Mandela Has Surgery to Remove Gall Stones

Posted December 15th, 2012 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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Former South African leader Nelson Mandela underwent a surgical “procedure” Saturday to remove gallstones.

A statement from the South African presidency says doctors performed an endoscopy on the 94-year-old former president. It says the procedure was successful and that Mr. Mandela is recovering.

The anti-apartheid icon was hospitalized in Pretoria a week ago. Doctors initially said Mr. Mandela had suffered a recurrence of a lung infection.

The latest statement said doctors detected the gallstones in their initial tests but decided to attend to the lung infection first.

South African officials have been vague about where Mr. Mandela is being treated, citing a need to keep pressure off his doctors.

Mr. Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, became South Africa's first black president in 1994. He has grown frail and has made few public appearances in recent years.