King Juan Carlos of Spain undergoes triple heart bypass

Gobierno de Chilederivative work: César [CC BY 2.0] Wiki Commons

Doctors treating the former monarch of Spain, Juan Carlos I, say the major cardiac surgery he underwent this weekend has been a success. Juan Carlos had a triple bypass on Saturday at a private clinic in Madrid.

King Felipe VI and his mother, Queen Sofia, arrived at the hospital while the operation was still going on. Felipe later said the family was happy with the progress being made by Juan Carlos while Sofia said she was very calm and that everything was ‘perfect’. Juan Carlos was transferred to intensive care from the operating theatre, a normal procedure for all patients who have undergone major heart surgery.

The director of the Quiron clinic where the surgery took place, Dr Lucia Alonso, said the procedure had taken place ”without incident”.

It’s not yet clear how long Juan Carlos will be in hospital following the surgery. Doctors decided to operate after a routine medical check up in June this year. Bypass surgery treats obstructions in the heart to improve blood flow and it’s among the most common heart procedures in older patients.

Juan Carlos retired from public life at the start of June 2019, just days before the check up revealed he needed cardiac surgery. Earlier this year, it was confirmed he had undergone an operation to remove a lesion from his face. Last year, he was in hospital for several days for surgery on his knee.

Juan Carlos became King of Spain in November 1975 on the death of the fascist dictator, Francisco Franco. He abdicated in favour of his only son, Felipe, in June 2014. He is widely admired for his role in establishing democracy in Spain in the early part of his reign.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.