25 Oct 2008

More brain surgery for Ballesteros

4:08 pm on 25 October 2008

Doctors have successfully completed a third brain operation on golfer Seve Ballesteros to reduce swelling from a serious brain tumour.

"In that operation the targets originally planned have been achieved and has eliminated the oedema and the remnants of the tumour," Madrid's La Paz hospital said on Saturday.

Ballesteros is said to be stable.

The operation on the 51-year-old, led by La Paz's chief brain surgeon Javier Heredero, lasted more than six hours.

Ballesteros is suffering from an oligoastrocytoma, a tumour that affects two types of brain cell, and spreads diffusely inside the brain cavity.

Dr Geoff Pilkington, a tumour expert at England's University of Portsmouth, said that type of tumour was very difficult to eradicate but a patient's survival time could be improved by radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy.

Ballesteros, was admitted to hospital earlier this month suffering dizziness and a brief loss of consciousness.

Doctors had to operate a second time, 48 hours after the first operation on 14 October, to remove a piece of his skull to ease swelling.

Ballesteros won the British Open three times and the US Masters twice.