Sen. John McCain undergoes surgery at Mayo Clinic, in stable condition

Apr 16, 2018, 3:12 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2018, 8:19 am
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PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) underwent surgery over the weekend at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, his office announced Monday.

The Sunday surgery was to treat an intestinal infection related to diverticulitis.

“Senator McCain and his family are grateful to the senator’s excellent care team, and appreciate the support and prayers they continue to receive from people all over the country,” the statement said.

Diverticula are small, bulging pouches that can form in the lining of a digestive system, according to Mayo Clinic. They are common after the age of 40 and rarely cause problems.

However, they can become inflamed or infected and cause colon pain, fever and nausea.

McCain has been battling glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer, since he was first diagnosed last summer.

Terry Simpson, an M.D. at Mayo Clinic, said surgeries for diverticulitis happen on a daily basis in the Valley.

“He’s gone through the worst part of it,” Simpson said. “He’s in pretty good shape.”

Simpson didn’t know if there was any relation to McCain’s cancer and diverticulitis, but said chemotherapy can make patients more prone to some diseases.

“The only relation it might have to his cancer is that the chemotherapy might have just made them a little concerned that he would be prone to more problems with it if they didn’t fix it,” Simpson said.

Recovery typically takes around a week.

“He’s a little older so it might take him a little longer,” Simpson said. “He’s a little tougher than most, so he’ll probably recover pretty quickly.”

McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, tweeted that the senator had a successful surgery.

His daughter also tweeted about McCain on Monday afternoon.

Meghan McCain, who is a co-host on the ABC show “The View,” said Tuesday that her father was “doing well” and was still in the hospital.

The Arizona Republican has spent the last several months mostly out of the spotlight after he was hospitalized in December for a viral infection while battling brain cancer.

The typical survival period after a diagnosis is 12 to 15 months, though a small percentage live longer than five years.

The senator called his prognosis “very poor” in a September interview with “60 Minutes.”

“The prognosis is very, very serious,” McCain said. “Some say 3 percent, some say 14 percent. It’s a very poor prognosis. So, I just said, ‘I understand, now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find, and do the best we can.’ And, at the same time, celebrate with gratitude a life well-lived.”

McCain was expected to return to the Senate in January, but that did not happen.

KTAR News’ Griselda Zetino contriubted to this report.

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