WASHINGTON – Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's brain surgery was successful and "accomplished our goals," a doctor at Duke University Medical Center said Monday.
Kennedy was undergoing surgery for his cancerous brain tumor.
Kennedy surgeon Dr. Allan Friedman said Monday his patient was awake during the 3 1/2-hour procedure, and should experience no permanent neurological effects from the surgery.
A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Democrat says Kennedy spoke with his wife, Vicki, right after surgery. He told her: "I feel like a million bucks. I think I'll do that again tomorrow."
The 76-year-old senator was diagnosed last month with a malignant glioma, an especially lethal type of brain tumor. Follow-up will include chemotherapy and radiation. .
"I am deeply grateful to the people of Massachusetts and to my friends, colleagues and so many others across the country and around the world who have expressed their support and good wishes as I tackle this new and unexpected health challenge," Kennedy said in the statement. "I am humbled by the outpouring and am strengthened by your prayers and kindness.".
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He expects to remain at the North Carolina facility for one week to recuperate and then will begin further treatments at Massachusetts General Hospital and start chemotherapy.
Kennedy said that over the past few days he and his wife, Vicki, "along with my outstanding team of doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, have consulted with experts from around the country and have decided that the best course of action for my brain tumor is targeted surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation."
Kennedy said he selected a team of neuro-oncologists from Boston's Massachusetts General Hospital and Duke University Medical Center.
Friedman is chief of the division of neurosurgery in the surgical department at Duke and also co-director of the neuro-oncology department there. His clinical interests are brain tumors, skull-based tumors, peripheral nerve surgery, pituitary tumors and cerebrovascular disaster, according to his resume on the Web site of Duke Medical Center.
After his treatment, Kennedy said, "I look forward to returning to the United States Senate and to doing everything I can to help elect Barack Obama as our next president." Kennedy has endorsed Obama, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Kennedy was hospitalized May 17 at Massachusetts General Hospital after undergoing a seizure at his home on Cape Cod. Doctors later announced that he had a malignant glioma in his left parietal lobe, a brain region that governs sensation but also plays some role in movement and language.
Malignant gliomas are diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year. In general, half of all patients die within a year.