Padilla has brain operation

Times Staff Writer

State Sen. Alex Padilla has undergone successful brain surgery and returned to his home in Pacoima, he said Tuesday.

Padilla, 33, a Democrat, was diagnosed with a malformation in the outer lining of his brain on Dec. 5, the day after he was sworn in as state senator from the 20th District, which covers the eastern and southwestern San Fernando Valley.

He had surgery at Kaiser-Permanente Hospital in Anaheim on Saturday and was released Monday.


“The doctor said my strength should be back by the end of the week,” Padilla said Tuesday, after having lunch with his father. “The doctor said he expects full recovery.”

Padilla’s condition, known as dural arteriovenous fistula, refers to an abnormal passage connecting an artery and a vein in the membrane covering the brain.

He initially thought he had influenza, but was admitted to the hospital after complaining of headaches and sensitivity to light. The problem can exist for long periods with few or no symptoms, but in about 4% of cases bleeding occurs, necessitating surgery.

Padilla, who is forgoing the last 2 1/2 years of his term on the Los Angeles City Council, last month won the seat vacated by state Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Sun Valley) because of term limits.

He said he expected to be at work in Sacramento when the Legislature convenes in early January.

The experience will help him in the coming year, when lawmakers are expected to focus on healthcare coverage, he said.