Mandelson praises nhs following prostate operation

Mandelson praises nhs following prostate operation

Lord Peter Mandelson, who is the UK's First Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, was full of praise for the NHS as he left hospital at the weekend following surgery for what was believed to be an enlarged prostate.

Lord Mandelson, who is 55, underwent surgery at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, on Friday and left on Saturday.

As he left hospital he thanked staff and told the media that he had been treated "really well" and that "everything is now flowing extremely well". He said he had actually "had a jolly time", reported the BBC.

Lord Mandelson who was left "in charge" of the government earlier this month while Prime Minister Gordon Brown was on holiday, said he was "very proud" to be an NHS patient".

A spokesman had told the media that he was thought to be suffering from a "benign condition of the prostate", reported the Daily Mail.

The consensus in the media appears to be that "Mandy" was suffering from an enlarged prostate, the medical term for which is benign prostatic hypertrophy or hyperplasia, often abbreviated to BPH, a condition that happens to nearly all men as they get older.

As the prostate gland grows it can press on the urethra and cause problems with the bladder and urination (the gland sits just under the bladder and the urethra, the tube through which urine passed from the bladder out through the penis, goes right through the centre of the prostate).

BPH is not cancer and is not linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer. Nobody knows what causes it, but some experts think it could be to do with what happens to the testicles as men age. Men who have had their testicles removed earlier in life don't get BPH, and similarly, if they have them removed after they get BPH, the prostate shrinks.

Surgery is one of several treatment options and usually recommended if you have incontinence, blood in the urine, are unable to empty the bladder, have kidney failure or bladder stones.

There are several different surgical procedures, the most common being TURP, transurethral resection of the prostate, where the prostate or part of it is removed piece by piece through a scope inserted via the penis.

Another common procedure is TUIP, or transurethral incision of the prostate, where the scope goes up to the prostate but instead of removing it the surgeon makes a cut in the gland to make the urethra larger and thus improve the flow of urine from the bladder through the gland.

In fact this was Mandy's second time in hospital since his sudden return to Cabinet in October last year. The first time was on the first day of his new job as Business Secretary when he was rushed to St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, after complaining of severe abdominal pain, and tests revealed he had kidney stones.

He then went back to work to attend the first meeting of Gordon Brown's finance "war cabinet" as the Daily Mail described the National Economic Council, and returned later to St Mary's and had a small kidney stone removed.

Media attention on Lord Mandelson has been high in recent months not only because of his sudden return to the political spotlight, but also because of the keen interest he has in his health and wellbeing. For example he is a keen jogger and appears to follow an ascetic dietary regime.

A reporter who interviewed him for the Guardian's G2 section published on 10 August, wrote that as far as he could ascertain, Mandelson "seldom eats anything".

For breakfast apparently he has granola and green tea (following advice he took from Carole Caplin in 1994), and he doesn't bother with lunch, except perhaps when he's in the House of Lords he "he likes to steal an apple from Baroness Royall's office".

In the afternoon his PA fetches him a chocolate bar from Pret A Manger, and if he has to attend a dinner he stays for the first course, makes his speech, then goes home, where apparently he hasn't cooked for months.

"My diet chiefly involves me being hungry," Mandelson said.

"But it's having a good effect on me. It's making me, well, not lean and mean, as I was -- just lean and hungry," he added, this last comment most likely referring to a discernible lessening of his acerbic character that the interviewer had asked him about earlier.

Sources: BBC, Daily Mail, Guardian, Medline Plus.

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