TB Patient Preps for Surgery

Docs will remove tubercular portion of Andrew Speaker's lung; could clear the disease
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Jun 15, 2007 3:42 PM CDT
e was told he wasn't contagious or a threat to anyone. (AP Photo/ABC News) MANDATORY CREDIT. WATERMARK MAY NOT BE REMOVED OR ALTERED IN ANY WAY.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The TB traveler will go under the knife to remove a tennis-ball sized area of infected lung tissue, his doctors said today. Andrew Speaker, who triggered an international health crisis last month when he took a transatlantic flight while infected with an extremely drug-resistant strain of TB, will undergo surgery in July.

Speaker's sputum tested negative for TB for the third time last week, meaning that he is effectively noncontagious. But the laproscopic surgery offers a potential cure, by removing most of the infected tissue and allowing antibiotics to work more effectively on any areas that remain. Doctors say the treatment may allow Speaker to return home in as little as a month.