SENATOR McCain undergoes surgery in Phoenix for benign enlargement of prostate

Wednesday, August 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PHOENIX (AP) _ Sen. John McCain underwent surgery Wednesday for a benign enlargement of his prostate and experienced no complications during the operation, a spokeswoman said.

McCain, whose 65th birthday was Wednesday, will likely spend one to two nights at the Mayo Clinic Hospital and is expected to make a full and rapid recovery, said McCain spokeswoman Nancy Ives.

Because of the surgery, the Arizona Republican had canceled a planned Sept. 4 speech in Minneapolis, but it wasn't immediately known whether he would miss any other public appearances.

Enlargement of the prostate is common among older men and can lead to urinary difficulties.

During the procedure, enlarged prostate tissue blocking the urethra is cut away.

Doctors also fragmented stones that had accumulated in McCain's bladder because the prostate was large enough to prevent the bladder from emptying completely, Ives said.

The stones were too large to remove without an incision, so a laser was used to break them into smaller fragments, she said. McCain was given general anesthesia during the operation, which lasted about 70 minutes.

He had entered the hospital earlier Wednesday, saying he looked forward to having ``this minor'' problem resolved.

The former Republican candidate for president underwent surgery last August to remove melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, from his temple and upper arm. McCain's office said checkups since then have found no further signs of cancer.

McCain just returned from a five-day congressional delegation trip to Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.