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Brazilian president starts physical therapy following surgery

BRAZIL PRESIDENT (ADDS VIDEO) | 09 de septiembre de 2019

Dr. Antonio Luiz Macedo discusses the operation performed on President Jair Bolsonaro during a press conference on Sept. 8, 2019, at Hospital Vila Nova Star in Sao Paulo, Brazil. EPA-EFE FILE/Sebastião Moreira

Sao Paulo, Sep 9 (efe-epa).- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who underwent abdominal surgery over the weekend, was given permission by his doctors on Monday to start physical therapy and go on a liquid diet, thanks to the progress being made in the post-operative process.

On Sunday, Bolsonaro underwent his fourth operation since being stabbed during a campaign rally in 2018 and doctors are continuing to restrict his visitors, Sao Paulo's Hospital Vila Nova Star said in a statement.

"The patient is stable, without pain, without fever and with a good clinical-surgical evolution," the hospital said.

The statement was released after Bolsonaro underwent his first medical examination on Monday morning at the private hospital in Sao Paulo's upscale Itaim district.

The good examination means that the president is able to start physical therapy, get out of bed and walk in the corridors, the hospital said.

"At first, the president needs to not talk much and that is why visits continue to be restricted. The initial rest period recommended by the doctors (five days, until Thursday) is being maintained," Hospital Vila Nova Star medical director Antonio Antonietto said in a press conference.

Presidential spokesman Gen. Otavio do Rego Barros told reporters during the same press conference that Bolsonaro said he was feeling fine and wanted to return to work immediately.

"But let me say this again, the vice president, (Reserve) Gen. Hamilton Mourao, will serve as president on an interim basis until next Thursday," the presidential spokesman said.

The 64-year-old Bolsonaro was in surgery from 7:35 am until 12:40 pm on Sunday, undergoing an operation performed by chief surgeon Dr. Antonio Macedo and his team.

The operation, which was needed to correct a small incision hernia that formed due to weakening of the surrounding muscle caused by previous surgeries, was considered of medium complexity and a low-risk procedure, but it still took nearly twice as much time to complete as estimated.

Macedo said there were no complications despite the length of the operation.

Bolsonaro, who went on a liquid diet last Thursday and was required to fast for seven hours before having the operation, was admitted to the private hospital on Saturday evening.

The leader of Brazil's far-right flew into Sao Paulo on the presidential plane Saturday evening accompanied by first lady Michelle Bolsonaro and his three oldest children - Sen. Flavio Bolsonaro, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro and Rio de Janeiro Councilman Carlos Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro said on Friday, the first anniversary of the stabbing, that he felt born again and had nearly lost his life.

Assailant Adelio Bispo, who was arrested on the same day as the attack, was acquitted in June by a court that cited his mental problems as the reason for the attack.

Bolsonaro's attorneys have challenged the ruling in an attempt to prevent Bispo from going unpunished. EFE

cm/hv

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