U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk has gallbladder removed

Published: Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 2:57 p.m. CDT
Caption
(M. Spencer Green)
FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2013 file photo, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. speaks in Chicago. Senator Kirk underwent surgery Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 to have his gallbladder removed in Chicago. The Highland Park Republicanís office released a statement noting Kirk underwent surgery after experiencing stomach pains over the weekend and doctors determined that he had gallstones. A spokeswoman at Northwestern Memorial Hospital told The Associated Press the senator was resting comfortably early Monday afternoon. The 54-year-old Kirk returned to Congress last year after suffering a stroke in January 2012 that left him partially paralyzed on his left side. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, who returned to Congress after suffering stroke last year, had his gallbladder removed Monday due to an unrelated medical issue.

Kirk underwent surgery around 9:30 a.m. Monday at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and was resting comfortably by early afternoon, Dr. Kim Sobinsky, who performed the procedure, told The Associated Press.

The Highland Park Republican checked into the hospital Saturday after experiencing stomach pains. After conducting tests, including an MRI, doctors determined Kirk had gallstones, hard deposits that can form in the gallbladder. According to the Mayo Clinic, gallstones are common and occur in about 10 to 15 percent of adults in the United States.

"This really had nothing to do with the stroke," Sobinsky said.

The hospital said Kirk had his gallbladder removed in a "minimally invasive" procedure that lasted about 30 minutes. Sobinsky said doctors made four incisions in the senator's abdomen, the largest about a half-centimeter long. Sobinsky said there were no complications and that Kirk could be released from the hospital as early as Tuesday.

The 54-year-old Kirk made a triumphant return to Congress last year after suffering a stroke in January 2012 that left him partially paralyzed on his left side and blind in one quadrant of his left eye. While physical challenges remain, Kirk's doctors have said the senator's stamina has increased over time. Kirk plans to run for re-election in 2016.

Kirk spokesman Lance Trover said the senator will miss votes in Washington this week before Congress breaks for holiday recess. Trover said these are the first votes Kirk has missed since his return.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch Now

Player embeded on all DDC instances for analytics purposes.

Sycamore Defeats DeKalb at NIU - April 17, 2014

More videos »

Reader Poll

What's your favorite Easter tradition?
Church services
Family dinner
Easter egg hunt
Easter bunny
Decorating eggs