Kelly Stafford is undergoing brain surgery today; her brother asks for prayers

Wife of Detroit Lions QB is having tumor removed

Matthew and Kelly Stafford with a picture of Kelly's brain showing a tumor that is being removed. (WDIV)

DETROIT - Kelly Stafford is undergoing surgery Wednesday to remove a brain tumor.

Stafford, who is the wife of Detroit Lions quaterback Matthew Stafford, was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, a slow-growing tumor on the main nerve leading from the inner ear to the brain.

Her brother, Chad Hall, posted this pre-surgery photo to Instagram Wednesday morning, asking for prayers for his sister:

 

According to doctors, the tumor that Stafford has develops in an area that is responsible for vital functions and is packed tight with nerves.

“The most common symptom is tinnitus or a ringing in the ear, followed probably by hearing loss,” said Dr. Jack Rock, a neurosurgeon for Henry Ford Hospital. “The symptom that doesn’t happen over time slowly is vertigo.”

Vertigo was the symptom that alerted Kelly Stafford that there was a problem.

“It’s not a rare lesion, but it’s not common. It's benign and it, in 95 percent of the cases, really mostly in the young people, you can live a completely normal life after surgery,” Rock said.

Rock noted the biggest challenge with removing the tumor is making sure the nerve that controls facial movements isn’t damaged.

“It’s challenging to take the tumor off without injuring the nerve. Experienced surgeons can do this fairly reliably, very reliably, but it's something that takes technical skill to do,” he said.

Kelly Stafford announces battle with brain tumor -- watch:

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