Maggie Daley has rod inserted in right leg

July 21, 2010 11:50:56 AM PDT
Chicago's first lady is recovering at a hospital following a preventative surgery related to her ongoing battle with cancer.

She is doing well and will spend several days at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Doctors said there is no evidence that a tumor in Maggie Daley's right leg has grown or spread to other parts of her body.

On Friday, Mrs. Daley had a rod inserted into her right leg to help relieve pain, give her more mobility and reduce the risk of injury. The surgery was a preventative measure and is relatively routine, according to doctors, in patients who have had cancer spread to the bone.

The visits to Northwestern have become somewhat routine for Chicago's first family. So much so Mayor Richard Daley is keeping up a public schedule and visited the Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier Friday night.

"Of course when I came over from the hospital Maggie said she wished she was here. She's recovering very well," said Mayor Daley.

Doctors performed surgery on Mrs. Daley for nearly two hours Friday morning - inserting a metal rod in her leg to lessen the likelihood of fracture. In recent months, Mrs. Daley has used a wheelchair and crutches periodically to lessen the weight she puts on her leg which has become weakened by cancer.

"The cancer activates cells . . . and those cells will eat a hole in the bone and when the hole gets to a critical size it weakens the bone to the point it can break, especially in a weight bearing bone," said Dr. Steven Gitelis, Rush University orthopedic surgeon.

Mrs. Daley revealed she was fighting metastatic breast cancer in 2002. Since then she's undergone a variety of treatments including radiation to treat a bone lesion on her right leg.

Dr. Steven Gitelis is an orthopened surgeon who specializes in bone cancer at Rush. He says the procedure to insert a rod is relatively simple and long-lasting.

"I've had patients I put metal in as far back as 25 years ago that are still with us today. It doesn't imply what the overall outcome will be with the cancer," said Dr. Gitelis.

Mayor Daley - who has said he is "no good" with doctors - said he knows what he has to do. When asked by ABC7 is he was taking some flowers to Maggie, he said, "I think so, definitely!"

Mrs. Daley will remain in the hospital for several days for follow-up treatments. Doctors say many patients are able to get up and walk around a bit in the hours after this procedure.


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