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Norway

King Harald’s heart surgery a success


Photo: Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

On Friday morning, His Majesty King Harald underwent heart surgery to replace a heart valve he first had operated on in 2005. It has now been confirmed that His Majesty’s operation is complete and was successful.

The full statement from the Royal Court states: “His Majesty the King underwent heart valve surgery today at Rikshospitalet. The operation was successful, and the King’s condition is good”.

After the operation, His Majesty the King was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for further observation. His Majesty will be on sick leave through October. Messages about the King’s state of health will be sent out regularly in the near future. On Friday afternoon, 9 October, the King’s physician will have a short meeting with the invited press at Rikshospitalet at 14.00.

It is currently unknown how long the King will be in hospital. Doctors have stated that a patient usually spends 1-3 days in hospital after such an operation. It is expected that King Harald will now be on sick leave for a longer period. The last time the King had heart surgery, the King was on sick leave for two months.

The operation this time was not an open heart operation. The King was awake, and the operation was performed via the groin with local anaesthesia. 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, did the operation.

The news that the King was to undergo surgery was announced on Thursday afternoon by the Royal Court. His Majesty was admitted to Rikshospitalet hospital Thuersday 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.

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. Queen Sonja has cancelled a planned trip to Trondheim this Sunday.

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.

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.