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Kennedy Surgery Called Success

The skull bone would be replaced and fastened with titanium plates and screws, and the scalp stitched back in place.

Kennedy was expected to be kept in intensive care for at least one night. In addition to bleeding, brain surgery patients also face risks of infections and seizures.

The follow-up radiation and chemotherapy are aimed at trying to destroy as much of the remaining tumor as possible.

"These tumors have fingers that infiltrate into other parts of the brain that you can't see on the MRI," Deshmukh said. "You can't physically remove everything."

After deciding Friday to undergo surgery, Kennedy began preparing for his extended absence from the Senate.

On Saturday, he called Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss a pair of measures Kennedy hoped to lead to passage this summer: a reauthorization of a higher-education bill that would reform the student-loan process, and a bill to require that health insurance coverage for mental illness be comparable to the coverage offered for medical disease.

On Sunday, Kennedy phoned his closest friend in the Senate, Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.). Dodd, who stayed in contact with him last week while leading a congressional delegation to Central America, said Kennedy had grown agitated while waiting more than a week to decide on a medical course of action, a feeling that subsided over the weekend.

"He's very upbeat, tremendously positive," Dodd said in an interview yesterday. "All of a sudden, he's fighting back."

Staff writer Debbi Wilgoren contributed to this report.

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