Jay Leno Suffered Second and Third Degree Burns, But Doctor Says ‘He’s Cracking Jokes’

The burns Jay Leno suffered in a car fire Saturday are more serious than was originally reported, his doctor told reporters Wednesday.

“Mr. Leno underwent what’s called a surgical excision and grafting procedure to his face, his chest and his hands,” Dr. Peter Grossman told ABC7 News. Leno sustained “deep second degree and third degree burns” when a vintage 1907 steam engine car he was working on in his Burbank garage caught fire.

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Leno will need further surgery to remove damaged tissue and replace it with a biological skin substitute, Grossman said. He is also spending time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which helps keep the burns from worsening and improves the outcome, according to Grossman.

Leno was transferred to the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills, Calif. after the accident. In a statement Monday, the former “The Tonight Show” host said, “I got some serious burns from a gasoline fire. I am ok. Just need a week or two to get back on my feet.”

But Dr. Grossman said although the recovery time will likely be somewhat longer, Leno is in good spirits. “He’s Jay Leno. He’s walking around and he’s cracking jokes,” Grossman told the news media. “He wants to be active.” Grossman also said Leno was passing out cookies to the kids in the burn unit. He is expected to make a full recovery, the doctor said.

The comedian had been scheduled to attend a Las Vegas financial conference on Sunday but had to cancel his appearance due to a “serious medical emergency.”

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