Japan says Emperor heart bypass surgery is 'successful'
Feb 18, 2012, 9:21 GMT
Japanese Emperor Akihito (2nd R) and Empress Michiko (R) are greeted by doctors upon their arrival at the entrance of the University of Tokyo hospital in Tokyo, Japan, on 17 February 2012. Emperor Akihito, 78, was hospitalised to undergo heart bypass surgery after tests showed the narrowing of his arteries has worsened. EPA/TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / POOL
Tokyo - Japanese Emperor Akihito underwent heart bypass surgery Saturday and the operation was successful, government officials said.
The 78-year-old emperor entered the operating room at the University of Tokyo Hospital for the procedure that lasted about five hours, the Imperial Household agency said.
A team of doctors from the university and Juntendo University Hospital performed 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.
More than 10,000 people visited the Imperial House to write messages wishing a successful operation, public broadcaster NHK reported.
The surgery was conducted after a test Sunday showed a narrowing of his coronary vessels.
It was the first surgery for the emperor since 2003, when he underwent surgery for prostate cancer.
Akihito, who ascended the throne in 1989 after the death of his father, Hirohito, suffered stress-related health problems in 2008. In November, the emperor was hospitalized for more than two weeks as he suffered from cold, persistent fever and a severe case of bronchitis.
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