Friday, August 18, 2000

Bunning's gallbladder removed

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Southgate, is recovering at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., after surgeons removed his gallbladder and a benign adrenal gland tumor Tuesday. There were no complications nor was cancer found.

        Sen. Bunning, 68, is expected to make a full recovery and be released next week. He will recuperate at his Northern Kentucky home until Sept. 6, when Congress reconvenes, said John Mechem, the senator's spokesman.

        “Senator Bunning expects to resume his full Senate duties when Congress returns ... and, in the meantime, thanks everyone for their best wishes,” Mr. Mechem said.

        The senator had been suffering from fatigue, high fever and stomach problems for about two weeks when he visited his personal physician, Dr. Donald Saelinger of Crestview Hills.

        “It's safe to say he was pretty sick,” Mr. Mechem said. “He missed a day of work, which is extremely rare.”

        Dr. Saelinger evaluated last week and determined that the senator had an inflamed gallbladder and a tumor on his left adrenal gland, which is one of two endocrine glands positioned above the kidney. The senator was then admitted to Mayo Clinic.

        John Murphy, Mayo Clinic spokesman, confirmed Sen. Bunning will make a “complete and total recovery.”