Emperor Akihito recovering well after heart surgery

Monday February 20, 2012

Japan's 78-year-old Emperor Akihito underwent successful heart bypass surgery on Saturday and should begin rehabilitation in a few days, say doctors and palace officials.

Following the operation, Akihito was monitored in an intensive-care unit at the University of Tokyo Hospital.

"The operation went smoothly as planned," doctors told media at a press conference. "We confirmed a sufficient blood flow back in the arteries."

Akihito left the ICU in a wheelchair on Monday and was recovering well, according to the imperial household agency, while Jiji Press said he was reading books and newspapers.

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