Cristina Fernandez’s cancer surgery a success

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez is recovering well after undergoing 3-1/2 hours of surgery for thyroid cancer on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Alfredo Scoccimarro told reporters.

"The surgery on President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was carried out without any complication," he said, adding that she will remain hospitalised for about 72 hours.

The government announced last week that Fernandez, 58, was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma, which was detected during a routine medical checkup just before Christmas. Doctors have said she has a better than 90 percent chance of recovery.

The cancer scare came just months after she was re-elected to a second four-year term. Doctors have said the 58-year-old president has a better than 90 percent chance of recovery.

Fernandez's already high approval ratings could get an extra lift from public sympathy over her illness as they did following the death late in 2010 of her husband and predecessor as president, Nestor Kirchner.

The operation began at around 8:20 am. Holding signs reading Strength Cristina, dozens of supporters, who rallied around Fernandez after Kirchner's death, gathered outside the hospital. "We started a vigil since yesterday in hopes that everything goes well. We're supporting our president," said Rosa Aguirre, 50, a homemaker.

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