SAO PAULO – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro got “successfully” on Monday through a third operation to remove the colostomy bag he had been fitted with after being stabbed at a campaign event last September.
Bolsonaro, 63, underwent the procedure to remove the colostomy bag and reconstruct his intestinal tract, going into surgery at 8:30 am and emerging seven hours later, three hours later than expected, official sources said.
Presidential spokesman Otavio do Regio Barros said at a press conference at the hospital that the surgery was performed according to a “special and careful” plan, given that Bolsonaro has many scars in his intestines after undergoing the first two operations following the assassination attempt at a rally in Juiz de Fora, a town in southeastern Minas Gerais state.
“The president has many adhesions and they required a true work of art,” said Do Regio Barros, who thanked the surgeons and hospital staff for their efforts.
He also expressed “optimism” about Bolsonaro’s recovery in the intensive care unit of Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital, where he is “clinically stable, conscious and in no pain,” according to the medical center’s bulletin.
The president, who took office on Jan. 1, had postponed the operation several times, the latest of these so that he could attend to World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzeland, where he made his international debut amid controversy and presented his liberal economic agenda to investors.
Bolsonaro returned to Brazil last Friday, the same day on which the Vale mining company’s dam collapsed, flooding the town of Brumadinho, killing at least 60 people, with around 300 still missing.
Before entering the hospital, Bolsonaro on Saturday made an overflight of the area affected by the catastrophe and told the social networks that his administration “will do everything within its power” to “call for justice” and “prevent new tragedies” of this kind.
The president is being required to get complete rest for the next 48 hours and during this period he will be represented on an interim basis by Vice President Hamilton Mourao, an army reserve general, who had already taken over the president’s domestic duties while Bolsonaro was in Davos.
The government said that Bolsonaro will remain in the hospital for 10 days but, after the 48-hour period of complete rest, he will resume his duties from the hospital, heading a Cabinet meeting and receiving his ministers to discuss assorted matters.
Bolsonaro is accompanied at the hospital by his wife Michelle and three of his five children, although not by his oldest son Flavio, who in recent weeks has been tainted by a corruption scandal involving tax evasion.