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Surgery Looms for XDR-TB Patient

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DENVER -- Andrew Speaker, the focus of the storm over extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, will have surgery next month to remove part of his lung, doctors here announced.

DENVER, June 14 -- Andrew Speaker, the focus of the storm over extensively drug- resistant tuberculosis, will have surgery next month to remove part of his lung, doctors here announced.

Speaker is an "excellent candidate" for the video-assisted thoracic surgery, said Charles Daley, M.D., of National Jewish Research and Medical Center, the 31-year-old lawyer's physician.

"The infected area of his lung is relatively small and well contained," Dr. Daley said. "He is also young and otherwise healthy."

The affected area of the right lung is about the size of a tennis ball, the hospital said.

The minimally invasive operation will take place after physicians tinker with Speaker's drug regimen, trying to find the most effective antibiotics to knock down the infection before surgery.

"Given the localized nature of the disease, I am optimistic about the chances for a successful surgery," said John Mitchell, M.D., who will perform the operation at the University of Colorado Hospital at the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colo.

Speaker was at the center of a media firestorm earlier this month when he led health authorities on an international chase through several countries before turning himself in New York State, near the Canadian border.

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