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What's Ailing Melania?

White House has offered few details of First Lady's hospitalization, but description of procedure points to some likely diagnoses

(INDIANAPOLIS) - The White House hasn't offered details of why First Lady Melania Trump is in the hospital, but the list of possibilities is short.

All the White House has said is that the First Lady had a "benign kidney condition" and underwent an embolization. That means doctors used a narrow tube to cut off blood flow. I-U Health radiologist David Agarwal says you'd do that for a cyst, a tangle of malformed arteries,  or a more solid mass called an angiomyolipoma. In all three cases, you'd treat it so it doesn't rupture and cause internal bleeding.

Speculation has centered on the angiomyolipoma, based on the description of the treatment. Agarwal says about one in 200 people gets such a mass. Although it's not cancerous, it does grow, and doctors would recommend embolizing it if it got large enough to cause pain or increase the threat of rupture. More often, though, it's diagnosed before there are any symptoms, because radiologists spot it on a scan performed for other reasons.

The First Lady entered the hospital on Monday. President Trump has said she should be released Thursday or Friday. Agarwal says that's at the outer limits of a typical hospital stay for an AML -- most patients go home the next day. He speculates the longer stay is because of who this patient is.

First Lady Melania Trump with Vice President Pence (Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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