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Thailand’s 88-year-old king undergoes heart operation

Thailand’s 88-year-old king undergoes heart operation
Royal household says operation to expand heart arteries of world’s longest reigning monarch has ‘satisfactory results’

BANGKOK (AA) - Thailand’s 88-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej has successfully undergone an operation to expand the arteries in his heart, the royal household bureau revealed Tuesday.

Royal doctors had earlier detected irregularities with the cardio vascular system of the world’s longest reigning monarch and determined that he was suffering from reduced blood flow.

Tuesday's statement said that doctors inserted a stent to expand the heart arteries and that the procedure was satisfactory.

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.

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.

source: News Feed
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