Operation a success, PM expected to recover fully

Operation a success, PM expected to recover fully
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted a photo on Facebook on Feb 15 of himself at the Singapore General Hospital after the prostate biopsy that detected his cancer.

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's surgery to remove his cancerous prostate gland was successful and he is now recovering in hospital, said his doctor.

"The surgery went very smoothly and he is expected to recover fully," Singapore General Hospital's lead urologist Chris- topher Cheng said in a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office yesterday.

Professor Cheng, who operated on the Prime Minister earlier yesterday, confirmed that there is no relationship between Mr Lee's prostate cancer, which was diagnosed last month, and his previous bout of lymphoma in 1992. The latter is in remission.

The statement also said Mr Lee "is grateful for the good wishes from all".

On Sunday, the eve of his operation, he received at least 12,000 messages on his Facebook page wishing him well, following the announcement of his cancer.

Yesterday, there were more, as fellow politicians and members of the public cheered his successful surgery and wished him a speedy recovery.

Facebook user Vallen Yak said he saw Mr Lee being wheeled down an SGH corridor yesterday morning.

"Given his position, there will be no quibble even if they closed the corridor down just to wheel him on his hospital bed. Yet, he chose to allow normal operations to go on...

"Thank you for being a leader by example," he wrote.

Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim told reporters at a community event that the Cabinet was surprised to learn of Mr Lee's cancer diagnosis.

"We pray for a speedy recovery for PM so that he can recover as quickly as possible, and come back and resume his normal duties," he said.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: "PM should now focus on the recovery. We will continue to pray for his full recovery."

Mr Lee underwent robot- assisted keyhole surgery to remove his prostate, a walnut- sized gland in the male reproductive system located below the bladder.

The main function of the gland is to secrete prostate fluid, a component of semen.

Mr Lee is on a week's medical leave, during which Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will stand in for him.

The Singapore stock market was slightly behind regional markets in the morning and one possible reason could be a knee-jerk reaction to the Prime Minister's announcement of his diagnosis on Sunday, said remisier Alvin Yong.

But sentiment picked up in the afternoon after news of Mr Lee's successful surgery, he added.

The Straits Times Index rose 0.94 points, or 0.03 per cent, to 3,427.16.


Additional reporting by Nur Asyiqin Mohamad Salleh

This article was first published on Feb 17, 2015.
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