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Page last updated at 16:22 GMT, Friday, 24 October 2008 17:22 UK

Ballesteros surgery a 'success'

Seve Ballesteros
Ballesteros is credited with changing the way golf is played

Golf legend Seve Ballesteros has undergone a successful third operation to reduce swelling and remove remnants of a tumour in his brain.

The 51-year-old five-time major winner is stable in intensive care at La Paz Hospital in Madrid.

The operation, led by La Paz's chief brain surgeon Javier Heredero, lasted more than six hours.

"The targets planned have been achieved and have eliminated the oedema and the remnants of the tumour," said doctors.

"Mr Severiano Ballesteros has been subjected to a new surgery that ended at 1700 today with no complications occurring.

"The patient entered the operating room of the neurosurgery service at 0830 for the preparation and process anaesthetic and the intervention began at 1030.

"It has involved three neurosurgeons, two anaesthesiologists and three nurses.

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Archive - Seve career retrospective

"The patient is stable... and is currently under observation in the intensive care unit."

Ballesteros was admitted to hospital after briefly losing consciousness at Madrid Airport on 6 October.

He was subsequently diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery last week, but the Spaniard needed another operation to relieve pressure on the brain two days later.

Ballesteros is suffering from an oligoastrocytoma, which is a tumour composed of two types of brain cell, and which spreads inside the brain cavity.

The tumour was said to be affecting nerve cells and the spinal cord - making it difficult for surgeons to reach.

In an open letter to fans, he acknowledged the seriousness of the illness - saying he faced what he called the "most difficult match" of his life.

English star Justin Rose said after his second round in the Castello Masters in Spain on Friday: "Everyone is keeping a very close eye on the situation and wishing Seve and his family well.

"I know everyone here is sending their heartfelt best wishes and thinking of him."

Ballesteros won 87 titles during his career, including the Open in 1979, 1984 and 1988 and the Masters in 1980 and 1983.

He was an instrumental figure in Europe's Ryder Cup resurgence after making his debut in 1979 when the competition was expanded from Great Britain and Ireland to include players from continental Europe.

After controversially being left out in 1981, Ballesteros returned in 1983 and helped Europe beat the United States for the first time in 28 years in 1985 to begin two decades of dominance.

He went on to win eight caps, winning 22 and a half points from 37 matches. And he teamed up with countryman Jose Maria Olazabal to form the most successful partnership in Ryder Cup history, with 11 wins, two losses and two halves.

After his last appearance as a player in 1995, Ballesteros captained Europe to victory on home soil at Valderrama in 1997.

He retired last year following arthritic back and knee problems late in his career, while doctors discovered an irregular heartbeat when he was admitted to hospital in 2007.

see also
Jacklin on Ballesteros
17 Jul 07 |  Golf
Seve's career in photos
16 Jul 07 |  Golf

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