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McCain’s blood clot surgery may be more serious than thought, experts say

A statement released by the Arizona senator’s office on Saturday had suggested that he would be in Arizona recovering for just this week, but neurosurgeons interviewed said the typical recovery period could be longer.

The condition for which Sen. John McCain had surgery Friday may be more serious than initial descriptions have implied, and it may delay his return to Washington by at least a week or two, medical experts said Sunday.

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has announced that votes on a bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act will not begin until McCain’s return. A statement released by McCain’s office on Saturday had suggested that he would be in Arizona recovering for just this week, but neurosurgeons interviewed said the typical recovery period could be longer.

The statement from McCain’s office said a 2-inch blood clot was removed from “above his left eye” during a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision” at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, “following a routine annual physical.” Surgeons there are not conducting interviews, and McCain’s communications director, Julie Tarallo, said no further information was available.

A craniotomy is an opening of the skull, and an eyebrow incision would be used to reach a clot in or near the left frontal lobes of the brain, neurosurgeons who were not involved in McCain’s care said.

“Usually, a blood clot in this area would be a very concerning issue,” said Dr. Nrupen Baxi, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

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He added, “The recovery time from a craniotomy is usually a few weeks — at least a week or two.”

A statement from Mayo Clinic Hospital said that the…

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