SAO PAULO – Doctors attending Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro after he underwent abdominal surgery last Sunday, the fourth such operation since he was stabbed a year ago at an electoral rally, suspended the oral diet of liquids he had begun last Monday and put him back on intravenous feeding.
The decision was taken after Tuesday night when the head of state’s bowel movements slowed and he had an “abdominal distension,” according to a bulletin released this Wednesday by Vila Nova Star Hospital, the private medical center where he was admitted last Saturday.
Considering his condition, doctors decided not only to substitute an oral diet with an intravenous one, but also to fit him with a nasogastric tube.
“The possible reintroduction of oral feeding will be evaluated daily and will be resumed at the right moment,” the bulletin said.
After Sunday’s surgery to correct a hernia caused by weakened muscles due to three previous operations on his abdomen, Bolsonaro had begun a liquid diet last Monday of water, gelatin, tea and broth, and doctors’ original plan was to allow him to start eating more solid food starting this Wednesday.
The results of “the laboratory exams remain stable,” the bulletin added.
The doctors maintained the conventional measures to prevent deep-vein thrombosis including anti-coagulant medicines, and recommended that the president continue his physical therapy and his walks around the hospital’s corridors.
According to the bulletin, “visits to the patient are still restricted.”
The spokesman for the Brazilian presidency, Otavio Rego Barros, who this Wednesday did not offer a press conference to comment on the medical bulletin, had said the day before that Bolsonaro will resume his official duties next Thursday even though he might remain hospitalized until Sunday, as doctors have recommended.
The spokesman recalled that, at least until Thursday, the interim president of Brazil will be (reserve) Gen. Hamilton Mourao, who assumed that position the Sunday before Bolsonaro entered the operating room.
Depending on the doctors’ recommendation, Bolsonaro will be able to work from somewhere in the hospital.
Sunday’s surgery was the fourth on Bolsonaro’s abdomen since he was stabbed on Sept. 6 last year while taking part in an electoral rally in the city of Juiz de Fora.
The first two operations were performed when the far-right leader was in mid-electoral campaign and the third, for the removal of a colostomy bag in January, a few days after assuming the presidency.
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.