LOS ANGELES — Comedian and television host Jay Leno has undergone surgery to treat serious burns that he got after a fire started as he was working on a car over the weekend, his physician said Wednesday.
Leno was injured Saturday when a fire sparked on a car that he was working under, Dr. Peter Grossman, medical director of the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in Los Angeles, said at a news conference. The comedian had “pretty significant burns to his face and hands,” Grossman said, adding that Leno also had burns on his chest.
Leno remains hospitalized as he undergoes treatment including hyperbaric oxygen therapy aimed at promoting his healing. He was also scheduled to have further surgery to remove damaged tissue.
Grossman said Leno had a mixture of “deep second-degree burns and possibly some third-degree burns.” Leno did not have nerve damage and the doctor said that he anticipated Leno would be “making a full recovery.”
“Our hope is that when everything is all said and done, he will do well,” Grossman said. However, he cautioned that “burn injuries are progressive and dynamic, and it’s hard to predict ultimately what the final outcome will be at this stage in the game.”
He said that Leno has been upbeat while undergoing treatment.
“I’ve just met Mr. Leno this week but I can tell you that he seems to be a gentleman who really just doesn’t want to make a big deal of this. He wants to move forward,” Grossman said. “I think he’s realizing that he does need to perhaps take it a little slower than he initially anticipated but I do feel that he will be back to work at some point soon and back to the things that he loves to do.”
Leno was working on a 1907 steam engine car in a garage in Burbank when he was injured, Variety reported. He told the entertainment news magazine that he “got some serious burns from a gasoline fire.”
He had been scheduled to perform at a conference in Las Vegas on Sunday, though organizers said he had to cancel due to “a very serious medical emergency,” People reported.
Leno hosted NBC’s “The Tonight Show” from 1992 until 2009, and again from 2010 until 2014. He hosts the car-focused show “Jay Leno’s Garage” on CNBC and the recent revival of the quiz show “You Bet Your Life.”
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