Bush in Excellent Health, Doctors Say After Physical

Times Staff Writer

President Bush is in excellent health, and a battery of tests showed no abnormalities, his doctors reported Wednesday after he underwent his first thorough physical examination as President.

However, a sebaceous cyst on the third finger of his right hand was drained, and Bush returned to the White House from Bethesda Naval Medical Center with a small bandage on the wound. A sebaceous cyst is a small, benign growth beneath the skin.

White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater said the cyst had been present for many years and was not considered a medical problem for the 64-year-old President.

"President Bush is in extremely sound physical condition," Dr. Burton Lee, the President's personal physician, said in a written statement. "Today's examination shows him to be in excellent health. He has no significant symptoms related to any of his organ systems."

The President signaled the essence of the report as he flashed a double thumbs-up sign while strolling across the White House South Lawn from the Marine Corps helicopter that brought him home from the hospital in a Maryland suburb.

In the statement, Lee said Bush "keeps fit through a number of physical activities, which we recommend he continue on a regular basis."

The President jogs on occasion and is a competitive tennis player. He has had a horseshoe pit built on the White House grounds and regularly rides an exercise cycle and runs on a treadmill in the White House.

Mild arthritis, which has been present for several years, has forced him to cut back his occasional running from approximately three miles to two.

Fitzwater's statement said a chest X-ray proved normal, and X-rays of the hips showed the arthritis. In addition, the spokesman said, an electrocardiogram, demonstrating heart function, was normal, as were all blood samples. A urinalysis showed no abnormalities, and allergy tests and dermatological examinations showed no problems.

The President receives medication regularly to counter a severe allergy to bee stings and to control hay fever. And in 1986, Bush had a skin cancer removed from his face.

During his approximately 3 1/2 hours at the hospital, Bush also paid a brief visit to Ron Jackson, the head of White House food services, who was there for shoulder surgery, said Bruce Zanca, assistant White House press secretary.

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