Entries in Surgery (12)


Kobe Bryant Has Successful Surgery to Repair Achilles’ Tendon

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Kobe Bryant’s surgery to repair a torn Achilles’ tendon was successful, however the Los Angeles Lakers star will be sidelined for at least six to nine months as he recuperates, the team and doctors said Sunday.

Bryant, 34, tore his left Achilles’ tendon in the closing minutes of Friday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

The All-Star shooting guard, who has carried the Lakers all season, hobbled to the free throw line after the injury to take his two free throws for being fouled. He hit them both, tying the game 108-108, before going to the locker room. The Lakers went on to win the game.

Bryant, who was averaging 27.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists,was operated on by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Stephen Lombardo of the Kerlan Jobe Orthopaedic Group. Recovery time is expected to be a minimum of six to nine months.

Bryant, the NBA’s fourth all-time leading scorer, has dealt with injuries in the past, but never one as serious and potentially career-ending as this one.

“You need your Achilles’ tendon, muscle, tendon here, to allow you to walk,” said Dr. Robert Klapper, chief of orthopedic surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.

With the athlete’s discipline and determination, though, Klatter said, it’s possible he could make a comeback.

Bryant took to Facebook on Saturday to vent his frustration at the injury that ended his season.

“All the training and sacrifice just flew out the window with one step that I’ve done millions of times! The frustration is unbearable. The anger is rage. Why the hell did this happen?!? Makes no damn sense,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Nevertheless, the basketball star vowed to return to the court.

“One day, the beginning of a new career journey will commence,” he wrote.  ”Today is NOT that day.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Dad Who Sewed Son’s Backside Shut Takes Plea Deal

Hemera/Thinkstock(WAUKEGAN, Ill.) -- An Illinois man avoided prison time for a January 2008 do-it-yourself surgical procedure in which he sewed together part of his son’s buttocks, the Lake-County News Sun reported.

Randy Swopes, 52, took a plea deal that offered him two years of probation and 250 hours of public service.

Swopes’ son has Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the gastrointestinal tract.

At the time of the incident, Swopes’ son, who was 14 at the time, suffered a complication of the disease called fistula. Fistula, which affects an estimated 25 percent of people who have Crohn’s, is an abnormal connection of two organs. In the teenage boy’s case, there may have been an abnormal connection between the anal canal and anal skin.

Depending on the severity, proper treatment of a fistula may involve a combination of taking antibiotics and draining the abscess, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Rather than take his son to the hospital, Swopes chose to sew the buttocks area shut himself, Assistant State Attorney Danielle Pascucci told the Lake-County News Sun. The teenager spent nearly a month in the hospital because the wound became infected, she said.

Swopes, who was charged with aggravated battery, could have spent at least two years in jail for the incident before agreeing to the plea deal.

Attempts by ABC News to reach Swopes for comment were unsuccessful.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Dick Cheney Released from Hospital After Heart Transplant Surgery

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(FALLS CHURCH, Va.) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney was released from the hospital on Tuesday, 10 days after receiving heart transplant surgery, according to a written statement released by his office. 

The surgery was performed at Inova Fairvax Hospital in Virgina.

“He would like to thank the physicians at Inova Fairfax and George Washington University Hospitals for the outstanding care they have provided.  He and his family are also grateful to the ICU nursing staff at the Heart and Vascular Institute,” according to the statement.  “As he leaves the hospital, the former Vice President and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor’s family for this remarkable gift.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


EXCLUSIVE: The Story Behind Cheney’s Heart Transplant Surgery

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Dick Cheney was sound asleep when the phone rang after midnight on Friday. It was a call from the cardiology department at Inova Fairfax Hospital; he was told to come to the hospital quickly – a donor heart was likely to become available within hours.

“His response was to say, ‘Sure. What time?  Let’s go,’” said Dr. Jon Reiner, Cheney’s cardiologist, who accompanied Cheney for the surgery, which was performed by Fairfax cardiologists Alan Speir and Anthony Rongione.

