Ex-F1 racer Zanardi undergoes third surgery lasting five hours

Ex-Formula 1 driver Alex Zanardi has undergone surgery for a third time since sustaining serious head injuries in a handbike race accident last month, but remains in a medically-induced coma

Ex-F1 racer Zanardi undergoes third surgery lasting five hours

The former F1 and CART racer was hospitalised after being hit by a vehicle during a handbike race in Siena on 19 June.

Zanardi underwent emergency neurological surgery upon being admitted to Siena University Hospital before being admitted to the intensive care unit, where he was placed in a coma. Further neurological surgery took place on 29 June.

The latest medical bulletin issued by the hospital confirmed Zanardi underwent five hours' worth of surgery on Monday, focusing on facial reconstruction as part of the ongoing rehabilitation plan.

"The patient has undergone a new surgery, performed by the professionals of the maxillofacial and neurosurgery, aimed at cranio-facial reconstruction and stabilisation of the areas affected by the trauma," the statement reads.

"The fractures were complex," said Professor Paolo Gennaro, director of the hospital's maxillofacial surgery unit.

"This required careful programming that made use of computerised, digital and three-dimensional technologies, made to measure of the patient.

"The complexity of the case was rather singular, even if it is a type of fracture that we routinely face in our centre."

Following the surgery, Zanardi returned to ICU, where he remains in a medically-induced coma.

"His condition remains stable from the cardio-respiratory and metabolic point of view, [and] severe from the neurological point of view," the bulletin concludes.

Further updates will only be issued in agreement with the family upon a significant change in Zanardi's condition.

Ferrari raced with messages of support for Zanardi on both its cars in last Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, with the #ForzaAlex hashtag being placed on the roll hoop.

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