Polyp removed during Biden’s colonoscopy was benign, doctor says

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A benign polyp was removed during President Biden’s colonoscopy last week, the White House doctor noted in a memo, confirming expectations following the procedure. 

The polyp was a tubular adenoma, which are slow-growing but “thought to be potentially pre-cancerous,” Dr. Kevin O’Connor wrote. A similar polyp was removed in 2008. No further medical action is required for now, although the president will need to repeat a colonoscopy in the future. 

The president’s colonoscopy made headlines as he was put under general anesthesia, which required him to transfer the acting powers of the presidency to Vice President Kamala Harris for 85 minutes, making her the first woman to hold presidential power in the U.S. 

The colonoscopy was a part of a broader annual physical. O’Connor said Mr. Biden “remains a healthy, vigorous 78-year-old male who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency.” Mr. Biden turned 79 on Saturday. 

O’Connor said he had noticed an increase in the frequency of the president’s coughing during public speeches, which he attributed to reflux. He also said the president has more stiffness and less fluidity in his gait, but he deemed it typical “wear and tear” from the osteoarthritic changes to the president’s spine.

The president underwent a “detailed neurologic exam” as part of the physical, in which O’Connor found nothing consistent with neurological disorders. 

O’Connor has been the president’s physician for 13 years. The president’s last physical was in 2019, during the presidential campaign.

Mr. Biden is spending the long Thanksgiving weekend with his family on Nantucket Island, an annual tradition for the Bidens ever since he was in the Senate. 

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