SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) President Barack Obama underwent a routine CT scan Saturday afternoon while visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center because of a sore throat, according to the White House and his doctor.
The president’s doctor said the CT scan was normal and that Obama’s symptoms “are consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux.”
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the President was not sedated, so no transfer of authority was necessary. However, Vice President Joe Biden and other senior White House staffers “were kept up to speed,” Earnest said.
The doctor’s visit was not on the White House schedule for Saturday and reporters hustled to join the president’s motorcade to Water Reed in Bethesda, Maryland. The president left the hospital 28 minutes after arriving.
Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, Obama’s physician, issued a statement:
“This morning, an ear, nose and throat specialist from Fort Belvoir Medical Center conducted a fiber optic exam, under my supervision, of the President’s throat based on symptoms of sore throat over the past couple weeks. The exam revealed soft tissue swelling in the posterior throat and I, in consultation with the specialist, determined that further evaluation with a routine CT scan was prudent.
“The CT scan was conducted this afternoon purely as a matter of convenience for the President’s schedule. The CT scan was normal. The President’s symptoms are consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux and will be treated accordingly.”
CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta said acid reflux usually can be easily treated.
“A lot of times, it may just be dietary changes,” he said. “Sometimes, you want to give medicines to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach.”
Gupta said he thought the CT scan was done “out of an abundance of caution.”
“They brought in an ears, nose and throat doctor into the White House and placed a scope down the mouth and looking at the back of throat to see what was causing his discomfort,” he said. “Typically, you just do that by sort of putting an anesthetic spray in the back of the throat, sometimes a sedation as well. … Based on what they found there, they were concerned enough to go ahead and get a CT scan.”
Asked whether the President is still smoking, Earnest replied that Obama quit with the assistance of nicotine gum.
Obama visited Jackson for his periodic checkup in May. Jackson described Obama’s overall health as “excellent.”
The checkup information, released in June, was the third medical report released by the White House during Obama’s presidency.