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Brave Fergie's 8-hour Cancer Surgery: Duchess Underwent Gruelling Mastectomy That Was 'More Involved Than People Think'

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Jul. 2 2023, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, has recently undergone a grueling eight-hour operation to battle breast cancer, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Last week, it was revealed that the 63-year-old had been diagnosed with the disease and had successfully undergone a single mastectomy at King Edward VII's Hospital in London. However, The Mail on Sunday has now shed light on the full extent of her ordeal, including four days spent in intensive care at the private hospital.

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A friend of the duchess described the surgery as "very long" and "more involved than people think." The friend added that Sarah is incredibly grateful to those who saved her life and feels fortunate to be alive.

Currently recovering at her home in Royal Lodge, Windsor, where she resides with her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, Sarah has the full support of her family. Her younger daughter, Princess Eugenie, has practically moved in to help care for her mother, while her sister, Princess Beatrice, is a frequent visitor and constantly in contact.

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Prince Andrew has been providing assistance, and friends and family have been rallying around to provide meals and support. Even King Edward VII sent his sincere wishes for a speedy recovery to his former sister-in-law.

Plans for the Yorks to move into Frogmore Cottage, previously occupied by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have been quietly shelved for now, as reported by a palace insider.

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The duchess's cancer journey began less than two months ago when a routine test detected a concerning abnormality in her breast. Rather than being given the all-clear, Sarah was informed that a "shadow" could be seen.

Determined to move forward, Sarah underwent a single mastectomy to remove the cancerous cells. The procedure was carried out by surgeon Christina Choy, followed by a breast reconstruction performed by consultant plastic surgeon Stuart James, a known associate of Prince William.

The surgery lasted over six hours and included microvascular surgery involving delicate cutting and rejoining of 2mm blood vessels. Due to the lengthy anesthesia and the intensity of the operation, Sarah's vital signs were closely monitored in intensive care for four days following the procedure.

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Despite the challenges she faced, the Duchess is said to be in "good spirits" just days after her release from the hospital. This battle against cancer hits close to home for the Duchess, as her stepfather died from lymphatic cancer at 51 in 1990.

She has been a dedicated advocate for cancer charities, particularly the Teenage Cancer Trust. She has opened specialist cancer units and served as a patron for the charity, with her daughters joining her in supporting the cause.

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