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Former President Truman Undergoes Surgery, Condition “Good”

Jan. 18, 1963 - Former President Harry S. Truman (pictured in 1947) underwent a two-hour operation today to correct an abdominal rupture. The post-operative condition of the 78-year-old former President was described as good. Dr. Wallace Graham, Mr. Truman’s physician during the White House years, performed the surgery, using a general anesthetic. A hospital spokesman said physicians had known of the existence of the hernia on the right side of the abdomen for some time. They decided to operate today because Mr. Truman’s hospitalization for routine examination provided a convenient opportunity. Even before the surgery was completed, a hospital employee said, long distance calls inquiring about Mr. Truman’s condition “started coming in from everywhere.” “Sometimes we didn’t have enough lines,” she said. It was Mr. Truman’s first major illness since 1954, when complications followed surgery for removal of his gallbladder. At that time, he was in critical condition for several days.


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