“Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek will take a break from the show as he recovers from brain surgery after a fall.
Trebek, 77, who has hosted the show since 1984, spoke about his hiatus and revealed his positive prognosis in a video posted on the show’s website on Jan. 4, according to Rolling Stone.
“Some of you may have heard by now that during the holiday break I had a slight medical problem, subdural hematoma, blood clots on the brain caused by a fall I endured about two months ago,” said the host. “The surgery was successful.”
“After two days in the hospital, I came home to start recovery,” added Trebek. “The prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio taping more ‘Jeopardy!’ programs very, very soon.”
Trebek is reported to have spent the holidays at home with his family, and the show’s website reports he will return to taping for “Jeopardy!” in mid-January.
Trebek’s surgery took place on Dec. 16, 2017 at a Los Angeles hospital after the host had a fall in October 2017.
A subdural hematoma is a condition that occurs when blood collects between the dura, or the covering of the brain, and the brain’s surface. It is most often the result of a head injury, according to Medline Plus.
Symptoms can include headache, nausea and vomiting, vision problems, difficulty with balance and walking, confusion and slurred speech, and weakness or numbness.
To treat a subdural hematoma, emergency surgery may be needed to reduce the pressure in the brain. The surgery may involve drilling a hole in the skull to drain blood and relieve pressure.
The elderly are especially at risk for subdural hematoma, according to NPR.
“Researchers estimate there could be more than 200,000 subdural hematoma injuries diagnosed annually at all the hospitals across the country,” said NPR reporter Danny Zwerdling in 2016.
The recent subdural hematoma is not Trebek’s first health scare since hosting “Jeopardy!” — Trebek has had two heart attacks since 2007.
“I had been doing some work around the house working with a heavy ladder,” Trebek told People in 2012. “I just thought it was muscle strain.”
Trebek said at the time doctors found evidence of a blockage in one of his arteries, but that his body had cleared the blockage on its own.
“My heart seems to heal, so that speaks well for my future,” the host said.
“I’m going to try and take it easy, but I have a lot of things to do around the house,” joked Trebek.