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Mandela 'fine' after diagnostic laparoscopy for abdominal complaint (UPDATES)

Nelson Mandela, 93, underwent a diagnostic laparoscopy, or "keyhole" surgery, for what was described as a long-standing abdominal complaint, and he spent a night in hospital.

Mandela hospital 20120226Enlarge
The media gathers near one of the hospital in Pretoria where South Africa's former president Nelson Mandela was believed to be hospitalized, on Febuary 25, 2012. Nelson Mandela spent the night in hospital after undergoing a diagnostic procedure for a long-standing abdominal complaint but relatives and officials said the 93-year-old former South African leader's health is good. He has since been discharged from hospital. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Nelson Mandela is "fine" after undergoing a diagnostic laparoscopy for an abdominal complaint, South African officials have said.

Mandela, 93, was admitted to hospital early Saturday to receive "proper specialist medical attention" for "a long-standing abdominal complaint," President Jacob Zuma's office said.

Defense Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Mandela had undergone a diagnostic laparoscopy, or "keyhole" surgery, a procedure in which a tiny camera is inserted through the abdomen to allow doctors to carry out an internal investigation. 

"He's fine, he is recovering from anesthetic and he is as fine as can be at his age. He is fine and handsome," Sisulu told reporters in Cape Town.

While it is not known where Mandela is receiving treatment, TV crews are stationed outside a military hospital in Pretoria.

The South African presidency said yesterday that Mandela is "not in any danger." He is expected to be released from hospital Sunday or Monday. 

More from GlobalPost: Nelson Mandela hospitalized, 'in good spirits'

Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon who became South Africa's first democratically elected president in 1994, has been in frail health in recent years and has not made a public appearance since the 2010 soccer World Cup.

The man who South Africans affectionately call "Madiba," after his Xhosa clan name, was said to be in "satisfactory condition" after being admitted to hospital.

“Madiba is fine and fully conscious and the doctors are satisfied with his condition, which they say is consistent with his age," said an update from the office of President Zuma.

"He was in good health before admission in hospital but doctors felt the complaint needed a thorough investigation. He underwent a diagnostic procedure as part of his ongoing medical management. We are happy that he is not in any danger."

In January 2011, Mandela was hospitalized in Johannesburg for treatment of respiratory problems.

Mandela returned to his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, last month from his rural residence in Qunu village, in the Eastern Cape.

Special report from GlobalPost: Mandela's village: South Africa's road from Qunu

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120226/mandela-hospitalized-overnight-stay-madiba-health-news