Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is well after undergoing scheduled hip replacement surgery, it was reported. His recovery will take between three and four weeks. He also seized the opportunity to have plastic surgery performed on his eyelids, a procedure known as blepharoplasty. Lula is turning 78 next month.
Doctor Roberto Kalil Filho, who heads Lula's medical team, said the surgery went as planned and that the head of state was already awake and talking, and is feeling well. The President was operated on by a team of twenty professionals made up of doctors he trusts and who arrived in Brasilia on Thursday from Sao Paulo to prepare for the operation, and featured chief surgeon Giancarlo Polesello, and the Presidency's physician Ana Helena Germoglio among others.
The operation was carried out to implant a hip prosthesis to correct problems in the head of the femur caused by osteoarthritis, which caused him permanent pain. Polesello explained that a porcelain prosthesis was placed in place of the femoral head corroded by osteoarthritis.
It was Lula's third hip operation. The first two, in July, were non-invasive procedures to alleviate the chronic pain.
It was a scheduled surgery that occurred within normality, with general anesthesia, as is normal in this type of operation. Lula is already talking in the intensive care unit and tonight he will be in a normal room, Kalil Filho told reporters at Brasilia's Hospital Sirio Libanês.
Lula will remain hospitalized until at least Monday or Tuesday, after which he will keep recovering at the Alvorada Palace, the President's official residence.
The treating physicians also said they would try to get Lula back on his feet as fast as possible, although he will need a walker for a few days. Lula had been complaining of pains due to osteoarthritis in the head of his right femur since mid-2022. He would later admit that he did not want to undergo surgery after the October elections so as not to pass on the idea of fragility before taking office on Jan. 1.
According to Brazil's Presidency, the recovery process will take between three and four weeks, a period in which the president will be able to work normally and will not need to hand over the country's helm to Vice President, Geraldo Alckmin. However, he will have some mobility restrictions while he is on bed rest, a period in which he will be assisted by his doctors.
Lula said last week that he had postponed the operation due to several international engagements he did not want to miss, but had reached a point when he needed to put an end to the pain. Lula will resume his international agenda with a trip in early November to the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates.