Golf Great Seve Ballesteros' Brain Cancer Surgery Complication-Free

Golf great Seve Ballesteros' third operation for a cancerous brain tumor was completed without complications, the La Paz hospital said Friday.

The 6 1/2-hour operation removed the rest of the 51-year-old Spaniard's tumor and reduced the swelling on his brain. The hospital said he is in stable condition and in intensive care.

Ballesteros, who won three British Opens and two Masters, was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 6 after briefly losing consciousness at Madrid's international airport. On Oct. 14, a sizable part of the tumor was taken out.

Ballesteros was taken to the operating theater at 8:30 a.m. Friday and surgery began two hours later. The operation — described as one "of great complexity" — finished at 5 p.m.

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The surgery was aimed at relieving pressure on the brain caused by swelling and bleeding. It also aimed to remove remaining parts of the malignant tumor located in a very deep part of the brain.

Ballesteros' tumor is an oligoastrocytoma, which affects cells that cover and protect the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

In an earlier operation, part of his skull was removed to allow room for the swelling brain to expand. Ballesteros was reported in stable, but serious, condition prior to Friday's surgery.

Ballesteros won a record 50 tournaments on the European Tour before retiring last year because of a long history of back pain. He has since concentrated on golf course design.

Ballesteros revolutionized European golf. After the Ryder Cup was expanded to include continental Europe in 1979, he helped beat the United States in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance. He also captained Europe to victory in 1997.

Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal made one of the most formidable partnerships in Ryder Cup history, with 11 wins, two losses and two halves.