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Princess Margaret has lung surgery

By
REBECCA BRYAN

LONDON -- Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, underwent surgery to have a small portion of her left lung removed but doctors said Monday the suspected area was not cancerous.

Margaret, 54, known as a heavy smoker, was listed in satisfactory condition at London's Brompton Hospital, Britain's national heart and chest hospital. She was admitted to the hospital Saturday and was expected to leave within a week.

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'I am very relieved that everything went all right and that it was not something serious,' said Lord Snowdon, Margaret's former husband and photographer to the royal family. 'I hope the princess will be back home very soon.'

'Princess Margaret underwent an operation yesterday (Sunday),' said the statement issued by John Batten, Margaret's physician, and Mathias Paneth, consultant surgeon.

'This was to remove a small area of her left lung which was found to be innocent,' he said. 'Innocent' means that the area removed was found not to be malignant, or cancerous.

Margaret's two children, Viscount Linley, 23, and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, 20, were to fly back to London Monday night from Venice where they have been on an educational tour, a spokesman said.

The queen and other members of the royal family were reported to be relieved at the outcome of the operation. Margaret's father, King George VI, and her uncle, King Edward VIII, both died of lung cancer.

Friends said the princess, long fond of the cocktail party circuit, had recently begun smoking more since she gave up drinking alcohol.

The princess was admitted to the hospital Saturday afternoon for what was described as a 'routine investigation.' Her press spokesman said at the time it was a planned visit to the hospital and not 'a rush job'.

Margaret was treated for upper respiratory illness in 1978 while on an official tour of the South Pacific. Earlier that year, the same year her marriage to Snowdon ended, she had been hospitalized with hepatitis.

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