Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will not need surgery, his doctors have said, a day after the far-right leader was rushed to hospital with a partially blocked intestine.
“President Jair Messias Bolsonaro’s intestinal subocclusion has been eliminated, with no need for surgery,” the Vila Nova Star hospital in Sao Paulo said in a statement on Tuesday.
Bolsonaro showed “satisfactory” clinical improvement and will start a liquid diet on Tuesday, the statement said. Doctors inserted a nasogastric tube right after his hospitalisation.
There is no date set for his release, it added.
The decision not to operate on Bolsonaro came after he was re-evaluated by his doctor, Antonio Macedo, who was holidaying in the Bahamas and arrived in Sao Paulo on Tuesday morning.
Bolsonaro has undergone a series of emergency operations since being knifed during a campaign event in September 2018.
Bolsonaro, 66, developed abdominal pain during a New Year’s beach holiday in the southern state of Santa Catarina and was rushed to the hospital early on Monday on the presidential jet.
It is the latest in a series of health problems since he was stabbed in the abdomen during the 2018 election campaign that brought him to power.
Doctors had diagnosed a partially blocked intestine and said on Monday he could need surgery, nine months before Brazil’s October elections.
Bolsonaro has undergone at least four surgeries stemming from the knife attack that nearly killed him, perpetrated by a man who claimed he was following God’s orders, and who was later ruled mentally unfit to stand trial.
– Comecei a passar mal após o almoço de domingo.
– Cheguei ao hospital às 03h00 de hoje.
– Me colocaram sonda nasogástrica.
– Mais exames serão feitos para possível cirurgia de obstrução interna na região abdominal. pic.twitter.com/NPgv6HwoHj
— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 3, 2022
The president tweeted a picture of himself flashing a thumbs-up from his hospital bed on Monday, his face fitted with a nasogastric tube – a device to carry food and medicine to the stomach through the nose.
It is the second time he has been in hospital with the same symptoms.
In July 2021, he was taken to the Vila Nova Star for an intestinal blockage after suffering chronic hiccups.
Bolsonaro has been in power since 2019 and plans to stand for re-election as president in a vote scheduled for October this year.
Bolsonaro’s approval rating is at an all-time low, with Brazil stuck in recession and reeling from one of the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks.
He currently trails far behind his likely top opponent, left-wing ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2010), who recent polls indicate could win the election in the first round.