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TB Traveler Underwent Surgery to Remove Infected Lung Tissue

Andrew Speaker, 31, the Atlanta lawyer who traveled around with TB infection, underwent surgery to remove the infected lung tissue .

Speaker raised an international health scare when he traveled around with the infection. Tb is a highly contagious disease. Andrew Speaker was diagnosed in May with extensively drug resistant TB, based on an analysis of a sample taken in March by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The XDR-TB, as it is called, is considered dangerously difficult to treat. He's been under treatment at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver since the end of May.

Speaker underwent a two hour operation at the University of Colorado Hospital to remove the diseased portion of one of his lungs i.e. he upper lobe of his right lung.

The unusual procedure consisted of inserting a video camera in a tube in one small incision in the right side of Speaker's chest, and putting instruments through another incision.

The operation was a highly risky one not only for the patient but for everyone in the room. There was a risk of infecting the surgeons, nurses and observers.

The medical team especially the observers had to wear special air-tight masks and head put in a hood. Special procedures were under taken to check whether the hoods were indeed working.

When the operation began speakers diseased part of the lung was immediately noticeable. It was not a healthy glistening reddish one with smooth border. Speakers diseased part had lots of bumps on it. The lung was much darker. It almost looked like some of the cells had died. There were also pockets of white areas, which were the cavities of tuberculosis infection.

A well coordinated team of three doctors conducted the operation. The most difficult and delicate part of the procedure was actually trying to separate the diseased part of the lung, the right upper lobe, from the blood vessels that pr
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