Jill Biden Undergoes Surgery

First Lady Jill Biden is recovering after undergoing surgery Wednesday. The first lady had a cancerous lesion above her right eye removed during a scheduled outpatient procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland in a procedure known as Mohs surgery, according to a letter issued by White House physician Dr. Kevin O'Connor.

O'Connor said in the letter that the lesion about Biden's eye was discovered during a routine skin cancer checkup. Doctors recommended that it be removed and analyzed for any signs of cancer. Biden, 71, was then scheduled for a procedure called Mohs surgery, which is "considered the most effective technique for treating many basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), the two most common types of skin cancer," according to the Skin Cancer Foundation," which notes that "the procedure is done in stages, including lab work, while the patient waits. This allows the removal of all cancerous cells for the highest cure rate while sparing healthy tissue and leaving the smallest possible scar."

According to O'Connor, "an additional area of concern was identified on the left side of the first lady's chest" during a pre-operative consultation. A small lesion on her left eyelid was also discovered. All lesions were removed during the Wednesday procedure, and the chest lesion was also confirmed to be basal cell carcinoma, with the lesion above her left eyelid currently being tested. O'Connor confirmed that "all cancerous tissue was successfully removed, and the margins were clear of any residual skin cancer cells."

O'Connor said doctors will "monitor the area closely as it heals, but do not anticipate any more procedures will be needed." Biden, who was accompanied by her husband, President Joe Biden, is said to be "experiencing some facial swelling and bruising but is in good spirits and feeling well. While the president returned to the White House in the late afternoon, Biden was scheduled to remain at the medical center for a bit longer, with Entertainment Tonight reporting that the first lady was admitted for more than seven hours.

O'Connor added in the letter that "Basal cell carcinoma lesions do not tend to 'spread' or 'metastasize,' as some more serious skin cancers such as melanoma or squamous cell carcinoma are known to do. They do, however, have the potential to increase in size, resulting in a more significant issue as well as increased challenges for surgical removal."