Laura Bush to have surgery for pinched nerve

WASHINGTON (AP) - Laura Bush will undergo surgery on Saturday to relieve pressure on pinched nerves in her neck, her press secretary said Friday.

The problem prevented the first lady from accompanying President Bush to Australia this week for the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Sydney.

Bush will be in Australia on Saturday, returning to Washington around dawn Sunday. Spokeswoman Sally McDonough said Mrs. Bush was having elective outpatient surgery.

She said the physician would use a minimally invasive procedure to take pressure off the nerve by enlarging the passageway where the nerve sits near the spinal column.

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