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Steve Gleason undergoes tracheotomy

Social Innovation Summit May 2013 - Day Two

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 30: Former NFL player Steve Gleason attends the Social Innovation Summit May 2013 - Day Two on May 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Social Innovation Summit)

Getty Images for Social Innovati

Former Saints player Steve Gleason is recovering after undergoing what he called a “semi-planned tracheotomy” on Monday in New Orleans.

Gleason suffers from ALS, which he has battled courageously for years and whose Team Gleason helps others battling the disease, and was admitted to the hospital while undergoing airway issues. The procedure was something that was planned for the coming months, but the onset of issues on Monday pushed up the timeline.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that tracheotomies, which surgically open the windpipe to aid breathing, are common for ALS patients as they gradually lose the use of their lungs as a result of the disease.

Gleason announced the procedure in a tweet. An update to the Team Gleason Facebook page said that Gleason was doing well after the surgery and that there was “no doubt this will enable him to be more active in his mission to continue living a productive and rich life as a husband, father, adventurer and advocate for the end of ALS.” We hope that the recovery continues to go smoothly and that Gleason is back to work on all fronts as soon as possible.