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Attorney General Garland to undergo procedure to treat enlarged prostate

Attorney General Merrick Garland will undergo a medical procedure next week to treat an enlarged prostate, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Garland, 69, was diagnosed with “benign enlargement of the prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia,” the Justice Department said in a news release, which described the surgical procedure as “routine.”

Garland’s treatment on July 7 will involve a procedure that typically lasts less than an hour to remove enlarged prostate tissue, the Justice Department said.

“During the procedure, the Deputy Attorney General will assume the duties of the Attorney General,” the department said. “As is customary following this type of surgery, Attorney General Garland will remain at the hospital for one to two days for observation and monitoring.”

The National Institutes of Health describes benign prostatic hyperplasia as an enlarged and “not cancerous” prostate gland that causes the narrowing of the urethra and obstructs the ability to completely empty the bladder. It is “the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50,” afflicting about half of men ages 51 to 60, a percentage that appears to increase with age, according to NIH.

Complications include bladder and kidney damage and bladder stones, NIH says, adding that while such complications are uncommon, kidney damage can pose a serious health threat.

Garland is expected to return to the office the week of July 11.

The procedure was announcement the same day the office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he would undergo surgery to repair a broken hip after he fell at his home.

Leahy, 82, is third in the presidential line of succession; Garland is seventh.

Pete Williams contributed.