LOS ANGELES—It was a return to the days of old-fashioned Hollywood surgical glamour Saturday, as Elizabeth Taylor was rushed to Yul Brynner Memorial Hospital for an emergency rhinestonectomy.
"Years of trinket build-up, in which millions of bits of jewelry and various other baubles collected within Miss Taylor's brainpan, had caused a rhinestone of life-threatening size to develop in her cerebral cortex," Dr. Richard Ambrose, the media-dubbed "Surgeon To The Stars," told reporters.
Surgeons worked heroically to save the life of the still-stunning 65-year-old star of Butterfield 8 and Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, anesthetizing her with champagne mimosas before unlatching her breathtaking face for safe keeping and entering the brain cavity to remove the golf ball-sized rhinestone.
The dazzling rhinestone will be auctioned at Sotheby's later this month to benefit AIDS research, a spokesperson for Taylor said.
A team of five top medical professionals was required for the procedure, including two anesthesiologist/bartenders, two neurological surgeons and an additional doctor whose job was to stare lovingly into Taylor's legendary violet eyes.
"Fortunately, we were able to remove the immense, glittering mass without doing any damage to Miss Taylor's beautiful hair," Ambrose said. "That's because her extensively reconstructed nose has, at this point, become so elastic that a human fist can be directly inserted into the brain via the sinus passages."
A virtual Who's Who of the Hollywood elite showed up for the gala neurosurgical event.
"We're so glad that Liz pulled through," said a teary-eyed Nicole Kidman, who attended the rhinestonectomy with husband Tom Cruise and fellow Hollywood power couple John Travolta and Kelly Preston. "And have you tried the paté? Its simply sinful!"
"I first fell in love with Liz when I was 11 years old, when I saw her in International Velvet," star of stage and screen Nathan Lane said. "And let me tell you, she looked more gorgeous than ever today under that knife."
The 16-hour procedure consisted of eight hours of surgery plus dinner; dancing; a video tribute to Taylor, narrated by Paul Newman; and a special celebrity fund-raising equestrian event. Though paparazzi were banned from the exclusive black-tie medical procedure, some two dozen press helicopters hovered overhead, hoping to snap a photo of the Queen of Glamour's major neurosurgery, which was held in Yul Brynner Memorial Hospital's brand-new, $150 million open-air atrium.
The operation represents Taylor's most serious health crisis since May 1994, when doctors performed an emergency husbosuction to remove massive husbidinal residue—which had accumulated over the course of the star's 22 marriages—from her chest cavity. The amount of husbandic tissue removed was enough to form homunculi of seven adult men, three of which are Richard Burton and are now alive and well in the Southern California area.
After successful completion of the surgery, Taylor was returned to her private berth at the the exclusive Santa Fortuna Pacific Yacht Club for after-surgery drinks and recuperation.