Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin undergoes non-surgical procedures for bladder issue, full recovery expected

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Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underwent non-surgical procedures after he was admitted to the hospital over the weekend for symptoms suggesting an emergent bladder issue, doctors said Monday.

Austin was taken to the Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Maryland on Sunday. 

“Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III underwent non-surgical procedures under general anesthesia to address his bladder issue.  We anticipate a successful recovery and will closely monitor him overnight,” read a statement from Walter Reed Dr. John Maddox, trauma medical director, and Dr. Gregory Chesnut, Center for Prostate Disease Research of the Murtha Cancer Center Director.

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“A prolonged hospital stay is not anticipated,” the doctors said. “We anticipate the Secretary will be able to resume his normal duties tomorrow. The current bladder issue is not expected to change his anticipated full recovery.”

Austin is expected to resume his duties on Tuesday. He previously transferred his functions and duties to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. 

The defense secretary’s planned trip to Brussels this week for meetings on Ukraine and NATO has been canceled, and the Wednesday Ukraine Defense Contact Group will meet virtually, the department said Monday.

In December, Austin was admitted to Walter Reed and underwent prostate cancer surgery. He developed an infection a week later and was readmitted to the hospital. Hicks filled in at the time while she was on a previously scheduled leave.

On Monday, Maddox and Chesnut said Austin’s “cancer prognosis remains excellent.”

The secretary was heavily criticized in January following his Jan. hospitalization for his cancer. Austin was admitted but the Pentagon failed to inform President Biden, Congress or the press until days later. 

Austin said he apologized directly to Biden for not giving advance notice about his hospitalization.

“I want to be crystal clear. We did not handle this right and I did not handle this right,” Austin said during a press briefing on Feb. 1, regarding his hospitalization for prostate cancer treatment. “I should have told the president about my cancer diagnosis. I should have also told my team and the American public, and I take full responsibility. I apologize to my teammates and to the American people.”

Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion contributed to this report. 

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