First Lady to Undergo Surgery

By Lindsey Ellerson

Sep 7, 2007 6:12pm

ABC News’ Stephanie Smith, Ann Compton and Jennifer Duck Report: Laura Bush will undergo elective surgery on Saturday to relieve pressure in her neck due to pinched nerves.

"The doctor will perform a posterior cervical foraminotomy, using a minimally invasive procedure," according to a statement released Friday by Press Secretary Sally McDonough.

The surgery, which is performed typically as a result of arthritis, involves removing a portion of bone causing the pinched nerves.

McDonough wouldn’t disclose the time or hospital at which the first lady will have the surgery, but she did say Mrs. Bush will be under anesthesia during the one to two hour procedure.  Mrs. Bush will return to the White House the same day of the surgery.

While the injury was just recently made public, Mrs. Bush was hurt last spring while hiking in Utah’s Zion National Park.

The First Lady was scheduled to go to Australia with the president for the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum this week, but decided to sit out at the last minute due to the pinched nerves in her neck.  She has been receiving physical therapy, but doctors recommended she have the "least invasive" of the surgeries to help the problem.

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