Biden Says First Lady Jill Doing Well After Skin Surgery

By Reuters
January 13, 2023USshare
Biden Says First Lady Jill Doing Well After Skin Surgery
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 on Jan. 11, 2023. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

WASHINGTON—First Lady Jill Biden is doing well following her skin surgery, President Joe Biden told reporters on Thursday, one day after cancerous skin lesions were removed from her face and chest.

“She’s doing really well. She was under a long time,” the president said. “She’s up. We had breakfast this morning. She’s recovering.”

The 71-year-old first lady, accompanied by the president, spent more than eight hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the outpatient procedure on Wednesday.

All cancerous tissue was removed, the White House physician said.

The president returned to the White House later on Wednesday afternoon. The first lady returned separately, her spokesperson, Vanessa Valdivia said.

Jill Biden went to the hospital for removal of a skin lesion above her right eye. White House physician Kevin O’Connor said in a statement that the procedure “confirmed that the small lesion was basal cell carcinoma.”

“All cancerous tissue was successfully removed, and the margins were clear of any residual skin cancer cells. We will monitor the area closely as it heals, but do not anticipate any more procedures will be needed,” he said.

In addition, a small lesion was discovered on Jill Biden’s left eyelid and it was fully excised and sent for further examination, O’Connor said.

During her preoperative consultation, an additional “area of concern” was identified on the left side of the first lady’s chest, and it was consistent with potential basal cell carcinoma, O’Connor said.

This lesion also was excised and basal cell carcinoma was confirmed. “Again, all cancerous tissue was successfully removed,” O’Connor said.

Basal cell carcinoma lesions do not tend to “spread,” or metastasize, as some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma are known to do, the doctor added.

They do, however, have the potential to increase in size, resulting in a more significant issue as well as increased challenges for surgical removal, he said.

Jill Biden was experiencing some facial swelling and bruising, but was in good spirits and feeling well, O’Connor said.

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