About an hour later, Cheney was at the hospital preparing for heart transplant surgery.  The surgery, which started at 10 a.m. Saturday, was over by 5 p.m., about 17 hours after Cheney received his wake-up call from the hospital.

“The surgery went flawlessly,” Dr. Reiner told ABC News. “It exceeded expectations.”

Cheney is still in intensive care, but Dr. Reiner said his recovery has been “dramatic” and that Cheney is doing “remarkably well, amazingly well” and was already out of his hospital bed and sitting in a chair Monday morning.

“The organ has functioned terrifically.  There can still be challenges, but so far, so good,” Dr. Reiner said.  “So far, so very good.”

If recovery continues without significant setback, Dr. Reiner says Cheney’s prognosis is “excellent” and that he could live “many, many years” with his new heart.

“If you ask is it reasonable for a patient, like this patient, to consider 10 years, yes, I think that’s reasonable,” Dr. Reiner said.  “And good quality life.”

Cheney first went on a donor heart wait list in June 2010, but didn’t make a final decision about a transplant until a few weeks ago, when he was told he had moved up on the list to the point where a donor heart was likely to come soon.

“It is not an easy decision to make,” Dr. Reiner said. “The decision to have surgery is like going all-in in a poker game. There’s great reward, but there’s also great risk.”

Dr. Reiner described Cheney as both “excited” and “calm” going into the surgery, adding, “He was ready.”

“When the time came, there was no equivocation, no wait a little while, and let’s think about it. It was, let’s go,” Reiner said.

Cheney’s wait for a donor heart was nearly 21 months – considerably longer than the average wait.  His doctor says it is impossible to get preferential treatment and that Cheney was adamant, in any case, that he would wait his turn.

“It is impossible for a patient to get special consideration,” Dr. Reiner said.  “And, I’ll tell you, he made it explicitly clear that he was going to wait his turn.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Works for 24 Hours without Realizing He Had a Nail in His Brain

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Thirty-two-year-old Dante Autullo was working with a nail gun at his home in suburban Chicago when he misfired, causing a nail to go whizzing past his head, or so he thought. Mr. Autullo had actually just shot himself in the head with a 3 1/2 inch nail. He didn't realize it and proceeded to continue working, spending more than a day with the nail stuck in his brain.

After experiencing nausea and headaches the next day, Mr. Autullo went to the hospital, where an X-ray uncovered the nail. Both Mr. Autullo and his family were flabbergasted. "Un-freaking-believable," his fiancee Gail Glaenzer said to the Naperville Sun.

"They were shocked because he was walking and talking, and he had it in for 36 hours," Autullo's mother, Jerri Autullo told the Sun. "I hoped that it wasn't going to be as bad as it looked."

Autullo was taken to Christ Medical Center, where he had surgery on Thursday morning. He’s recovering there today, eager to get back to work.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Skier Sarah Burke in Critical Condition After Torn Artery Repair

JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke was in critical condition Thursday after undergoing a successful operation to repair a torn vertebral artery that had caused bleeding to her brain.

Burke, 29, sustained "serious injuries" after an accident Tuesday in which she crashed on a half-pipe ramp in Park City, Utah.

"With injuries of this type, we need to observe the course of her brain function before making definitive pronouncements about Sarah's prognosis for recovery," Dr. William Couldwell, the neurosurgeon at the University of Utah who performed Burke's surgery, said in a press release from Burke's publicist.  "Our Neuro Critical Care team will be monitoring her condition and response continuously over the coming hours and days."

Burke, who is not only one of the best female skiers in the world but a red carpet regular and fashion plate who was once named one of FHM's 100 sexiest women alive, hit her head after a faulty landing while on a training run in the Eagle Superpipe at Park City Mountain Resort.

During the accident, Burke injured a vertebral artery, a set of major arteries in the neck which supply blood to the brain, and resulted in an intracranial hemorrhage, according to a release from her publicist.

"She remains in critical care, intubated and under sedation to allow her brain and body to heal," her publicist told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Removes Helmet After Skull Surgery

Bill Clark/Roll Call via Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Thursday was finally able to remove the helmet she had been forced to wear ever since she underwent surgery to remove part of her skull as a result of the bullet wound to the brain she suffered in January.

