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Comatose Sharon has stomach drained

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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has undergone numerous surgeries and procedures since his January 4 stroke.

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Ariel Sharon
Ehud Olmert

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underwent a procedure Wednesday to remove excess liquid from his stomach, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The liquid was found during a routine CT scan on the prime minister, said the spokeswoman for Hadassah Medical Center, where Sharon has been in a coma since suffering a massive stroke January 4.

Doctors drained the fluid, the spokeswoman said, but she gave no further details.

The procedure is the latest in a series of procedures and surgeries Sharon has had since suffering the stroke.

Most recently, Sharon was rushed into emergency surgery February 11 to remove about a third, or 20 inches (50 centimeters), of his colon after it became gangrenous from lack of blood flow.

After the four-hour surgery, doctors said the 77-year-old, who had a feeding tube inserted in his stomach February 1, was in "no immediate danger."

Sharon's health has made an already delicate situation in the Middle East more fragile.

Israeli elections are scheduled for next month, and last month the militant group, Hamas, won Palestinian elections.

Before his stroke, Sharon broke from the Likud Party that he helped found to start the Kadima Party. Many members of Likud frowned on Sharon's decision to withdraw Israeli troops and settlers from Gaza and parts of the West Bank.

During Sharon's hospitalization, his powers as prime minister were transferred to Ehud Olmert, his longtime loyalist and a former Jerusalem mayor. Olmert is also leading Kadima into the March 28 election.

CNN Shira Medding contributed to this report

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