Netanyahu recovering after emergency hernia surgery

Doctor says he will require several days of bed rest to recover.

August 11, 2013 07:49
2 minute read.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner )

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's emergency hernia surgery at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem Saturday overnight was successfully completed early Sunday morning.

Yuval Weiss, director of the hospital where the surgery took place, said the operation was ordered at short notice as a precaution against Netanyahu's condition deteriorating. Netanyahu's office said late on Saturday he had been diagnosed after complaining of abdominal pain.

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"The prime minister feels well after the operation," Weiss told Israel Radio. "He is now fully conscious."

Weiss predicted Netanyahu would be released by Sunday evening, but said he would require several days of home rest.

"He will be able to hold meetings and discussions at home. He has to be a little limited in terms of physical activity," he said.

Netanyahu's personal physician, Dr. Tzvi Berkovich vouched for his good health saying that he is "in good general condition and will surely return to work quickly."

The procedure took one hour, as the hospital predicted, and shortly after the surgery was completed, Netanyahu was transferred to a recovery area. A full recovery is expected to take no more than a few hours.

The prime minister, 63, was examined by Dr. Berkovich and by expert surgeon Aryeh Dorset after complaining of abdominal pain on Saturday evening. The initial diagnosis was fear of an umbilical hernia.

The diagnosis was confirmed after the prime minister underwent a CT scan and it was decided to operate immediately.

Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon temporarily assumed Netanyahu's role, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement.

Ya'alon was also slated to head a cabinet-level meeting on Sunday to select Palestinian security prisoners for release as part of US-sponsored peace negotiations, the second round of which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

The surgery was to take place under local anesthesia unless general anesthesia was necessary and was expected to last one hour. If a general anesthesia was to be required,  Ya'alon would be appointed acting prime minister.

The chief surgeon operating on Netanyahu was Professor Aviram Nissan, head of the surgical department at Hadassah Ein Kerem, together with senior surgeon Dorset. The prime minister was expected to be released from hospital by Sunday afternoon.

Netanyahu had been scheduled to convene cabinet ministers on Sunday to finalize the first stage of a release of Palestinian security prisoners designed to foster peace talks revived last month by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

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