Seve’s third operation a success, say doctors

DOCTORS have said a six-hour emergency operation on golf legend Seve Ballesteros has been successful.

The five-time major winner was recovering in intensive care last night after the emergency op to remove the remains of the tumour and a swelling on the brain. It was his third operation this month.

Three neurosurgeons at Madrid’s La Paz hospital began the procedure, described as “of great complexity”, at 10.30am and finished at 5pm.

Last night the hospital released a statement which said: “Seve Ballesteros has undergone new surgery which finished without any complications.

“The operation has achieved its objectives and has eliminated the oedema (brain swelling) and the remains of the tumour.

“The patient is stable in intensive care.”

The operation was performed by Javier Heredero, head of neurosurgery, and neurosurgeons Marcelino Perez Alvarez and Alberto Isla.

Ballesteros, 51, was diagnosed with having a brain tumour earlier this month after collapsing at Madrid’s Barajas airport.

On October 14 he had an eight-hour operation to attempt to remove the tumour.

But 48 hours later he was back in surgery after suffering from swelling on the brain.

Doctors carried out a controversial operation known as a decompressive craniectomy after orthodox methods of reducing the swelling failed.

His condition was said to be improving but on Thursday the hospital said he had suffered a brain haemorrhage.

They also revealed the tumour is an oligoastrocytoma, which affects cells that cover and protect the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Ballesteros, who retired from competitive golf last year, has suffered from a series of health problems in recent years.

Last summer he denied a suicide attempt amid reports he had been rushed to hospital after overdosing on pills following the death of girlfriend Fatima Galarza in a car crash.

The Spaniard, who comes from a great golfing family in Pedreña, northern Spain, spent a night in hospital in the nearby city of Santander.

Relatives later insisted he had suffered a heart scare and been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, similar to former PM Tony Blair in 2004. He has also suffered problems with his spine.

Ballesteros won 87 titles during his career, including the Open and the Masters, and captained Europe to Ryder Cup victory at Valderrama in 1997.


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