CHICAGO, Ill. (KMOX) — Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk is recovering after he suffered a stroke over the weekend, and underwent surgery today to relieve swelling.

The Illinois Republican is in intensive care at Northwestern Regional Medical Center in Chicago, and it’s unclear how long his recovery could take or whether his full movement would be restored, doctors said.

“We are very hopeful that when we get through all the recovery, all those functions will be intact,” said Dr. Richard Fessler, the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery. “This morning, he is doing quite well. I am very happy with his current status.”

Fessler added that the stroke may result in “some facial paralysis,” with Kirk maybe recovering use of his left leg, but “the use of his left arm is going to be very difficult.” However Fessler said that Kirk’s “prospects for a full mental recovery are pretty good.”

A Kirk spokesperson says the 52-year-old senator checked himself into Lake Forest Hospital Saturday before being transferred to Northwestern Memorial Hospital after tests showed he had suffered a stroke.

Kirk’s office said he had a tear in the carotid artery on the right side of his neck. Carotid arteries carry blood to the brain; carotid tears are a common cause of strokes, which can involve blood clots traveling to the brain and causing bleeding there.

Kirk was elected to the Senate in 2010, winning the seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.


(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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