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Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo not critical, to undergo 3rd surgery

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:26 AM August 18, 2011

Former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is not in critical condition and will undergo a third surgery next week, a week earlier than originally planned, her doctors said on Wednesday.

Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, Arroyo’s main attending physician, said the third surgery was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.

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Arroyo underwent cervical spine surgery on July 29 at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City where titanium implants and bone substitute were used to correct her spine.

She underwent revision surgery on Aug. 10 after doctors found out that the implants had been dislodged due to what they first thought was infection.

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Poor bone quality

But on Wednesday, Cervantes said the problem was not mainly due to infection but Arroyo’s “inherent bone problem.”

“The infection was just secondary,” she said, explaining that Arroyo’s poor bone quality made it difficult for the screws of the titanium implants to hold.

“We decided that the next surgery will be earlier than it was planned before. We said before that because of the infection we have to adequately treat this and the minimum time for the surgery to take place is after three weeks. Now, since the problem is not the infection, we are moving the surgery earlier,” Cervantes told reporters.

For her third surgery, Arroyo will be getting a titanium mesh that contains bone graft on her spine which will help strengthen the implant that was placed before. The bone grafts will be harvested from her pelvis during the same surgery next week.

Possible infection

“We’re hopeful that bone growth from the graft would fuse the cervical spines so we can already remove the halo vest that supports her neck,” Cervantes said but added that they’re not discounting the possibility of an infection after the surgery.

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Arroyo will still be confined in the Coronary Care Unit and will rest for three to four weeks after the operation, while her doctors monitor the mesh for bone growth, said Cervantes.

Cervantes said that another problem was Arroyo’s low levels of calcium which they suspected to be a case of hypoparathyroidism, an endocrine disorder that decreases the level of parathyroid hormone and affects bone structure.

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TAGS: Cervical Spine Surgery, Dr. Juliet Gopez-Cervantes, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, third surgery
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