November 27th, 2008
03:45 PM ET
5 months ago

Update: Former first lady out of ICU after surgery

(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush was moved out of the intensive care unit of a Houston, Texas, hospital and into a regular room Thursday after surgery to repair and seal a perforated ulcer, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Bush, 83, was in good spirits and was joking with hospital staffers, the Methodist Hospital spokeswoman said. She was being fed intravenously. Her doctor earlier said she will be allowed no food by mouth for about a week, to avoid possibly stretching her abdominal area.

The former first lady showed up at Methodist's emergency room Tuesday night complaining of severe abdominal pain, Dr. Patrick Reardon, who performed the surgery, told reporters Wednesday. Doctors determined she had a perforated ulcer in her duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine after the stomach, he said.

In the operating room, doctors thoroughly cleaned her abdominal cavity of any contaminants that had leaked through the hole, described by the hospital as being 1 centimeter in diameter. Then, doctors repaired the ulcer and sewed a piece of the omentum, fat tissue in the abdomen, on top of it to seal it, Reardon said.

Bush's husband, former President George H.W. Bush, was with her Thursday morning, but was leaving to attend Thanksgiving dinner with his son Neil, the Methodist Hospital spokeswoman told CNN.

The ulcer was biopsied and is benign, Reardon said Wednesday. He suggested it might have been caused by anti-inflammatory medications.

–CNN Correspondent Sean Callebs contributed to this report.


Filed under: Barbara Bush
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    May God Bless you Mrs. Bush. You have always been one of my favorite first ladies!

    November 27, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. strong

    That is such great news! I am so glad Mrs. Bush is on the mend. A wonderful x-First Lady without a doubt.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Barbara! We love ya.

    November 27, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Bonita

    I doubt very much that Barbara Bush is in a "regular room". I'm sure she'd in a private room, and the nicest they could find. Let's hope she makes a full recovery from the ulcer that was probably exacerbated by the realization that her son's presidency will be going down in history as the worst ever.

    November 27, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. FL for Obama

    Best wishes to a wonderful First Lady! If you haven't read her book...I encourge you to do so. She's America's grandmother!

    November 27, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. Milhouse van Houten

    I wish Mrs.Bush a speedy recovery and maybe her son can save her some of the bounty that they'll be dining on at Camp David for when she can begin eating again.

    November 27, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. chuck

    No one wants to see a Bush anymore in the history of America.

    November 27, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. S Callahan

    I am happy Mrs. Bush is doing well...people think it's not big deal because it's an ulcer....yet my own father died as a result of bleeding from a peptic ulcer.....so it's good news she is doing well!

    November 27, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  8. S Callahan

    I am happy Mrs. Bush is doing well.

    November 27, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. Barbara in NC

    Glad she's ok. Wish she had trained W better. Oh well. I guess parents can't be held accountable for what their full grown children do.

    November 27, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Texas Teacher

    Anti-inflammatory medications? It really seems that all our prescription drugs have the same flaw. They may help whatever they are prescribed for... that is...... if they don't kill you first!

    I have hope that we might have some of that nasty old European Universal Medicine where the doctors try natural medications first and only use the prescription kind for a last resort knowing all the complications they case with lots of preventative care.

    Our system is the most expensive in the world and yet we are the least healthy! Our pharmacuetical (did I spell that right.... where is the spel chek?) companies, our health insurance companies, our doctors... are the highest paid in the world.... yet, we have the poorest health per capita in the world. It's a sad commentary on our medical system!

    I am all for Obama's plans to free our health care system of its most serious flaws and aim for preventative health care rather than the opposite! There is no true reason to CURE anyone, when one grows so rich off NOT curing them!

    Insurances Companies and Pharmacuetical companies are all about profit... your health has very little to do with the matter.

    Just saying.... :)

    Be well, Mrs. Bush.

    November 27, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. DOCS 3

    GOD BLESS THIS LOVELY LADY. WE ASK GOD TO GIVE HER THE STRENGTH TO ONCE AGAIN FIND GOOD HEALTH -- WE PRAY.

    November 27, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  12. Texas Teacher

    .... and another thing..... in Europe food manufacturers do not put all the crap... pardon my language... in the products that they are allowed to here....the governments do not allow it! Our manufacturers fill everything with so much stuff that we have no idea what we are eating including the farm animals that we eat... therefore, we are the fattest people in the world and the least health! Does anyone begin to see a pattern here? Who is running this country? I hope that it will be We, the People, from now on. We have awakened a bit with this election.

    No wonder there is such a movement to go organic... finally, We, the People are waking up! Stay awake, People! We need to remain vigilant!

    November 27, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. Moe, NY

    Thank God she has insurance....I don't!

    November 27, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  14. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    So George Bush's mom had surgery and Bush didn't even go to the hospital... he stayed home to eat his turkey!

    November 27, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. JGR

    Get well soon, Mrs. Bush! You are a special lady! Best, JGR in San Antonio, Texas

    November 27, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  16. An Independent for Obama

    Good enough. I have always admired Mrs. Bush and I'm glad she's on the road to recovery.

    November 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |