Former King of Greece Scheduled for Heart Surgery

  May 4, 2009 at 7:31 pm by

In a surprising announcement this morning, King Constantine’s London office announced via the family’s website that King Constantine II, Former King of Greece, will be undergoing ‘elective’ heart surgery on May 29 at Wellington Hospital, London.

The announcement stated:

His Majesty King Constantine [Former King of Greece] is scheduled to undergo elective cardiac surgery for calcific aortic stenosis with valve replacement using a bioprosthesis and a single-vessel bypass…and will be performed by Professor Gilles D. Dreyfus…Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon & the Director of Transplantation at Harefield Hospital and Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery at Imperial College, London.

Click to see more at Zimbio

Click to see more at

In layman’s terms, one of the King’s arteries has become blocked or narrowed by cholesterol and is unable to properly send blood between the heart and the lungs. This correction involves surgically cutting the artery at the blockage and rerouting blood flow. At the same time, he will be having one of the four valves of the heart replaced. The replacement, a bioprosthesis, will be made from one of three possible grafts – animal tissue, human tissue of a donated heart or rarely a patient’s own tissue. Patients with bioprosthesis usually do not need to take blood-thinning medicines but these valves are not as strong as mechanical valves and often need to be replaced every 10 years or so.

Although both procedures are fairly common, they are not without risks. During surgery, patients are most often placed on a “heart and lung machine” so that the heart and lungs can be stopped for the entirety of the procedure. Patients are usually closely monitored for the first few days after surgery in an Intensive Care Unit to ensure there are no post surgical complications.

The Wellington Hospital, a private hospital in London, has one of the top Intensive Care Units (likely where King Constantine will recover post surgery) and has a well respected specialty cardiac unit.

Information, when available will be posted in this current events thread.

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2 Responses to Former King of Greece Scheduled for Heart Surgery

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