De Lima arrives in Manila hospital for major operation

Detained Senator Leila de Lima arrived at the Manila Doctors Hospital Monday morning (June 20) to undergo a major surgery.

Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branches 204 and 256, which are handling the senator’s two drug cases, granted the senator’s “extreme urgent motion for medical furlough” on June 15 and allowed her to stay in the hospital for five days.

Senator Leila de Lima at the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice on June 13. (Contributed photo)

Based on the court decisions, De Lima was diagnosed with pelvic organ prolapse stage 3 during her medical checkup last April 5 “and was advised to undergo vaginal hysterectomy with anterior and posterior colporrhaphy at the soonest possible time.”

Pelvic organ prolapse, according to the Mayo Clinic website, is “when the muscles and ligaments supporting a woman's pelvic organs weaken, the pelvic organs can drop lower in the pelvis, creating a bulge in the vagina (prolapse). Women most commonly develop pelvic organ prolapse years after childbirth, after a hysterectomy, or after menopause.”

Vaginal hysterectomy, meanwhile, “is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus through the vagina” while anterior and posterior colporrhaphy “is a surgical procedure to repair pelvic organ prolapse such as cystocele (prolapsed bladder) or rectocele (prolapsed rectum),” according to the University of Colorado website.

Stage 3 of the prolapse means that “pelvic floor organs have fallen to, or beyond the opening of the vagina,” according to the US-based National Association For Continence website.

De Lima thanked the two Muntinlupa courts for allowing her to go on medical furlough.

“I thank the Courts for their compassion and swift action in allowing me to address my urgent medical needs – from granting my motion for medical furlough for routine checkup last April and my recent motion that would allow me to undergo a major surgery,” she previously said.

The senator was also confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital for about 28 hours from April 5-6 after her “Very Urgent Motion for Medical Furlough” was granted by the same Muntinlupa courts.

She assured the court that “she will not be staying in the hospital longer than what is called for or necessary” and that “there will be proper observance of the health and safety protocols, as prescribed under the IATF guidelines, on her part and that of everyone who will be accompanying her during the medical furlough.”

According to the order of Presiding Judge Abraham Joseph Alcantara of the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204, Dr. Errol Santelices, the senator’s personal physician, recommended that considering that it will be a major surgery, her age, medical history, and overall health condition, De Lima should be confined for at least 120 hours, or five days, “in order to fully observe and evaluate the status of her recovery, and to assess if her heart condition is being affected” because she had a mild stroke in April 2021.

Alcantara ruled that “for medical and humanitarian considerations and given the urgency of the matter, the motion is hereby granted.”

He also canceled the hearing scheduled on June 24 and reset the presentation of the defense’s evidence on July 29 and Aug. 19.

Presiding Judge Romeo Buenaventura of the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 256 also granted the senator’s request and ordered the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame to “bring the accused to the Manila Doctors Hospital on June 19 to 23, 2022 for the said medical procedure.”

Based on the orders, De Lima will be out of the hospital by June 25 and she will be transported back to the custodial facility in Camp Crame.