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King Harald to undergo heart surgery

Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

King Harald is to undergo heart surgery on Friday. The news was announced on Thursday afternoon by the Royal Court. The King will have the heart valve he had operated on in 2005 replaced. His Majesty was admitted to Rikshospitalet hospital this morning ahead of the procedure.

In 2005, the King underwent an operation on the valve between the heart and the main artery – the aortic valve. The King’s aortic valve was then replaced by an artificial heart valve, made of biological material. Such artificial biological heart valves have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. It is, therefore, not uncommon for such interventions to have to be repeated after some time.

The operation this time will not be an open heart operation. The King will be awake, and the operation will be performed via the groin with local anesthesia. A medical team led by the King’s life doctor, chief physician Bjørn Bendz at the Cardiovascular and Lung Clinic at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, will carry out the operation.

The King’s doctor Bjørn Bend has issued the following statement: “His Majesty the King has gone for regular check-ups, and the report we have made recently has shown that this intervention is necessary to improve the King’s breathing. This type of operation is performed several hundred times a year at Rikshospitalet, and the Norwegian operators are very experienced”.

King Harald of Norway’s sick leave, which was due to expire on Monday October 5th 2020, has now been extended. No date for a return to work has been set. This means that Crown Prince Haakon will continue to function as Regent of Norway for the foreseeable future and carry out the duties that his father normally takes on.

On September 25th 2020, it was announced that King Harald had been admitted to hospital in Oslo. The Norwegian Royal Family later confirmed it was because the King was having breathing difficulties. Covid-19 was ruled out after tests and, that Friday evening, the Royal Court released an update on the King’s health.

Royal Central will follow the situation closely.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.