It took seven hours, but Milton Wingert is tumor-free and nearly seven pounds lighter after having a soccer ball-sized malignancy removed from his neck, CNN reported.
The primary concern, WCIV reported, was the rapid growth of the tumor and the possibility the mass would eventually press on Wingert's airway.
Wingert, 81, spent six months exploring his options before choosing Dr. Nazir Khan, a head and neck surgeon at Mount Sinai Hospital, to perform the delicate procedure, People magazine reported.
"I know that he's going to need further therapy, and so my training has made me cautiously optimistic in a way, because I know he still has a road to go," Khan told CNN, adding, "I'm happy for him because I know that he was very scared before the surgery...it was a relatively quicker surgery than we anticipated. We didn't have to do a reconstruction, and he did well."
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According to People, the tumor's "precarious positioning" around Wingert's throat and veins made the surgery high-risk, but Khan told CNN he did his best to manage the expectations of everyone involved.
"When a case is more complicated, my thought process is always, 'What is the best-case scenario, what's the worst-case scenario?' And I prepare for the worst-case scenario and hope for the best," he told CNN.