Debbie Dingell in recovery after emergency surgery to close perforated ulcer: Report

According to The Washington Times, Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) suffered a recent health scare. A spokesperson from her office said on Friday that the Michigan lawmaker underwent emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. 

Fortunately, as of this writing, Dingell is reported to be in the clear, with her office reporting that she’s expected to make a full recovery from the potentially life-threatening medical condition.

What happened?

On Friday, Dingell was rushed to the Washington-based George Washington University Hospital as the result of the medical emergency, though it wasn’t made clear what triggered the event, other than spokeswoman Mackenzie Smith pointing to Dingell’s use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) after a jaw surgery earlier in the year.

According to WebMD, “Ulcers are sores that are slow to heal or keep returning. They can take many forms and can appear both on the inside and the outside of your body.”

A perforated ulcer is when an untreated ulcer has essentially burned a hole through a section of either the stomach or the colon. It’s an extremely serious and problematic development because the hole allows food and digestive juices to enter the abdominal cavity, which could lead to dangerous infections.

Not surprisingly, emergency surgery is required to close the perforation.

Though Dingell’s emergency surgery was a success, she’s expected to remain at the hospital for several days in order to recover and for doctors to keep a close eye as the wound heals.

A “cautionary tale”

Dingell, who represents Michigan’s 12th Congressional District, won her fourth congressional term in the November 2020 election, easily defeating Republican challenger Jeff Jones.

The 67-year-old congresswoman was first elected in 2014 when she was picked by voters to replace her husband, former Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who passed away in 2019. John Dingell held the record as the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.

Despite her continued success on the political front, it has been a difficult year for Dingell, healthwise. Earlier this year, she underwent jaw surgery, according to Fox News.

It was at that point that she decided to use over-the-counter NSAIDs to quell the pain while recovering from the surgery instead of commonly prescribed opioids, which unfortunately might have been the cause of her perforated ulcer, though as previously mentioned, no cause was confirmed as of yet.

“Always a hard worker and clear communicator, she insisted on using her experience as a cautionary tale that NSAIDs can be harmful,” Smith said, according to The Washington Times.

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