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Neurosurgeon: McCain's Recovery From Brain Surgery Might Take Weeks

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Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, has been critical of how the GOP health overhaul bill would affect people in his state. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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The initial report of Sen. John McCain’s surgery sounded simple: The removal of a blood clot above his left eye. But it was actually brain surgery, and the clot was almost two inches long.

The surgery prompted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to delay a vote on the health care bill until the 80-year-old McCain is well enough to return to the Senate.

As NPR’s Geoff Bennett and Tamara Keith reported, “the Republican senator’s absence from the Capitol would have complicated the already tight math surrounding a planned Senate health care vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.”

But it remains unclear how long McCain’s convalescence will last.

NPR’s Robert Siegel spoke with Dr. Peter Najaki, director of the neurosurgery residency program at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, about the kind of surgery McCain had, and how long his recovery might take. He was not involved in McCain’s care. These excerpts have been edited for length and

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