Surgery For Hopkins Chief

Daniels Expected To Be Recovering For 8 Weeks

October 13, 2009|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,

The president of the Johns Hopkins University will be recovering for approximately eight weeks after surgery Monday morning to remove a mass behind his pancreas, a university spokesman said.

Ronald J. Daniels, 50, became Hopkins' 14th president in March.

University spokesman Dennis O'Shea said that doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital deemed the operation very successful. They gave Daniels an excellent prognosis after the seven-hour Whipple procedure, during which part of the pancreas was removed.

"He seems to have come through this very well," O'Shea said.

Provost Lloyd Minor, who is the university's senior vice president of academic affairs, will keep Daniels "informed as to what is going on" during the recovery period, O'Shea said.

According to the university's bylaws, Minor can manage its business on a day-to-day basis and stand in for the president as needed, the spokesman said.

"There isn't really a necessity for an acting president," O'Shea said. "We expect that President Daniels will be in touch with him on a daily basis."

Typically patients remain hospitalized for about five to seven days after the Whipple procedure, the spokesman said. Pathologists will test the mass to determine whether it is cancerous, which could take as long as a week. However, based on initial studies, the tissue is not highly malignant, O'Shea said.

"I never intended to get to know Johns Hopkins Medicine so well from the inside, but can now personally attest to the stellar care provided by our physicians, nurses and staff," Daniels wrote in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff Monday evening.

According to news reports, the legal scholar lifts weights and runs for an hour every morning.

"Beyond this issue, I am in good health and, as those who ran with me in the President's Fun Run at Homewood last month will (I hope!) attest, in reasonably decent shape," he wrote in the e-mail. "Both, I think, will aid in my recovery."

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