The government last week announced her diagnosis of papillary carcinoma, detected during a routine medical checkup just before Christmas. Doctors say the 58-year-old Fernandez has a better than 90 percent chance of recovery.
The diagnosis sparked sympathy in a country where Eva Peron, wife of former leader Juan Peron and known as Evita, is revered decades after dying of cancer at the age of 33.
Like Evita, Fernandez is loved for her efforts on behalf of Argentina’s poor. Supporters, who rallied around Fernandez after the 2010 death of her husband and predecessor as president Nestor Kirchner, started congregating on Tuesday outside the hospital where the operation is scheduled for 8 a.m. (1100 GMT)