Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro undergoes abdominal surgery; fourth operation since 2018 knife attack at campaign rally

Sao Paulo: Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro underwent surgery on Sunday to repair an abdominal hernia, his fourth operation since being stabbed in the stomach a year ago at a campaign rally, his doctors said. The operation at Sao Paulo’s Vila Nova Star hospital lasted more than five hours, the medical center reported in a statement signed by his surgeon, Antonio Luiz Macedo.

 Brazils president Jair Bolsonaro undergoes abdominal surgery; fourth operation since 2018 knife attack at campaign rally

File image of Jair Bolsonaro. Reuters

“The procedure was a success,” Macedo’s statement said, adding that the president was recovering and in stable condition. He said a significant part of Bolsonaro’s intestine had to be removed after it had become strongly attached to the abdominal wall. Doctors used a mesh implant to strengthen muscle tissue, Macedo added.

He said about 10 percent of patients who undergo such abdominal surgery develop a hernia, but that while there was a chance of a new hernia, it was unlikely. Bolsonaro is expected to spend five days in hospital and should be able to travel by plane after a week, Macedo said.

Vice president Hamilton Mourao temporarily assumed the powers of the presidency on Sunday and will remain in office at least until Thursday, a presidential spokesman said. Bolsonaro was stabbed on 6 September, 2018 at a campaign rally in the state of Minas Gerais by a 41-year-old man, who was found to be delusional and psychologically unfit for trial.

The assailant, Adelio Bispo de Oliveira, is being held in the psychiatric unit of a maximum security prison.