Successful heart operation for Norway’s aging monarch

FILE - In this Saturday, May 4, 2019 file photo, King Harald V of Norway and his wife Sonja leave the Notre Dame cathedral after attending at the funeral of the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, in Luxembourg. Norway’s 83-year-old King Harald V was admitted to the main hospital in Oslo Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 to undergo an operation to replace a heart valve, the palace said. The surgery will not be an open heart operation, the palace said. The king will be awake, and the operation will be performed via the groin with local anesthesia. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Norway’s 83-year-old King Harald V on Friday underwent an operation to replace a heart valve at the main hospital in Oslo. The palace said it was successful and his condition was described as good, the palace said.

Following the surgery at Rikshospitalet’s Cardiovascular and Lung Clinic, the monarch was transferred to an intensive care unit for further observation, the king’s doctor, Bjoern Bendz, said in a palace statement,

Bendz said that the intervention was necessary to improve the king’s breathing, and added that this kind of operation is regularly performed.

Last month, the king was hospitalized with breathing difficulties. Doctors ruled out COVID-19.

After Friday’s surgery, the palace said he will be on sick leave through October. His son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Haakon, has stepped in and taken over his father’s duties.

The palace said the operation was not an open heart surgery and that the king was awake during the the operation that was performed via the groin with local anesthesia.

In 2005, the king’s aortic valve was replaced by an artificial heart valve. Such valves have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years, the royal household had said.