A Spanish newspaper says Cuban President Fidel Castro opted for a risky surgery that led to serious complications and further surgeries.
El Pais says the Cuban leader decided not to have a colostomy after doctors removed a part of his large intestine, instead choosing to have the remaining intestine attached directly to his rectum.
The newspaper cites medical sources from the Gregorio Maranon hospital in Madrid.
The paper says the Cuban leader could have been up and about in days if the procedure had worked. But the newspaper says Mr. Castro suffered complications and infections and underwent two more surgeries.
But Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, a doctor at the Madrid facility who examined the 80-year-old Castro in December, says the latest report is based on rumors.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday during a visit in Ecuador that President Castro is recovering, though slowly.
The Cuban government treats Mr. Castro's health as a state secret.
Mr. Castro has not been seen in public since undergoing surgery in late July. He temporarily handed power to his younger brother, Defense Minister Raul Castro.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.