Japanese Emperor Akihito undergoing heart bypass surgery
Feb 18, 2012, 4:47 GMT
Tokyo - Japanese Emperor Akihito was undergoing heart bypass surgery Saturday as scheduled, government officials said.
The 78-year-old emperor entered the operating room at the University of Tokyo Hospital Saturday morning for the procedure that was expected to last five hours, the Imperial Household agency said.
A team of doctors from the university and Juntendo University Hospital was performing the surgery, the agency said.
The emperor is expected to be discharged from the hospital in two or three weeks if there are no complications, it said.
In November, the emperor was hospitalized for more than two weeks as he suffered from cold, persistent fever and a severe case of bronchitis.
Akihito, who ascended the throne in 1989 after the death of his father, Hirohito, underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2003 and suffered stress-related health problems in 2008.