September 9, 2007 / 12:12 AM / 12 years ago

Laura Bush doing well after surgery, aides say

U.S. President George W. Bush (R) and his wife Laura wave as they board Air Force One to leave Rome's Fiumicino international airport June 10, 2007. Laura Bush "sounded very well" on Saturday after successful surgery to treat pinched nerves in her neck, a White House spokeswoman said. REUTERS/Giampiero Sposito

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - First lady Laura Bush was out of the hospital and recovering well on Saturday after successful surgery to treat pinched nerves in her neck, the White House said.

She left the George Washington University Hospital after the 2 1/2-hour procedure and was “resting comfortably at the White House,” the first lady’s spokeswoman Sally McDonough said.

President George W. Bush called his wife twice from Air Force One on his way back from a meeting with Asia-Pacific leaders in Sydney. “Her spirits are good,” Bush told reporters during a brief stop in Honolulu. He is expected to be back in Washington on Sunday.

“I told her I’m looking forward to having breakfast with her,” the president said.

The first lady underwent a posterior cervical foraminotomy, a minimally invasive and common surgical procedure to relieve pressure on pinched nerves.

Many clinics offer the procedure on a walk-in, walk-out basis, although sometimes an overnight stay is required.

It is designed to enlarge the opening through which the nerve root leaves the spinal cord in the neck, for which the doctor can make a 1-inch incision and use an X-ray to guide the tools.

The first lady had been receiving physical therapy for several months, but her doctors determined that the conservative treatment was not working and they recommended surgery, McDonough said earlier.

Additional reporting by Caren Bohan

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