First lady Jill Biden, accompanied by President Joe Biden, went to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. on Wednesday to undergo a relatively routine medical procedure, the Daily Wire reported.
The outpatient procedure involved the surgical removal of what had been previously identified as basal cell carcinoma, or skin cancer, in a lesion above her right eye.
While at the hospital, the same procedure was also performed to remove a similar cancerous lesion on the first lady’s chest that had been noticed as a cause for concern.
Mohs surgery to remove skin cancer
The medical procedure that first lady Biden underwent is known as Mohs surgery, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, and is named for Dr. Frederic Mohs, who first developed the technique in the 1930s and later refined it in the 1960s alongside Dr. Perry Robins.
With an astonishingly high cure rate of 99 percent, the procedure is highly effective in removing basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, the two most predominant forms of skin cancer.
Though generally an outpatient procedure that doesn’t require hospitalization, Mohs surgery is nonetheless time-consuming as it involves a surgeon using only local anesthesia and a scalpel to carefully remove thin layers of suspect skin tissue that is then carefully studied under a microscope for evidence of cancer while the patient waits.
If any cancer cells are still evident, the procedure is then repeated until only healthy tissue remains and the resultant cancer-free wound is then allowed to heal naturally or, if substantial enough, closed with stitches or repaired with reconstructive surgery.
“Mohs surgery is the gold standard for treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), including those in cosmetically and functionally important areas around the eyes, nose, lips, ears, scalp, fingers, toes or genitals,” the Foundation said. “Mohs is also recommended for BCCs or SCCs that are large, aggressive, or growing rapidly, that have indistinct edges, or have recurred after previous treatment. Some surgeons are also successfully using Mohs surgery on certain cases of melanoma.”
Procedure a success
With respect to first lady Biden, a memo from White House Physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor announced that “All cancerous tissue was successfully removed and the margins were clear of any residual skin cancer cells.”
“We will monitor the area closely as it heals, but do not anticipate any more procedures will be needed,” he continued.
Update on First Lady Jill Biden’s health following a medical procedure today at Walter Reed -> pic.twitter.com/DYKsvL5iP1
— Mike Emanuel 🇺🇸 (@MikeEmanuelFox) January 11, 2023
The doctor further noted that cancerous lesions on the first lady’s left eyelid and left side of her chest were also successfully dealt with.
“In good spirits and is feeling well”
“As anticipated, the First Lady is experiencing some facial swelling and bruising, but is in good spirits and is feeling well. She will return to the White House later today,” O’Connor’s memo concluded.
All cancer is terrible, even relatively minor forms like basal cell carcinomas, and while we certainly have partisan and ideological differences with the Bidens, those can be set aside for the moment to congratulate the first lady on the successful procedure and wish her well for future good health and a speedy recovery.