By John Bonifield, CNN
Updated: Thu, 25 Nov 2021 02:45:51 GMT
President Joe Biden had a single 3-millimeter polyp removed during his routine colonoscopy last week at Walter Reed medical center.
The President's physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, on Wednesday reported that testing on the polyp has revealed it to be a tubular adenoma, a benign, slow-growing lesion that is thought to be potentially precancerous.
The polyp, O'Connor said, is similar to one that Biden had removed in 2008, and he noted that no further action is required at this time. The physician said routine surveillance was recommended for the finding and that Biden would be due for his next colonoscopy in seven to 10 years.
The colonoscopy procedure, which required anesthesia, meant that Biden on Friday temporarily transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris, who became the first woman to assume US presidential power for 85 minutes that morning.
Presidents are not required to publicly disclose the results of their annual checkups but have done so to be transparent and assure the American people in the face of questions about their state of health. Presidents, however, have also hidden their illnesses, the severity of their illnesses or medical treatments.
Biden, who turned 79 on Saturday, also received a physical while at Walter Reed, marking his first such appointment since he was inaugurated as the oldest first-term president in US history.
Afterward, O'Connor wrote in a memo that Biden "remains fit for duty, and fully executes all of his responsibilities without any exemptions or accommodations."
The doctor, who has been with the President since he served as vice president, singled out two areas of "observation" he set aside for detailed investigation: an "increasing frequency and severity of 'throat clearing' and coughing during speaking engagements" and the President's ambulatory gait, or walking abnormality, which O'Connor said was "perceptibly stiffer and less fluid than it was a year or so ago."
Both have been noticeable elements of Biden's public appearances since taking office.
"President Biden remains a healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the president, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief," O'Connor wrote in his summary following the Friday physical.