Defense Chief Undergoes Another Medical Procedure

Lloyd Austin has already resumed duties after Friday procedure for ongoing bladder issues
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 25, 2024 9:30 AM CDT
Defense Chief Undergoes Another Medical Procedure
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, hosts a welcoming ceremony for Kenyan President William Ruto at the Pentagon in Washington on Friday.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underwent a medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday evening and has resumed duties after temporarily transferring power to his deputy, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement. Austin is continuing to deal with bladder issues that arose in December following his treatment for prostate cancer, Ryder said, per the AP. The procedure was successful, elective, and minimally invasive, "is not related to his cancer diagnosis, and has had no effect on his excellent cancer prognosis," the press secretary said. Austin, 70, transferred authority to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks for about 2.5 hours while he was indisposed, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon chief returned home after the procedure. "No changes in his official schedule are anticipated at this time, to include his participation in scheduled Memorial Day events," Ryder said. Austin has had ongoing health issues since undergoing surgery to address a prostate cancer diagnosis. He spent two weeks in the hospital following complications from a prostatectomy. Austin faced criticism at the time for not immediately informing the president or Congress of either his diagnosis or hospitalization. Austin was taken back to Walter Reed in February for a bladder issue and admitted to intensive care for a second time; he underwent a nonsurgical procedure under general anesthesia at the time. The Pentagon has notified the White House and Congress, Ryder said of the latest procedure.

(More Lloyd Austin stories.)

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