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  • E.J. Mundell
  • Posted November 12, 2019

Jimmy Carter Recovering After Brain Procedure

After three falls in recent months, former President Jimmy Carter was recovering at an Atlanta hospital Tuesday morning following surgery to ease pressure on his brain caused by bleeding from those falls.

The 95-year-old "is recovering at Emory University Hospital following surgery this morning to relieve pressure on his brain from a subdural hematoma. There are no complications from the surgery," the Carter Center said in a statement. "President Carter will remain in the hospital as long as advisable for observation."

One neurosurgeon explained what might have happened during Carter's procedure.

""The surgical approach for subdural hematoma depends on several factors, including whether the hematoma is fresh or old," said Dr. Adam Mamelak, a neurosurgeon at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. "In some cases, we do a craniotomy, which is where we open a larger window of [skull] bone and wash out the blood and fluid that way. And in other cases, smaller holes can be used."

"Most subdural hematomas are caused by trauma to the head," he added. "In some cases, it can be very minor trauma, such as hitting your head against a cabinet, or even in some cases, a strong sneeze. More commonly that's seen in older people."

This is the latest in a string of health setbacks for Carter.

In May, he fell and broke his hip. He fell again twice last month, the first one resulting in 14 stitches above his eyebrow and the second one causing a minor pelvic fracture.

Carter has already battled his way back from cancer. In 2015, when he was 90, it was announced that the former president had melanoma that had spread to his brain.

But treatment with the powerful immunotherapy drug Keytruda appeared to have cured Carter of the tumor.

Carter, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, is the oldest living former U.S. president.

During his presidency, he shepherded a landmark peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, and passed treaties handing over control of the Panama Canal to Panama, The New York Times reported.

Since serving as president, Carter has set up a center to promote conflict resolution, eradication of certain diseases in Africa, democratic election monitoring and other humanitarian causes. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, the Times said.

More information

There's more about brain bleeds at Cedars Sinai.

SOURCES: The Carter Center, statement, Nov. 12, 2019; The New York Times; Adam Mamelak, M.D., neurosurgeon, Cedars Sinai, Los Angeles
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