Argentina’s president underwent surgery Wednesday to remove her cancerous thyroid gland.
Cristina Fernandez, 58, was found to have papillary thyroid carcinoma shortly after beginning her second four-year term as Argentina’s leader, doctors said. Preoperative tests suggested it had not spread beyond her thyroid, so the condition should be curable without chemotherapy, they added.
Vice President Amado Boudou was put in charge shortly before the operation, and will remain as the country’s constitutional leader for 20 more days while Fernandez takes medical leave, the presidency said.
Early Wednesday, Fernandez flew by helicopter from the presidential residence in Olivos to the Hospital Austral in suburban Pilar, north of the capital. She went under general anesthesia several hours later for the operation led by Dr. Pedro Saco, a veteran Argentine oncologist who specializes in cancers of the head and neck.
Doctors said they would be able to report results by midday.
Supporters gathered outside the hospital waving signs showing Fernandez and her late husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, who died of a heart attack in 2010.