Thai king has gallbladder removed, condition 'satisfactory'

Thais bow before a picture of the Thai king at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital, where he is recovering from surgery.

Story highlights

  • Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej has undergone surgery to remove his gallbladder
  • The palace says the operation went well, and the king is in a satisfactory condition
  • His health has declined in recent years, resulting in lengthy hospital stays
  • Bhumibol, the world's longest-reigning monarch, is deeply revered in Thailand
Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej is recovering from surgery to remove his gallbladder, the palace said Monday.
The palace had earlier revealed that the 86-year-old king had been hospitalized at Bangkok's Siriraj Hospital with a high fever and irregular blood pressure Friday evening.
The palace statement said the operation went well, and the king was in a satisfactory condition post-surgery.
"This morning his general health conditions have improved. His heart rate has lowered, his blood pressure is normal and his body temperature has lowered," said the statement.
The world's longest-reigning monarch, Bhumibol is a deeply revered figure in Thailand, where his portrait hangs in government offices and many homes. His appeal stretches across the spectrum of Thai society, unifying urban elites and rural farmers.
Political crisis
His declining health in recent years has come as his country has been wracked by a drawn-out political crisis.
Last month, Bhumibol was discharged after being hospitalized for more than a month for treatment of a stomach complaint.
And in August last year, he was discharged from Siriraj Hospital after a stay of nearly four years, having been admitted in September 2009 for treatment for a lung inflammation.
A constitutional monarch who ascended the throne in 1946, the U.S.-born, Swiss-educated king has reigned over more than 20 prime ministers.
He has stayed out of the public eye during the current political crisis, which led to a coup in May, spending much of his time at the royal palace in the southern seaside town of Hua Hin.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, who came to power in the May coup, was among the many well-wishers visiting Siriraj Hospital to pay their respects, accompanied by senior government ministers and the Thai army chief.