After nine hours of surgery that doctors thought could take five times that long, a life-threatening tumor has been removed from the skull of a Michigan teenager.

Aaron DeLong, 16, was in good condition after surgeons took out the non-malignant tumor in an operation that doctors originally had said could take up to 48 hours."The surgery went remarkably smoothly, but at the same time, we're not out of the woods," Dr. Robert Spetzler said. "For at least a week, he will be subject to infection and bleeding."

The Thursday night surgery was scheduled because doctors feared the fist-size tumor would slowly suffocate the boy from Kalamazoo whose mother has lost her home and her job attempting to get help for her son.

The outlook is good for the teen, with the skull likely returning to nearly its original strength, said craniofacial surgeon Edward Joganic.

Aaron's mother, Ellen DeLong, refused interviews.

After the surgery, Jackie Rieffe, a Barrow official, said, "She's very relieved . . . she was very surprised it was over so soon."