Graham recovering after brain shunt surgery

Image: Billy Graham
Evangelist Billy Graham during the Billy Graham Library Dedication Service on May 31, 2007, in Charlotte, North Carolina. About 1,500 guests, including former U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, attended the ceremony for the libary, which chronicles the life and teachings of Graham. Davis Turner / Getty Images file
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Rev. Billy Graham was recovering well from a surgery to update a shunt that controls excess fluid in his brain, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Larry Ross said the prominent 89-year-old evangelist would return to a regular diet later in the day and spend some time walking the halls of Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.

The Southern Baptist minister underwent the surgery Wednesday. He has preached to millions around the globe during his six-decade career.

Graham has hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid within the brain. The surgery replaced the valve in a shunt installed in 2000 that drains excessive fluid from Graham's brain through a small tube.

The tube runs down his head and neck and into the abdominal cavity, where the fluid is absorbed by his body. The new valve can be programmed externally to maintain desired fluid levels and pressure in Graham's brain.