Photo: Cristina Fernandez
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez left hospital Saturday and returned to her official residence in Buenos Aires with wonderful news - following her thyroid operation, doctors reversed her diagnosis for cancer.
“The histopathological examination definitively shows the presence of nodules in both lobes of the president’s thyroid gland, but dismisses the presence of carcinogenic cells, modifying the original diagnosis,” according to the medical report read by presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro.
Cristina Fernandez, 58, was admitted Wednesday to the prestigious Austral Hospital to undergo a total removal of the thyroid gland because of cancerous cells detected in the right lobe of her thyroid.
Biopsies found, however, only a benign thyroid tumor, which means, according to the medical report, that Fernandez will not require treatment with radioactive iodine as previously announced.
Just a few minutes after the spokesman read the medical report, Cristina Fernandez boarded the presidential helicopter waiting for her on the hospital premises and returned to her official residence of Olivos outside Buenos Aires, accompanied by her son Maximo and daughter Florencia.
Fernandez was operated by the surgeon Pedro Saco, among the most highly regarded in the country, under the supervision of the presidential medical team.
A mistaken diagnosis in this kind of illness “is something that I won’t say is usual, but that can happen, it can happen in the best medical teams,” Ernesto Puentes, a specialist in head and neck surgery, said Saturday in a statement on a local television channel.
The news was greeted with applause and cries of joy by the hundreds of supporters from her party camped outside the entrance to Austral Hospital, one of the most advanced in Argentina.
A sea of flags, banners, photos of Fernandez and her husband, the late ex-President Nestor Kirchner, and even improvised altars with Our Ladys and Christs have been features of this “campground of endurance” in support of the president.
One of the few people who had brief access to Fernandez in the hospital, according to local media, was Vice President Amado Boudou, acting head of government while the president is on medical leave.
Boudou has kept a low profile this week, focusing his agenda on the economic matters he well understands, having been economy minister during Fernandez’s first term.
The president’s office has not yet confirmed whether, in light of this new diagnosis, Cristina Fernandez will continue with the leave of absence scheduled to end Jan. 24.
Nor has it said if the president will travel in the coming days to her home in the Patagonian town of El Calafate, her “place in the world,” as she has referred to it more than once, and where Nestor Kirchner died in October 2010.