Details About Sarah Ferguson's Grueling Breast Cancer Surgery Emerge

On June 25, the world was shocked to learn the news that Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, was diagnosed with breast cancer. While the cancer was discovered during a routine mammogram before King Charles' May 6 coronation, information about the duchess' health wasn't disclosed until after she had undergone surgery and was home from the hospital. 

Fergie was a patient at King Edward VII's hospital in London, where she had a single mastectomy. While the initial info from her spokesperson simply said the surgery was a success and that "the Duchess is receiving the best medical care," per The Telegraph, new reports detail that Fergie was in intensive care for four days after a complex procedure. "The surgery was very long — getting on for eight hours," one of Fergie's friends informed the Daily Mail. "She is very grateful to those who saved her and she feels very lucky to be alive."

Fergie's friend also relayed, "the duchess wants to thank the two incredible surgeons Christina Choy and Stuart James who carried out the operation and all the medical team who worked tirelessly to help her." Dr. Choy was the mastectomy surgeon, and Dr. James, a consultant plastic surgeon, implemented a complicated reconstruction surgery called the "DIEP flap" technique. This surgery often takes six-plus hours as a new breast is created from abdominal fat, and the procedures involves microvascular surgery, which reconnects 2mm blood vessels and requires a lot of precision. Due to the impact of the general anesthesia, Fergie was then monitored in intensive care.

Fergie is recovering with her family by her side

Now that she's back home at Royal Lodge, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is focused on recovering and taking care of her health, as she shared with her friend, Piers Morgan, via text. Prince Andrew, her ex-husband, and her daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, are working together as a care team. Fergie has a tight bond with her kids, and the three have nicknamed themselves "the tripod" to denote how they mutually support each other. Even though Eugenie just had her second baby on May 30, she is spending most of her time at Royal Lodge to be close to her mother. Beatrice, her older sister, has also been dropping by or checking in via phone to see how Fergie's doing. 

The duchess also has another family member to thank for motivating her to seek medical care in the first place: Jane, her sister. When Fergie wanted to procrastinate getting her annual mammogram, Jane urged her not to wait. "She said, 'No — go. I need you to go. I need you to go,'" Fergie revealed on her podcast, "Tea Talks With The Duchess and Sarah," per People. A mammogram proved essential. "A lump can be detected by the patient, but this was a 'shadow', which can go undetected because it's a wider spread of cancerous cells that can be picked up through screening," a source explained to the Daily Mail. Fergie's doctors recommended a mastectomy due to its size.