I guess another interesting piece of the puzzle is that additional surgery is planned for many months down the road, according to the neurosurgeons at University of Arizona Tucson.
Giffords Came Through Eye Socket Surgery Well, Doctors Say
Bone fragments were successfully removed through an incision just above her eyebrow during an operation on Jan. 15 to relieve brain pressure, Dr. Michael Lemole, the chief of neurosurgery at the University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, said today at a press conference.
“Within a few hours of the surgery, she was waking up and through the weekend she came back to the same level of interaction she’s been having with us,” Lemole said. “That’s all very good.”
“We are hoping to continue tying up those loose ends and get her ready for that third phase of her care — rehabilitation,” including additional procedures to repair more skull damage that’s “many months down the road,” Lemole said.
Giffords began breathing without a ventilator on Jan. 15 as doctors took out the breathing tube that had run down her throat and replaced it with a tracheotomy tube in her windpipe. Surgeons also inserted a feeding tube.
“This decreases the risk of infection,” trauma surgeon Dr. Randall Friese said today. “She tolerated those procedures well.”
Prior to the operation, doctors said Giffords, a 40-year- old Arizona Democrat, was making major strides in her recovery, opening her eyes and beginning physical therapy. She is able to communicate and move her legs on command, they said.
The Jan. 8 shooting attack, allegedly by Jared Loughner, killed six people and wounded 13.
–Editors: Carlos Torres, Paul Badertscher
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