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Mikulski begins recovery after gallbladder surgery; Democratic senator expected to be ready for votes next week


WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland is recovering in a Baltimore hospital after surgery yesterday morning to remove her inflamed gallbladder. She is expected to be released sometime today.

"She is doing fine, resting comfortably," said Mona Miller, Mikulski's spokeswoman. "Her doctors recommended that she stay in the hospital overnight for rest and observation."

Mikulski, a 62-year-old Democrat who won her third term in November, checked herself into Mercy Medical Center on Tuesday, complaining of severe flu-like symptoms.

After an infected gallbladder was diagnosed, Mikulski was released Wednesday morning and returned to the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton.

During the trial session that afternoon, Mikulski mistakenly voted against a Democratic measure to dismiss the charges against the president -- a gaffe she attributed to her illness. She leapt up a few moments later to correct her vote.

Mikulski made it to Capitol Hill Thursday morning. After consulting her doctors and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, she decided to schedule the surgery for yesterday morning.

She left Washington on Thursday afternoon to rest before the surgery, missing three votes that set guidelines for how the impeachment trial will proceed.

The recovery period for the senator's type of surgery is typically a week.

Mikulski is expected to return to the Senate in time for further votes in the trial that could occur as early as Thursday.

Pub Date: 1/30/99

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