Surgeon Optimistic Giffords Will Survive

Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is out of surgery after being shot while hosting a public event today, and a Tucson surgeon said he was "very optimistic" she would survive but that it was too early to know more.

The surgeon said Giffords had been shot in the head "through and through."

Neurosurgeons have completed operating on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and the head of surgery at University of Arizona has said he is “about as optimistic as you can be” that Giffords will survive, given the circumstances. Giffords was shot “through and through” one side of the brain, but “for forensic reasons” he would not specify which direction the shot came from.

Giffords is communicating by responding to “simple commands,” Michael Lemole, chief of neurosurgery at University of Arizona’s University Medical Center, said at a news conference today. She can’t open her eyes and brain swelling is the biggest threat after a bullet traveled the length of her brain’s left side, doctors said.