(LOOP TT) – Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said he will be leaving on Carnival Tuesday for the US to undergo medical tests concerning some ‘soft plaque’ which was found in one of his arteries.
In a media briefing on Carnival Sunday, Dr Rowley did not specify what procedures would be done but said the issue originally arose in 2016 when he carried out a series of tests for prostate cancer in the US, following which he was given a clean bill of health.
He said while there he underwent a coronary scan where doctors observed a small build-up of soft plaque in one artery.
“I took the opportunity to do a coronary scan only because I was there and it was available. It turned out then that they did see a small…some soft plaque developing in one artery and they didn’t think that it required any unusual response other than to observe it….and to see if it progresses at all,” he said.
He said a follow-up examination revealed that the soft plaque appeared to be growing.
“The comments made by the team of doctors was that we should look at it and some kind of intervention might be required if we are not able to reverse it,” he said.
Dr Rowley said he has since had lifestyle and dietary changes in a bid to correct this.
He said he was due to return for checks in 2018 however he delayed the visit while attending to other priorities, such as a CARICOM meeting with the UN over the Venezuela crisis
Dr Rowley said on February 18 he went to a doctor in Trinidad, and upon examination, he was advised that he immediately treat with these issues.
However he again delayed the treatment in order to attend the CARICOM’s 30th Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in February.
Dr Rowley did not specify the duration of his trip, saying only that he would be away for ‘a few days’, which would be determined by the nature of the results, adding that he is confident government would be ‘in good hands’ during his absence.