[PHOTO -GLORIA ARROYO'S X-RAY: The results of CT scans on the spine of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are shown during a medical briefing in Makati City on Friday. Arroyo’s physician, Dr. Robert Anastacio, said the titanium plate implant in her spine had moved towards her esophagus and airway, putting her life at risk. –Photo by KJ Rosales, BULLETIN

MANILA, AUGUST 18, 2012 (ABS-CBN)  By Ivy Jean Vibar - One of Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s doctors has warned that the former president’s condition is not to be taken lightly, as the dislocated titanium plate along her spine is “in a very dangerous area, if [doctors] are to touch it.”

In a press conference Friday afternoon at the Makati Medical Center, Dr. Robert Anastacio, a resident cardiologist at the hospital, said that many of Arroyo’s ails can be attributed to the surgery she underwent, as nerves in the spine play a large role in control of the body.

Arroyo’s problem with swallowing, which developed after her operation, is a serious problem, the doctor said, as a choking sensation means that there is a difficulty with the flow of air into the lungs.

Two weeks ago, Arroyo was reported to have choked on a melon, after which she experienced pain and was advised to have complete bed rest.

Her chief of staff and spokesperson Elena Bautista Horn had said of Arroyo, “Complete bed rest muna sya. Nasobrahan ata sa trabaho at na strain ang neck sa effort to get out the melon that choked her.”

According to Anastacio, her operation is to blame. “After that, she developed immediately the difficulty of swallowing, with a choking sensation. There is now a difficulty of flow of air into the lungs. It must be remembered that the lungs and the heart cannot function without the other,” he said.

“If we stop the airflow, there is a danger of the heart being affected and going into cardiac arrest.”

Earlier this week, a medical bulletin was released stating Arroyo now has a blockage in her artery.

Arroyo can be treated in Philippines, PMA exec says by Jojo Malig, Posted at 08/17/2012 7:08 PM | Updated as of 08/17/2012 11:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (photo) can be treated in the country for her illness and does not need to travel overseas, a Philippine Medical Association (PMA) official said Friday.

PMA vice-president Dr. Leo Olarte told ANC Top Story that the Philippines has medical specialists and modern facilities to treat the Pampanga lawmaker.

"The condition can be treated here in the Philippines, but of course, the PMA respects the right of the patient to go to his or her doctor of trust and confidence wherever the doctor is," he said. "But if they say it can only be treated abroad, we object to that position."

An ally of Arroyo, Rep. Danilo Suarez, earlier said he will file a resolution asking the judiciary and executive branches to allow the former President to leave the country and seek medical treatment abroad.

Suarez said Arroyo is suffering from "moderate to severe attacks on the neck, shoulder, ankle and back."

He also said Arroyo suffers from frequent episodes of choking.

He quoted Arroyo's cardiologist, Dr. Robert Anastacio, as having said that that the former President is at risk of sudden death unless her condition is properly treated.

Olarte, however, disputed the claims of Suarez.

"There is no guarantee. Doctors are not guarantors of care or good results, even in the United States or anywhere in any country, complications may arise," he said.

"If they say the condition can only be treated abroad, that is totally unfounded," he added.

Olarte explained that Arroyo's bone where a titanium implant was screwed on is weak.

"We believe it is an osteoporotic bone. It will take time to heal," he said. "Even if this is done in the United States, no doctor in his right mind wil guarantee that there will be no complications."

He said that if Arroyo is suffering from choking while eating, she she should be careful while eating.

"I am not sure if she has a heart disease that will require only treatment abroad," he added.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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