"The surgery went very well," said Dr. Thom Loree MD in a prepared statement.
Kelly was fitted with an obturator, a prosthesis similar to a retainer, which will cover the roof of his mouth. Before the surgery, Kelly said that a hole in his jaw into his nasal cavity would have to be addressed.
Informed of the diagnosis two weeks ago, Kelly called the prognosis for recovery "very good." He said tests show the cancer is isolated to the jaw.
Doctors did not say whether Kelly will have to undergo radiation or chemotherapy treatments. " We are hopeful for and anticipate a speedy recovery and successful outcome," the statement said.
Here's the statement from Kelly's Medical Team
“At Mr. Kelly’s request, we thank everyone for their concern and well wishes for him and his family. Today, Mr. Kelly underwent a partial maxillectomy to remove a squamous cell carcinoma of the upper gingival caused be chronic irritation at the gum site. He underwent reconstruction with a dental obturator. The surgery went very well. We are hopeful for and anticipate a speedy recovery and successful outcome. Mr. Kelly is recovering comfortably at this time. He is in the capable care of the great nurses and staff here at ECMC. He will remain here at the hospital until he feels comfortable to go home.”
Thom R. Loree, MD, Clinical Director, Head and Neck Surgery Department
Maureen Sullivan, DDS
Mark S. Burke, MD
The diagnosis stems from pain Kelly began experiencing in his jaw in December. He initially thought it was an infection, but grew concerned when antibiotics failed to help.
Tests eventually led to doctors removing a nickel-sized cyst from his gums and nasal cavity during an operation in early March. Follow-up tests revealed the cancer.
Concerns about Kelly's health were first raised last week when his wife, Jill Kelly, posted a message published on imgur.com. Without going into detail, she noted that the family was going through a "more serious battle under our roof," and asked followers to pray for her husband "for healing."
Kelly spent 11 seasons with the Bills before retiring following the 1996 campaign, and has since made Buffalo his home. Known for his fearless, swashbuckling style, Kelly was the face of Bills teams that made four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990s, only to lose them all.
Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002, Kelly still holds nearly every significant career franchise passing record: 35,467 yards, 237 touchdowns and 26 300-yard games.