TV host Jay Leno has surgery for car fire burns

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno has undergone surgery for serious burns suffered when flames erupted as he worked on a vintage car and remains hospitalised, the doctor overseeing his care says.

Leno was in good condition and his wife, Mavis, was with him at the Grossman Burn Centre north of Los Angeles, said Peter H. Grossman, medical director of the centre at West Hills Hospital.

“He is in good spirits today,” Dr Grossman said on Wednesday (US time).

Last weekend, Leno suffered burns to his face, hands and chest that the plastic surgeon categorised as second-degree or verging on more severe.

Some of the facial wounds “are a little bit deeper and a little more concerning” because they were showing signs of progressing to third-degree, as could happen with burns, Dr Grossman said.

Treatment intended to keep the burns from worsening included high-pressure oxygen therapy to stimulate healing, along with surgery in which the burn wounds were cleaned and shaved away, he said. A temporary “biological skin substitute” was placed over the area, he said.

Leno came through one surgery well and a second was planned this week, Dr Grossman said.

The comedian is up and walking, telling jokes and is a hit with the staff, even giving out biscuits to young patients.

The fire occurred at the Los Angeles garage where Leno stores his famed collection of cars and other motor vehicles. In a statement earlier this week, Leno referred to the burns as “serious” but said he would need only “a week or two to get back on my feet.”

Dr Grossman said he appreciated Leno’s eagerness but had cautioned him to be realistic.

“I had to tell him that he needs to step back a little bit and just realise that some of this takes time,” he said.

“He’s very compliant, he understands that. I think he’s realising that he does need to perhaps take it a little slower than he initially anticipated.”

The doctor said he expected Leno to make a full recovery but that it was too early to know if there would be “remnants” of the injury. He didn’t elaborate.


Topics: Jay Leno
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