Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will resume duties after successful medical procedure

FILE - U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin participates in a meeting with Canadian Defense Minister William Blair at the Pentagon on May 13, 2024 in Arlington, Virginia.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will resume his duties after successfully undergoing an elective medical procedure at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday, Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement. 

The procedure was minimally invasive and was not related to Austin’s cancer diagnosis and would have no impact on his prognosis, Ryder said. 

Austin, 70, was still dealing with bladder issues that arose in December following treatment for his prostate cancer. 

In the meantime, Austin temporarily transferred his authority to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, the Pentagon said. 

Austin has had ongoing health issues since undergoing surgery to address his prostate cancer diagnosis in January. 

He spent two weeks in the hospital following complications from a prostatectomy. Austin faced criticism at the time for not immediately informing the president or Congress of either his diagnosis or hospitalization. 

Austin was taken back to Walter Reed in February for a bladder issue, admitted to intensive care for a second time and underwent a non-surgical procedure under general anesthesia at the time. 

The Pentagon has notified the White House and Congress, Ryder said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.