Argentina frets as leader undergoes brain surgery
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) - Doctors prepared to drill into President Cristina Fernandez's skull on Tuesday morning to siphon out blood that is pressuring her brain two months after she suffered an unexplained head injury.
Experts described the procedure as generally low risk and almost always having positive results, but the surgery on the 60-year-old leader worried many Argentines, who have struggled to imagine their country with anyone else at its center.
Ms Fernandez was diagnosed with "chronic subdural hematoma," or fluid trapped between the skull and brain. This can happen when the tiny veins that connect the brain's surface with its outermost covering, or dura, tear and leak blood. As people age, it can happen with a head injury so mild that they don't remember it.
In the president's case, doctors initially prescribed a month's rest, but decided surgery was required after she complained of numbness and weakness in her upper left arm Sunday. A medical team rushed to the presidential residence, confirmed the new and worrying symptoms, and scheduled the surgery at the Fundacion Favaloro, one of Argentina's top cardiology hospitals.