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Surgeon: Jim Kelly’s cancer in upper jaw, lymph nodes ‘successfully removed’

Jim Kelly underwent a complicated surgery on Wednesday evening to treat the recurrence of his mouth cancer, and the surgeon who performed the procedure said it was successful.

The procedure, which took 12 hours, was performed to remove the oral cancer and reconstruct Kelly’s jaw. The Buffalo Bills icon and Pro Football Hall of Famer revealed earlier this month that his cancer had returned and was discovered via biopsy after suffering severe pain in his jaw.

“We successfully removed Mr. Kelly’s cancer from his upper jaw and lymph nodes from his neck,” Dr. Mark Urken, head and neck surgeon at Mount Sinai West, said in a statement, via ESPN. “We then reconstructed his upper jaw. Mr. Kelly is resting comfortably post-operatively.”

Kelly’s wife Jill also provided an emotional update Wednesday evening via Instagram following the lengthy surgery.

Surgery is complete. Thank GOD and the amazing team of doctors and nurses that took care of Jim today…and will continue to take care of him as he heads into a very significant time of recovery. #12 Can you see it? During pre-op the computer in our section wasn’t working so they had to get a new one. Then Jim says to me, “Did you see the computer? You should take a picture.” And so I did! As silly as it sounds, God gave us the #12 computer. And almost 12 hours of surgery later….#12 is now on the road to recovery. I’ll be posting more details soon, but wanted to say “THANK YOU” for praying and standing on the promises of God! We have a long road ahead, but we do not walk alone…the Lord goes before us and is with us…we will not fear. (Photos are from before surgery, just look at his smile. He is my inspiration and hero) #KellyTough

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Kelly is expected to remain hospitalized for a few weeks to recover from the procedure.

Kelly indicated earlier this month the surgery would involve removing part of his fibula and blood vessels from his leg. The surgery, Kelly said, would improve his quality of life, although it is not yet confirmed if he will require any additional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Kelly originally revealed in 2013 that he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his upper jaw. On Aug. 20, 2014, Kelly was declared cancer-free.