undergo Mohs surgery for skin cancer, from the White House in Washington, U.S., January 11, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst