Kirk Undergoes Second Surgery to Relieve Swelling - NBC Chicago
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Kirk Undergoes Second Surgery to Relieve Swelling



    Sen. Mark Kirk underwent another surgery late Wednesday to relieve brain swelling caused by the stroke he suffered over the weekend.

    Two small pieces of tissue "previously destroyed and rendered non-functional" by the stroke were removed during the surgery, which doctors said was completed without complication and deemed a success.

    "Senator Kirk continues to progress as expected and remains in serious but stable condition this morning with no change in his neurological or physical prognosis," said Dr. Richard Fessler, who performed the surgery.

    Doctors called the operation "a common surgical procedure" meant to create more space around the brain to accommodate swelling.

    Kirk Alerted Doctor Via Text Message

    [CHI] Kirk Alerted Doctor Via Text Message
    Dr. Jay Alexander, a cardiologist, has been friends with Senator Mark Kirk for more than a decade.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012)

    The procedure likely won't have any impact on Kirk's physical or neurological prognosis, Fessler said. After the surgery, Kirk was "alert, responsive and gave us the thumbs up on request."

    After the stroke, Kirk suffered swelling in his brain Sunday night, forcing doctors to take him into surgery a first time. They removed a four-by-eight-inch portion of his skull.

    In a Wednesday morning update, Fessler seemed optimistic about the senator's recovery.

    Doc: Kirk Doing "Very Well"

    [CHI] Doc: Kirk Doing "Very Well"
    Dr. Richard Fessler provides a status update on Sen. Mark Kirk days after the Republican had an ischemic stroke.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012)

    "We continue to be hopeful about his long term prognosis," he said in a statement. "He remains in serious condition and is being monitored closely.”