05/11/2015 04:00 EDT | Updated 05/10/2016 05:59 EDT

Rob Ford Undergoes Surgery To Remove Cancerous Tumour

TORONTO - Doctors have removed a cancerous tumour from Rob Ford's abdomen and the former Toronto mayor has regained consciousness after an intensive surgery that kept him under anesthesia for about 10 hours, his chief of staff said late Monday.

"There were no new growths, the cancer had not spread beyond what they were already aware of, and they were able to remove all the existing growths without causing damage to any internal structures," Dan Jacobs said in an email.

Jacobs said doctors consider the procedure to be a success.

Ford, now a city councillor, is in "some pain," Jacobs said, and still has a long recovery ahead of him.

Doctors have told him he will need to "take it especially easy" for up to three months, and avoid stressing the area for several more months afterward, Jacobs said.

Hours earlier, the ex-mayor's brother said the family was praying that "everything works out."

"We've just been praying that Rob makes it through ... we're 100 per cent confident that he will and then he has a big battle ahead of him," Doug Ford said outside Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital on Monday evening.

Before the surgery, Rob Ford said that his biggest fear was not waking up.

"I just want to wake up. That's all I want to do is wake up," he told local television station CP24 on the weekend. "Once I wake up from the surgery, then I can start dealing with it and fighting it and getting better."

Ford's surgery comes after several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation which he said shrunk his tumour to an operable size.

Following the procedure, Ford is expected to be kept in a post-operative recovery area, before being transferred to a "surgical step down unit," Jacobs added.

Ford, whose admitted drug and alcohol abuse and outrageous behaviour earned him international notoriety, was forced out of his mayoral re-election bid last September when doctors discovered his rare, aggressive malignant liposarcoma. He ran successfully for council instead.

The type of cancer Ford has — only about one per cent of cancers are similar — arises from fat cells and can attack a variety of soft tissue in the body.

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