Melania wanted to join Trump in Singapore for summit with Kim Jong Un

US First Lady Melania Trump had a four-hour operation for a kidney condition. She is said to be recovering and unable to travel abroad. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • United States President Donald Trump has revealed new details about the closely guarded medical condition of First Lady Melania Trump, saying she underwent a four-hour operation and that her recovery would keep her from travelling abroad with him.

In the weeks since aides said she underwent a procedure to treat a benign kidney condition, Mrs Trump has directed her aides to release almost no information about her medical condition or explain why she was at the hospital for five days.


Last Friday, as he departed on an international trip, the President said that Mrs Trump "wanted to go" with him to the Group of Seven (G-7) summit meeting in Quebec, and then on to Singapore for the planned talks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

But, he said, she was staying in the White House on doctor's orders.

"She had a big operation," Mr Trump said. "That was a close to a four-hour operation. And she's doing great."

Few details have emerged from the First Lady's office.

On May 14, the East Wing said Mrs Trump underwent an embolisation procedure, which is meant to cut off the blood supply that feeds the kidney. It is usually used to stop bleeding from a benign tumour or a small aneurysm, or to reverse the growth of such a tumour, according to specialists.


The White House did not explain what led Mrs Trump to seek treatment or whether the "benign kidney condition" meant she had a benign tumour or something else. In a statement, the East Wing said the procedure had been successful, with no complications.

Ms Stephanie Grisham, the First Lady's communications director, reiterated on Friday that Mrs Trump's embolisation procedure had been successful. "She cannot travel internationally yet, and is doing great."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 10, 2018, with the headline 'Melania wanted to join Trump in Singapore for summit'. Print Edition | Subscribe