Michael Schumacher has operation on skull to discover any brain damage
French doctors have begun brain tests on Michael Schumacher to see which areas have been damaged, it was reported on Monday.
The seven-time world racing champion has been in an artificially induced coma for 15 days after he struck a rock while skiing off-piste in the resort of Meribel.
He has had an operation to remove a small part of his skull in a bid to relieve pressure on his brain, according to a Zurich paper at the weekend.
Frédéric Rossi, a Swiss neurosurgeon, told the Zurich Tagesanzeiger that the risks of such an operation ranged from swelling to bleeding to the accidental opening of the brain’s outer membrane.
Meanwhile, Bild, the German daily, said that it has obtained information from among the medical team treating him in Grenoble that suggest there are still great fears of “unexpected complications,” such as a brain haemorrhage and infection.
“Doctors want to see which parts of the brain were damaged and which parts are still functioning,” a hospital source is cited as saying. “We don’t know when more official information will be given but it could take weeks, even months,” they are cited as saying.
Mr Schumacher, 44, was out skiing with friends and his 14-year-old son Mick on December 29 when the accident occurred.
He had to be helicoptered to hospital and has been fighting for his life ever since.
His wife Corinna and his two children have been at his bedside ever since.
Friends from the world of motor racing and show business have also paid visits.
Investigators probing the accident last week ruled out faulty skis, inadequate signage and excessive speed as possible causes of his life-threatening fall.
Speaking after his initial operation, Jean-François Payen, his anaesthetist, said: ’We judge him to be in a very serious situation. We cannot predict the future for Michael Schumacher.
Surgeons, he added, had operated urgently to try to eliminate haematoma (internal bleeding).
“After the operation we saw that we had been able to eliminate these haematoma but also sadly the appearance of various bilateral lesions.
“So therefore he was taken to intensive care to try to help.” Meanwhile, Jean Alesi criticised another former F1 driver, Philippe Streiff, for divulging information about Schumacher’s condition to the media recently.
Mr Streiff visited the hospital in Grenoble and controversially revealed afterwards that Schumacher’s “life is not in danger any more”.
“I was very disappointed and upset to see the French driver who did a press conference talking about Michael Schumacher,” fellow Frenchman Alesi told RMC Sport.
“We must respect his family and leave them alone, and especially the doctors (should be left) to do their work,” he added.