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Bush to Be Sedated for Colon Check Saturday

Fri Jun 28, 7:50 PM ET

By Patricia Wilson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush ( news - web sites) said on Friday he will undergo a routine colon check on Saturday that will require him to be sedated and to transfer power briefly to Vice President Dick Cheney ( news - web sites).

"I feel great," said Bush, 55, a fitness advocate who runs 3 miles a day, neither drinks nor smokes and has prodded out-of-shape Americans to follow his lead by exercising more and eating less junk food. He said he had no signs or symptoms of illness.

White House physician Dr. Richard Tubb told reporters Bush had had two benign polyps removed during each of two previous colonoscopies in 1998 and 1999. After his first presidential physical examination at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, last August, it was recommended he undergo "surveillance colonoscopy" this year.

"Tomorrow I'm going to have a colonoscopy at Camp David, it is the third such procedure I've had. The doctor recommended I have another one because the last time they found some benign polyps and so this is a routine physical examination that will be done at Camp David," Bush told reporters.

He said he wanted to be "super-cautious" about his health because the country was engaged in a war on terrorism. For security reasons he declined to say exactly what time the procedure would take place.

Under Section 3 of the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Bush will submit a declaration in writing to the leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.


When the procedure is over and he has recovered from the sedative, he will once again in a written declaration tell congressional leaders he can resume his duties. The declarations will be faxed on Saturday.

White House Counsel Al Gonzales said Cheney would assume the duties of the office "for a matter of hours," and would be "acting president." The only other time this had been done was in July, 1985 when President Ronald Reagan ( news - web sites) underwent surgery for colon cancer, he added.

Tubb said the procedure usually takes from 30 to 45 minutes. He personally recommended sedation having undergone the procedure himself without it.

"I'm going to be sedated for a period of time and will transfer power to the vice president during that time. And I look forward to exercising tomorrow afternoon after the procedure takes place," Bush said.

For security reasons, the White House planned to inform the public only after the colonoscopy had taken place and Cheney, who will be in Washington and part of the day will likely be at the White House, had given power back to Bush.

"He realizes he's not going to be president that long," Bush said with a grin.

Cheney's spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise declined to say where the vice president would be, adding, "He realizes that this is just part of the job and that it is routine."

Bush would be sedated intravenously with propofol, chosen because it was "ultra short acting" and wore off quickly, Tubb said. The president would be awake two to four minutes after the anesthesia was turned off.


"The anesthesiologist will be able to dial the medication to exactly the right level to where the president is comfortable but the endoscopist can get a good exam," Tubb said.

He said the procedure involved inserting a flexible fiber-optic scope to look at the surface of the large intestine or colon that could examine it from "start to finish." The doctor is able to view the lining of the colon through a camera hooked up to the scope. If any polyps were identified, they would be removed and "once removed pose no problem whatsoever."

"It is the recommended procedure for someone who has had polyps before," Tubb said. "This is preventive medicine at its finest. If you're over 50 it ought to be part of your practice as well."

Tubb said doctors at the medical facility at Camp David would be able to handle any complication from the procedure.

The endoscopist will be gastroenterologist, Navy Capt. Jim Butler, and the anesthesiologist will be Navy Cmdr. Paul Bruha.

Tubb said the preparation for the test was a "very dehydrating procedure" and he was unsure whether Bush would be able to carry through with his pledge to exercise afterward.

He will take 1.5 ounces of Fleet's phosphosoda, a liquid laxative with a citrus taste. It will be mixed in ginger ale in order to induce diarrhea to cleanse the colon for the test and should work within a half hour.

"His colon will be ready," Tubb said.

-- oh no (another pain @ in. the ass), June 28, 2002


Don't worry, this kind of stuff is just routine when we have a "major league asshole" as our president, heh-heh. Just pray that I don't have another coronary during his operation or Aschcroft my try to pull a coup d'etat. Then you'll really be in trouble, snort-snort, snicker-snicker!

-- Dick Cheney (the bush, dick, and @ ass. show), June 28, 2002.

A few months ago, David Letterman had comedian Martin Short as a guest. Short mentioned his recent colonoscopy. What mede it a funny story is that 4 friends (Short, Steve Martin, Tom Hanks and another) all arranged to have colonoscopys at the same time and place. The night before, they gathered at one person's house, drank their laxatives, made their bathroom visits and played poker. They called it a "colonoscopy party". The next morning they went for the procedure.

Anyone want to have a colonoscopy party?

-- (, June 28, 2002.

Wager not much money changed hands unless they were just cuttin for high card. Imagine how long it would take to play a seven stud hand with everyone hitting the crappers at random.

-- Carlos (, June 28, 2002.

Good thing Bush doesn't rely on our HMO or Medicaid. They might pay for the colonoscopy, but they wouldn't pay for sedation.

-- helen (, June 29, 2002.

BREAKING--Bush's ass was in good health but doctors were alarmed by all the Cheney semen. ROTFL.

-- (Dick and Dumbya @ play.station), June 29, 2002.

Bwaahahahaaa!!! Good one!

-- (dick plays with bush @ game. boy bitch), June 29, 2002.

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