The Nation

Jan 17, 2011 4:54 PM by Greg Boyce

Giffords has surgery on eye socket

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Doctors have successfully performed surgery on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' eye socket to remove bone fragments as the wounded congresswoman showed more signs of improvement.

There were no complications from the surgery, and Giffords is improving so much that she was able to give her husband a back rub. Dr. Randall Friese said Mark Kelly also told doctors he saw Giffords smile. He said sometimes people see what they want to see, but that "if he says she's smiling, I buy it."

Giffords still cannot speak because of a tracheotomy done so the breathing tube could be removed from her mouth. Dr. Michael Lemole says the eye operation entailed making an incision above the eyebrow, removing bone chips to relieve pressure and reconstructing the roof of the socket.

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