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Wilko Johnson has pancreatic tumour removed: Dr Feelgood and Game of Thrones star ‘recovering’ after ‘successful’ operation

The musician's management issued a statement, saying that medical staff were "happy" with his condition

Jenn Selby
Friday 02 May 2014 17:47 BST

Wilko Johnson is recovering after undergoing pioneering surgery to remove a pancreatic tumour.

The Dr Feelgood guitarist’s management confirmed that the musician would likely be “out of action” for the foreseeable future following the operation, but confirmed that it had been successful.

"Wilko is recovering following a nine-hour operation on Wednesday in which doctors successfully removed a pancreatic tumour,” a statement from manager Lisa Climie, posted on his official Facebook page today (2 May), read.

"The head of the medical team treating Wilko said that they were happy with his condition.

"Wilko will stay under very close observation for the next few days. Although cautiously optimistic, the team have to stress that it is very early days yet.

"The family thank everyone for their good wishes and ask for some privacy at this time so they can support Wilko with his recovery in peace."

The star, who also played the role of mute executioner Ilyn Payne in Game of Thrones, was given just months to live after he was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in January 2013.

Refusing to undergo chemotherapy, he continued to perform and record, scoring a top three album, Going Back Home, and collaborating with The Who’s Roger Daltrey.

However it had become apparent in recent months that the cancer was not as aggressive as first thought. Without intervention, he would still have died.

After seeking further advice, Johnson underwent the complex operation, performed at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

In an interview with GQ before he went in for the procedure, he said: "There is a small chance of dying, but that's nothing. Because for over a year I have been living with a 100 per cent chance of dying."

He said he was still coming to terms with the fact his life could be saved: "It’s unreal to me. I'm going to have to readjust my mind as well as my body."

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