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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 15:45 GMT 16:45 UK
Sharon skull surgery 'successful'
Ariel Sharon (file photo)
Ariel Sharon has been in a coma since January
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has had surgery to repair part of his skull, more than three months after he lapsed into a coma following a stroke.

The operation was a success, doctors at Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital say.

The procedure was due to have taken place on Tuesday, but was postponed because Mr Sharon had an infection in his respiratory tract.

Part of Mr Sharon's skull had been removed during previous surgery after his massive stroke on 4 January.

Interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert assumed Mr Sharon's powers in January and is expected to take his title soon.

ARIEL SHARON'S HEALTH
18 Dec 2005: Sharon suffers minor stroke
4 Jan 2006: Sharon rushed to hospital one day before scheduled heart surgery with major stroke
4/5 Jan: Undergoes two operations overnight
6 Jan: Third round of surgery
9 Jan: Doctors start to try to rouse him from medically induced coma
15 Jan: Has tracheotomy to help to wean him off respirator
1 Feb: Doctors insert feeding tube into stomach
11 Feb: Has infected area of colon removed after condition worsens
5 April: Has part of skull repaired

The operation was Mr Sharon's eighth bout of surgery following his brain haemorrhage in January.

Hospital spokesman Ron Krumer said the operation had lasted several hours, the Association Press news agency reported.

Mr Sharon had been taken back to his room in the intensive care unit after the successful operation, a hospital statement said.

The 78-year-old has been in what doctors describe as a "critical but stable condition" since his major stroke in January.

Hospital officials said recently that a decision would be made soon on whether to move Mr Sharon to a nursing home for long-term comatose patients.

A political party founded by Mr Sharon before his stroke, Kadima, won Israel's general election last week.

Mr Olmert has replaced Mr Sharon as Kadima's chief.




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