Jay Leno is expected to make a "full recovery" from his serious injuries, according to his doctor.
A press conference was held Wednesday to discuss the former Tonight Show host's prognosis after suffering burns in a fire at his car garage on Saturday. Dr. Peter Grossman, who has Leno under his care at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital in West Hills, Calif., said a second surgery is scheduled on the 72-year-old comedian, who is in good spirits.
Grossman, a plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery for burn-injured patients, said Leno underwent one surgery so far after his Burbank, Calif., garage fire which caused "significant" burns, according to Los Angeles news station KTTV and People magazine. He'll undergo further treatment and a second surgery is set for later this week.
Grossman explained that Leno sustained "deep second-degree" and possibly some third-degree burns to his face, hands and chest. He noted, "Some of the burns to the face are a little deeper and a little more concerning." Additionally, the thickness of Leno's skin was injured.
Leno underwent a surgical excision and grafting procedure, in which nonviable tissue that would delay wound healing was removed and a biological skin substitute was put on the burn areas to accelerate healing. He's also been undergoing "very aggressive" hyperbaric oxygen therapy — a treatment that increases oxygen to injured areas to speed up healing. He said there was no evidence of nerve damage.
While the injuries are "serious," Leno's condition is "good," Grossman noted. "I do anticipate him making a full recovery." However, he added that "it's still too early to tell" whether there will "be remnants of this injury."
For now, the Jay Leno's Garage host is in "good spirits" at the hospital, where he's been a "remarkably kind and engaging" patient. Earlier in the day, he passed out cookies to children being treated at the hospital, according to Grossman.
"He's walking around and he's cracking jokes. I can tell you that he's incredibly kind to our nursing staff. He's very compliant. He's very appreciative of everybody here and really an ideal patient," Grossman said.
Leno said in a statement on Monday that he needed "a week or two to get back on my feet." However, Grossman said he's advised him that it "takes time" and he "needs to step it back."
"He's very compliant, he understands that," Grossman continued. "I think he's realizing he does need to perhaps take it a little slower than he initially anticipated, but I do feel he will be back to work at some point soon, and back to things he loves to do, obviously, which is working on cars and going out and meeting people."
Leno spoke to TMZ from his hospital bed on Monday, revealing that he had third-degree burns. He told the outlet he had been fixing his 1907 White Steam Car, which had a clogged fuel line. There was a fuel leak and gas sprayed on his face and hands. A spark set Leno on fire. Luckily, a friend who was present smothered the flames, preventing more serious injuries, and Leno was taken to the burn center.
That kind of car, featured on Jay Leno's Garage, is tricky to operate. Leno demonstrated starting it, in this 2012 video, and he burned his hand while doing so (around the 4 minute mark).
Leno owns approximately 180 exotic cars and 160 motorcycles, most of which are housed in his 122,000-square-feet garage.
News of Leno's health emergency first broke Monday morning after he canceled a private comedy show appearance that had been scheduled for Sunday, citing a health issue. His spokesperson confirmed he had "serious burns from a gasoline fire," but was OK.