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Article updated: 1/27/2012 4:02 PM

Senator Mark Kirk's brain swelling stabilized

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's doctor said his brain swelling has stabilized.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's doctor said his brain swelling has stabilized.

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's doctor said Friday that the Highland Park Republican's two surgeries this week have stabilized the swelling of his brain.

"Sen. Kirk is doing quite well this morning," Dr. Richard Fessler, neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said in a statement. "He is alert, responding more rapidly to questions and the swelling in his brain has stabilized."

Kirk had a first surgery Sunday after suffering a stroke, where a large section of his skull was removed to relieve pressure on his brain from swelling.

Wednesday, he had another surgery that removed two small pieces of his brain with the same goal. Doctors described that as dead tissue that had been affected by the stroke and said the surgery did not change their prediction that Kirk could regain full mental abilities.

Kirk remains in intensive care at Northwestern, and it's unclear if he could move out to a different area of the hospital this weekend.

"While he remains in serious but stable condition, we are pleased with his continued progress," Fessler said.

Fessler's original prognosis was that Kirk could make a full mental recovery, but could likely have physical problems in his left arm and leg.

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