UPDATES WITH QUOTES FROM STATEMENT
By Max Constant
BANGKOK (AA) – Doctors have drained excess fluid detected around the brain of Thailand’s 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej, local media reported Saturday.
“The result of the treatment was satisfactory to the team of physicians,” the Khaosod news website cited a brief statement issued by the Royal Household before midnight as saying.
“We will closely monitor his condition further,” it added.
The 75-minute procedure was conducted by re-adjusting a tube, inserted in the monarch’s abdomen earlier this month, after unusual muscle spasms were detected on the king’s face and an x-ray revealed fluids around his brain.
The tube had reportedly been placed in the abdomen of the world’s longest reigning monarch to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid around his spine.
On May 14, another Royal Household statement said the king was suffering from arthritis in the knee and excessive phlegm.
Adulyadej, who is venerated as a demi-God by the majority of Thais, has repeatedly been placed under medical care since being hospitalized for flu and pneumonia in 2009.
The king has spent some time outside of the medical ward by traveling to his seaside ‘Far From Worries’ palace in Hua Hin, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Bangkok.
He was diagnosed with an intestinal inflammation in 2011 before suffering subdural bleeding in the front of his brain the following year.
Each health alert is cause for anxiety among Thai people, the majority of whom were born under his reign, which started in 1946 following the mysterious death of his brother, King Ananda, who was found dead with a bullet wound to his head in his bedroom.
In January, the king made a trip of several hours to his Bangkok palace, his first outing in months.
In December, he presided over a televised swearing-in ceremony for judges held at the hospital where he is receiving treatment.
Adulyadej represents a unifying figure among the country's tenuous, military-controlled politics, and many Thais worry about the likely succession.
Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn -- 63, who divorced his third wife in 2014 -- is much less popular than his father.
The tense political climate following the May 22, 2014 coup that overthrew an elected government, and deep divisions in the country between supporters of the traditional elite and those who want social change, have added to the sensitivity of the royal succession.