Brazil’s Bolsonaro may not need surgery, docs say

Sao Paulo, Jul 15 (EFE).- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is responding “satisfactorily” to treatment for an intestinal blockage and may not require surgery to resolve the problem, physicians at Sao Paulo’s Vila Nova Star Hospital said Thursday.

The 66-year-old head of state was taken before dawn Wednesday to the military hospital in Brasilia suffering from abdominal pain and recurring spells of hiccups.

Officials originally said that Bolsonaro would undergo tests at the hospital and then remain under observation.

Hours later, Communications Minister Fabio Faria said that doctors discovered an “intestinal obstruction” related to the wounds Bolsonaro received in a stabbing while campaigning for the presidency in 2018.

On the advice of the doctor who treated him after the assassination attempt, Bolsonaro would be taken to Sao Paulo for possible emergency surgery, Faria said.

“The previously established therapeutic plan remains in place,” doctors said Thursday in a statement, adding that it was too early to say when Bolsonaro would be released.

The physicians whose names appear on the bulletin include the gastroenterologist who oversaw Bolsonaro’s treatment in 2018, Antonio Luiz Macedo.

Bolsonaro has undergone five operations in the last three years, four of them to repair damage from the knife attack, while the fifth was a procedure to remove a kidney stone.

Two of the president’s sons also delivered news on his condition.

“President Jair Bolsonaro evolved favorably, awoke in good spirits and if he continues this way, he will not need to have surgery. Thank you to everyone for the prayers,” Sen. Flavio Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.

Carlos Bolsonaro, a member of the lower house of Brazil’s Congress, said in a video posted on Telegram that an adhesion in his father’s intestine caused a buildup of fluid.

Roughly a liter (0.26 gal.) of fluid was drained from the president’s stomach by doctors at the military hospital in Brasilia, according to Carlos.

En route to Sao Paulo from Brasilia on Wednesday, the president said on Twitter that he was facing “yet another challenge” as a result of the “cruel attack” in 2018 by an assailant ultimately deemed not fit to stand trial because of mental problems.

In a tweet accompanied by a photo of himself lying shirtless in a hospital bed with electrodes on his chest, Bolsonaro said that in the wake of the stabbing, God granted him a new opportunity to “put Brazil finally on the path to prosperity.”

“And even with all of the adversities, including a pandemic that has taken many of our brothers and sisters in Brazil and the world, we continue that path,” the right-wing leader said.

Despite his hospitalization, Bolsonaro has not delegated the presidential powers to Vice President Hamilton Mourao, currently on an official visit to Angola.

The president did cancel a meeting set for Wednesday with the leaders of Congress and members of the Supreme Court amid rising tensions among the three branches of government as Bolsonaro threatens not to accept the result of the 2022 election based on unfounded claims about the possibility of fraud.

Polls show former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with a wide lead over Bolsonaro looking ahead to the 2022 balloting.

Bolsonaro’s popularity is at the lowest level since he took office in January 2019, due mainly to his mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis.

Brazil is No. 2 in the world in coronavirus deaths, with more than 536,000, yet Bolsonaro has continued to deny the severity of the threat. EFE as/dr

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