HOUSTON (Reuters) – Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was recovering from surgery on Wednesday to replace part of her skull, a critical step in her recovery from a gunshot wound to the head, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Giffords, who was shot at close range on January 8 during a public event in Tucson, Arizona, was recuperating in Memorial Hermann Hospital's intensive care unit in Houston and doing well, the newspaper reported.
Neither her office nor hospital officials would confirm or deny the newspaper report, but her medical team had predicted two months ago that mid-May was the timeframe for repairs to her skull.
A hospital spokesman said a briefing would be scheduled for Thursday.
The procedure, called a cranioplasty, takes about two hours to replace a portion of the skull with the original bone or plastic implants.
In Giffords' case, the piece of bone was contaminated after being removed to relieve pressure from swelling of her brain, requiring the use of a synthetic implant held in place by titanium screws, the Arizona Republic reported.
Giffords, an Arizona Democrat, has been getting therapy since she was shot.
Jared Loughner, 22, has been charged in the shooting spree that wounded 13 people and killed six, including a federal judge, a child and one of Giffords' aides.
Cleared by her doctors to travel, Giffords went to Cape Canaveral in Florida last week to watch the liftoff of the space shuttle Endeavour, commanded by her husband Mark Kelly. She was also seen dining out with her husband and friends earlier this month.