The Arizona Democrat was holding a meet-and-greet event in Tucson when police said Jared Lee Loughner shot her at point-blank range.  Six people were killed and 12 others besides Giffords were wounded in the assault.

On Wednesday, doctors used a plastic implant to close the hole in Giffords's skull that was created to relieve pressure as her brain swelled because of her wound.  Doctors reported Thursday that everything went well.

Neurosurgeon Dong Kim, who performed the operation, said, "I started calling her gorgeous Gabby today.  She hasn't looked in the mirror yet, but as soon as she does, she'll be very pleased."

Giffords' chief of staff, Pia Carusone, acknowledged that her boss hated wearing helmets, even the one decorated with the Arizona flag.

True to her fighting spirit, Giffords was recovered enough Thursday to resume rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial in Houston.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mark Kelly Says Wife Gabrielle Giffords Is Doing 'Really Well'

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- Space shuttle commander Mark Kelly says his wife, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, is doing "really well" after undergoing cranioplasty surgery in Houston Wednesday morning.

Speaking at a news conference Thursday morning from Endeavour, which docked with the International Space Station on Wednesday, Kelly said he was able to speak to Giffords' mother and his twin brother, astronaut Scott Kelly, by telephone during the operation.

"She's doing really well," Mark Kelly said.  "Everything went as planned.  Her neurosurgeons are very happy.  She's recuperating and she's actually getting back to therapy today.  So it went really, really well."

Giffords was shot in the head earlier this year in Tucson, Arizona.  A portion of her skull from the left side of her head was removed to ease the stress and pressure on her brain due to swelling.

On Wednesday, doctors inserted a plastic replacement, whose shape was generated by a computer to match the shape of the lost bone.

Earlier in the week, Giffords was on hand at the Kennedy Space Center to watch her husband blast off into space for Endeavour's final flight.

ABC News has been told that Kelly, as a gesture of love, took both of their wedding rings on the flight with him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Gabrielle Giffords Completes Skull Surgery in Houston

Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords(HOUSTON) -- Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords had cranioplasty surgery at Memorial Hospital in Houston Wednesday morning – an important step in her fight to recover from an attempted assassination in Tucson earlier this year. A source confirmed to ABC News later in the day that the surgery is complete and that Giffords is doing well.

While she was in the operating room, the other half of this high-powered couple, astronaut Mark Kelly, spent the early hours of the morning guiding the space shuttle Endeavour through the complicated maneuvers to dock with the International Space Station.

After the Tucson shooting, in which six people died and 13, including Giffords, were injured, a portion of her skull was removed to ease the stress and pressure on her brain.

In Wednesday's procedure, a team led by Dr. Dong Kim inserted a plastic replacement, its shape generated by computer to match the shape of the lost bone.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to Undergo Cranioplasty Surgery in Houston

Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images(HOUSTON) -- ABC News has learned Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will undergo cranioplasty surgery at Memorial Hospital in Houston Wednesday morning -- an important step in her fight to recover from an attempted assassination earlier this year.

While she is in the operating room, her husband, Commander Mark Kelly, will be guiding the space shuttle Endeavour through the complicated maneuvers to dock with the International Space Station.

Despite Kelly's absence, Giffords' mother Gloria is with her. Kelly's twin brother, Scott, also an astronaut, is with Giffords as well.

Giffords was well enough to watch her husband's delayed mission finally lift off earlier this week, the 25th and final flight of shuttle Endeavour.  Pia Carusone, Giffords' Chief of Staff, reported she was delighted with the launch, saying "good stuff, good stuff."

Carusone says Kelly is able to communicate with his wife while he is in orbit.

Since Giffords' emergency surgery after she was shot, a portion of her skull was removed and presumably kept viable by doctors. 

The primary reason that doctors removed part of her skull on the left side of her head in the first place,  a procedure known as a craniotomy, was to ease the stress and pressure on her brain due to swelling.

The bone is usually replaced and secured in place using small metal plates, sutures, or wires.

Giffords has so far gone a bit longer than four months with part of her skull missing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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