UPDATE 1-Mexican President Pena Nieto has successful thyroid surgery

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:55pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY, July 31 (Reuters) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto successfully underwent surgery on Wednesday to remove a benign nodule on his thyroid gland, his chief of staff said.

"It was a success. The president is already awake," Aurelio Nuno, head of the office of the presidency, told a news conference.

The surgery lasted nearly two hours and Pena Nieto will remain in hospital for two days. He will then take another couple of days rest at his home.

The thyroid nodule was detected about seven years ago, but Pena Nieto had postponed treatment.

Thyroid surgery is recommended for several conditions, including removing nodules suspected of being cancerous as well as for benign growths, according to the American Thyroid Association.

Pena Nieto, 47, took office in December, returning Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to power.

The PRI ruled Mexico for most of the last century until its defeat in 2000 by the country's main conservative party.

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