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Trump provides updates on first lady Melania Trump after medical procedure

Last Updated May 15, 2018 6:16 PM EDT

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his wife and first lady, Melania, is "doing really well" although she remains hospitalized following a medical procedure to treat a kidney condition the White House described as benign. He said he expected the first lady back home at the White House before the end of the week.

He also visited her early Tuesday evening at Walter Reed Medical Center just outside Washington. A White House spokesperson said that Melania Trump remains in good spirits.    

The president started his day by tweeting an update on the first lady early Tuesday morning, saying she would be leaving the hospital in "2 or 3 days."

Later at an event honoring fallen police officers on Capitol Hill he again addressed her stay at Walter Reed.

"I want to start by saying that Melania is in the hospital doing really well. She's watching us right now. I want to thank the incredible doctors. Walter Reed Medical Center. They did a fantastic job. So thank you and she sends her love," the president told the crowd.

 He later reiterated to reporters on his way into Senate policy lunches with Republican members that Melania was doing "really well" and had a "really successful" procedure. 

"The doctors were incredible so Walter Reed was really fantastic," he added. 

The president and first lady spoke by telephone on Monday, before the procedure at Walter Reed, and again on Tuesday, the White House said. He also spent time with her at the hospital on Monday evening after she had been treated.

The White House declared the procedure "successful" but has withheld additional information about her condition, citing the first lady's right to privacy. Vice President Mike Pence, however, said in a speech Monday night that the procedure was "long-planned."

Two urologists who have no personal knowledge of Mrs. Trump's condition said the most likely explanation for the embolization procedure is a kind of noncancerous kidney tumor called an angiomyolipoma.

They're not common but tend to occur in middle-aged women and can cause problematic bleeding if they become large enough, said Dr. Keith Kowalczyk of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Mrs. Trump is 48.

"The treatment of choice" is to cut off the blood supply so the growth shrinks, added Dr. Lambros Stamatakis of MedStar Washington Hospital Center. Doctors do that with an embolization, meaning a catheter is snaked into the blood vessels of the kidney to find the right one and block it.