(RxWiki News) Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk successfully underwent surgery on Monday to remove a portion of his skull to reduce brain swelling following a stroke.
Dr. Richard Fessler of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago announced to reporters that Kirk had suffered a stroke on the right side of his brain, which could make physical function, particularly the use of his left arm, "very difficult." It also could affect use of his left leg and the left side of his face, MSNBC reported.
Kirk, 52, was elected to President Barack Obama's former senate seat in 2010. The Republican senator, who also is a U.S. Naval Reserve pilot, previously served five terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
With the Navy, Kirk served has in Iraq, Haiti, and Bosnia. In 1999 he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his service while in Kosovo.
A spokesman for Kirk noted that the surgery to relieve swelling around the brain was a success, and said that "due to his young age, good health and the nature of the stroke, doctors are very confident in the senator's recovery over the weeks ahead."
Kirk checked into Lake Forest Hospital on Saturday after suffering from a headache and dizziness. He was transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where doctors found he had suffered from an ischemic stroke caused by a blockage in the neck's carotid artery, which had restricted blood flow.
The senator remains in the intensive care unit. Dr. Fessler has said he is optimistic that Kirk has retained his mental capacity because he has been able to quickly respond to commands.