By Nicole Chavez, CNN
(CNN) — “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is taking a medical leave after undergoing surgery to remove blood clots from his brain, Trebek and his production team said Thursday.
Trebek, 77, was diagnosed in mid-December with a condition known as subdural hematoma, a complication from hitting his head in a bad fall in October, he said. He underwent surgery the following day.
“After two days in the hospital, I came home to start recovery,” Trebek said in a video posted to the game show’s website. “The prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio taping more ‘Jeopardy!’ programs very, very soon!”
“He is expected to make a full and complete recovery,” the post states, noting that because the show tapes months in advance, its broadcast schedule will be unaffected except for its College Championship, which will now air in April.
Though the iconic host said he suffered a “slight medical problem,” a subdural hematoma is considered “among the deadliest of all head injuries,” according to the US National Library of Medicine.
It is a blood clot on the brain’s surface beneath its outer covering, called the dura. It usually results from severe head injuries but can be caused by minor injuries as well and can go unnoticed for days or weeks.
In severe cases, blood could fill the brain “very rapidly” and lead to death. Many older adults, who are more susceptible to such injuries, experience slower, minor bleeding. Other factors that increase risk of developing such clots are taking certain medicines that thin the blood, long-term consumption of alcohol and repeated head injuries.
Slurred speech, headaches, problems with balance or walking and nausea can be signs of subdural hematoma.
Neither Trebek nor the show’s producers said whether Trebek suffered any symptoms before his diagnosis.
Retired Houston Astros coach Rich Dauer, 65, recently recovered from a subdural hematoma after he slipped and hit his head the night before the team’s World Series parade in November, according to Bleacher Report.
Dauer attended the parade but was later taken to a local hospital.
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