Despite the hopes of Senate Republicans that John McCain would be back in Washington sooner rather than later following his surgery last week, some doctors are warning that recovery could take much longer than the week or so originally anticipated, the New York Times reports. On Friday, the longtime Arizona senator underwent "minimally invasive" surgery to remove a 2-inch blood clot from "above his left eye," per a statement from his office. The surgery involved a craniotomy, an opening of the skull, via an eyebrow incision. And while McCain's surgeons at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix aren't speaking to the press, Dr. Nrupen Baxi, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, tells the Times, "The recovery time from a craniotomy is usually a few weeks." McCain, 80, is currently recovering at home.
McCain's condition raises several questions, both medical and political. Doctors say McCain's age and history of melanoma could point to a possible stroke or a condition related to skin cancer. Meanwhile, politicians and pundits are speculating on the effect an extended recovery for McCain could have on the Republicans' health care legislation. On Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul, one of two Republican senators who've come out so far against the GOP bill, said on Face the Nation, "I think the longer the bill's out there, the more conservative Republicans are going to discover that it's not [a] repeal," CBS News reports. On the other hand, an extended delay could give the Trump administration time to convince skeptical moderate Republicans that the bill addresses their concerns about Medicaid, Axios reports.