On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell revealed he would delay his chamber’s upcoming vote to repeal and replace Obamacare due to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Arizona) eye surgery. McConnell’s statement suggested the 80-year-old congressman would only need about a week to recover, and the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix reported Monday morning that McCain was in “good condition” following the procedure. According to the New York Times, however, some experts believe the aging senator’s “minimally invasive craniotomy” could delay the Senate vote by much longer.
Per a statement by McCain’s office, the procedure removed a blood clot from “above his left eye” via a “minimally invasive craniotomy with an eyebrow incision.” The decision to remove the clot and perform the operation came after McCain’s “routine annual physical,” noted the Times, but neurosurgeons and other medical health professionals unaffiliated with the Mayo Clinic have their concerns. “Usually, a blood clot in this area would be a very concerning issue,” Dr. Nrupen Baxi of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine explained. “The recovery time from a craniotomy is usually a few weeks.”
Seeing as how a craniotomy is a literal opening of the skull, it isn’t difficult to understand Dr. Baxi’s counter-assessment of the official statements. Considering the senior politician’s inexplicable questions (and behavior) during former FBI Director James Comey’s congressional testimony, however, it’s difficult not to connect this to something more than a routine physical. “Usually, a blood clot like this is discovered when patients have symptoms, whether it’s a seizure or headaches or weakness or speech difficulties,” said Dr. Baxi. “It’s not found on a routine physical because doctors would not know to look for it.”