Seve Ballesteros’ brain tumor is cancerous, and he was to undergo another operation to relieve pressure caused by swelling and bleeding that have recently developed.
The remaining parts of the malignant tumor, located in a very deep part of the brain, was to be removed yesterday.
La Paz Hospital said on Thursday that the surgery is “of great complexity.”
Three doctors were to operate on Ballesteros. Javier Heredero, head of the hospital’s neurosurgery unit, was to be accompanied by neurosurgeons Marcelino Perez Alvarez and Alberto Isla. The operation was due to begin early in the morning and was expected to last until the afternoon.
The 51-year-old Ballesteros was in stable, but serious, condition before the operation, the hospital said.
Based on an analysis of cells already moved, the tumor is classified as an oligoastrocytoma, a type that affects “cells that cover and protect the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord,” the hospital said.
Ballesteros was admitted to the hospital on Oct. 6, and 10 days later a sizable part of the tumor was taken out. Part of his skull was removed — a procedure known as decompressive craniotomy — to allow room for a swelling brain to expand. Doctors said it was not uncommon after such complex operations.
Ballesteros briefly lost consciousness at Madrid’s international airport on Oct. 6.
In a personally signed statement from his hospital bed, Ballesteros said he faced the “hardest challenge of my life.”
Ballesteros, who won a record 50 tournaments on the European Tour, retired last year because of a long history of back pain and has since concentrated on golf course design.