Myron “Mike” Ullman 3rd, chairman and chief executive officer of J.C. Penney Co. Inc., is scheduled to undergo elective laparoscopic surgery on Oct. 31 to improve certain physical comfort-related symptoms stemming from a medical condition he’s endured for more than 20 years, the company said Monday.

Ullman is expected to be in the hospital for a few days after the procedure and away from the office for a few weeks, the company said.

When Ullman joined J.C. Penney in late 2004, he told WWD that he had a spinal chord injury that was microscopic and took a long time to detect. The injury has created some motor issues and has made traveling and long work hours hard for him to sustain. Walking long distances also is difficult, he said, but he often uses a Segway. When he took the Penney’s post, Ullman said his doctor gave him the green light to work. “There is no medical reason why I can’t perform the job,” he said at the time.

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