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Taiwan VP released from hospital Monday after back surgery

Successful spinal surgery performed to relieve Lai Ching-te's acute lower back pain

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Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te. (Presidential Office photo)

Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te. (Presidential Office photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) was released from the hospital on Monday (June 27), the day after undergoing back surgery to relieve acute lower back pain.

The Office of the President said Lai suffered acute pain from a herniated disk on Sunday morning (June 26) and was sent to the Taipei Veterans General Hospital (VGH) for treatment. A one-hour surgery was performed to repair the L5/S1 — the very bottom of his lumbar spine, and ended at 2:30 p.m.

Three hours after the surgery, Lai gave a health update on Facebook, saying the operation went well and he was able to walk. The post has received thousands of comments wishing him well, including one from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文): "Ching-te, please rest more. Hope you recover well and are able to return to us soon to continue to fight for the country," the post read.

The Superintendent of Taipei VGH, Dr. Chen Wei-ming (陳威明), told UDN that Lai underwent a "percutaneous endoscopic laser diskectomy," which was performed by their best spine surgeons. Chen explained the surgery was not complicated, so Lai can be released from the hospital on Monday.

Lai was said to have experienced discomfort in his lower back in 2021 when he was touring for the Democratic Progressive Party's "4 Noes" referendum campaign.