Andrew Speaker Gets TB Lung Surgery
Speaker's Tuberculosis Lung Surgery Reportedly Went Well and Was Routine, Doctors Say
WebMD News Archive
July 17, 2007 -- Tuberculosis
patient Andrew Speaker had lung surgery this morning in Colorado to remove
diseased and damaged tissue in his lung.
The TB lung surgery was performed
at the University of Colorado Hospital at the Anschutz Medical Campus in
Aurora, Colo., by John D. Mitchell, MD, chief of general thoracic surgery at
the University of Colorado Hospital.
The goal was to remove as much of
the tuberculosis bacteria as possible from Speaker's lungs, as well as any lung
tissue damaged by tuberculosis.
"Doctors say it went well and
everything was routine," according to a University of Colorado
Speaker is recovering from the
operation and is expected to return to National Jewish Medical and Research
Center in Denver "in a few days, depending on his progress
post-surgery," states the University of Colorado Hospital.
Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer, was recently in the headlines when the CDC
ordered him into medical isolation after he and his bride took two
At the time, Speaker was believed to have extensively drug-resistant
tuberculosis (XDR TB). But on July 3, Speaker's tuberculosis diagnosis was
changed to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB).
Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis doesn't respond to the first preferred
treatments. But it's more responsive to tuberculosis drugs than extensively
When doctors announced that Speaker had MDR TB instead of XDR TB, they said
Speaker might not need lung surgery as part of his tuberculosis treatment, but
no firm decision had been made about that while doctors monitored Speaker's
tuberculosis antibiotic treatment.
Speaker's TB Lung Surgery
After consulting with his doctors, Speaker decided yesterday to undergo lung
surgery today, according to the National Jewish Medical and Research
Speaker's tuberculosis lung surgery is a complement to the antibiotic
therapy he is currently undergoing, and improves his chances of a complete and
long-term cure from the disease, states the National Jewish Medical and
Speaker got minimally
invasive lung surgery called video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS).
In VATS, surgeons access the lung
through a 2-inch incision in the patient's side, as well as two incisions (each
1 centimeter long) for surgical instruments and a tiny, fiber-optic
The infected part of Speaker's
lung has been described as roughly the size of a tennis ball, notes the
National Jewish Medical and Research Center.
“This type of surgery requires
that we take special care to contain any infected tissue I remove, and that we
identify and completely resect (remove) any spread of the infection to the
chest wall," Mitchell states in an earlier National Jewish Medical and
Research Center news release.