By SUE MANNING
LOS ANGELES — Doctors are keeping a close watch on Zsa Zsa Gabor who was resting comfortably as she recovered from surgery to amputate her right leg – an operation that doctors said was necessary to save her life, her publicist says.
Gabor’s blood pressure and heart rate were normal and she was doing well late Friday, John Blanchette said. He said she’ll be in the hospital for another week or two and hopefully will be home by her 94th birthday on Feb. 6.
“The surgery today (Friday) went well, however, she is in frail health so we will continue to monitor her closely,” said Dr. David Rigberg, associate professor of vascular surgery at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. He said there were no complications during the surgery.
Gabor broke her hip and had replacement surgery in July, and has been hospitalized several times since for swelling in her legs and blood clots throughout her body. Blanchette said the wounds wouldn’t heal, so doctors had no choice but to operate.
“Ms. Gabor needed an amputation above her knee due to poor circulation and a large ulcerated area on her right leg,” Rigberg said. “After consulting with her husband, Frederic Prinz von Anhalt, we felt this was the best medical course of action.”
In August, Gabor was in critical condition and asked for a priest during a hospital visit. She recovered and returned home.
Gabor has used a wheelchair since she was partially paralyzed in a 2002 car accident, and she had a stroke in 2005.
She retreated from the spotlight after the accident and stroke. She liked staying home and watching soap operas, game shows and old movies, husband von Anhalt told reporters in July. She detested having her picture taken by the paparazzi while she was in her wheelchair.
“She wants people to remember her as she was years ago,” he said then.
A Hungarian-born sex symbol of the 1950s and 1960s, Gabor had a brief and unremarkable film career, from “Moulin Rouge” in 1952 to “Queen of Outer Space” in 1958.
Her primary role was herself, dripping in glamour during TV special and game show appearances and uttering her trademark “dahling.” She was also thrust into the international spotlight during a three-week trial for slapping a Beverly Hills policeman in 1989.
An hour after the surgery, Gabor’s husband said, she was still in a deep sleep. “She’s going to be OK,” he said.
Before the surgery, they didn’t talk about the operation, he said. “We didn’t want her to get a heart attack and we did not want her to have blood pressure problems,” van Anhalt said.
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