PM’s heart surgery successful, condition stable (Evening Lead)January 24th, 2009 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s heart surgery was “successful”, doctors at All India Insititute of Medical Sciences AIIMS) said Saturday, describing his condition as “stable” after an operation here that went on for nearly eight hours.“The operation was successful and there is nothing to worry about. His condition is stable. He has been moved to the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU),” hospital officials told IANS.
The surgery conducted by a team of 11 doctors led by well-known cardio-thoracic surgeon Ramakant Panda, vice chairman of Mumbai’s Asian Heart Institute, would study his vital parameters and discuss his post-operative care following the surgery.
According to D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the doctors performed the ‘beating heart’ bypass surgery, a long procedure, on the 76-year-old prime minister, as that was “less risky”.
“We will be monitoring him closely after the operation so that post-operative complications do not arise. The next few hours will be critical,” said a senior doctor who said he was not authorised to speak officially.
Manmohan Singh was wheeled into Operation Theatre-5 at about 7.30 a.m.
The prime minister, discharged from AIIMS Thursday following an angiography a day earlier, was re-admitted Friday after he felt uneasy at his 7 Race Course Road residence in the morning.
Tests over two days revealed that Singh, who became prime minister in May 2004 heading a Congress-led government, had multiple arterial blockages.
Even at his age, Manmohan Singh keeps himself fit doing yoga, is conscious of his diet and packs a punishing 18-hour work schedule despite having undergone a bypass surgery 18 years ago.
While the operation was on relatives of the prime minister offered prayers in guudwaras in Punjab and in Kolkata as he underwent the operation.
“We offered prayers at the Golden Temple for his speedy recovery. We are now heading for Delhi to be with his family,” said Surjit Singh Kohli, half-brother of the prime minister.
Prayers were also conducted in churches, schools and other places in the country.
Since the prime minister will take a few weeks to fully recover, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who stepped in for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for certain duties. received visiting Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Mukherjee has taken on the prime minister’s protocol duties and also holds additional charge of the finance ministry.
Receiving the visiting dignitary, Mukherjee explained that the prime minister was indisposed. “Our prime minister is indisposed, hence I am receiving you,” he said.
This will also be the first time that a prime minister will skip the Republic Day celebrations. In his place Defence Minister A.K. Antony will stand in for Manmohan Singh for the ceremonies.
Antony will lead the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, Monday morning, a defence ministry spokesperson said.
Meanwhile the Congress party clarified that there would not be any change in the leadership on account of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s bypass surgery.
“There cannot be two prime ministers and under the constitution, there can only be one prime minister,” said Congress general secretary Verappa Moily.
To a question on whether the party was contemplating any change in leadership, Moily said: “The question is irrelevant.”
Moily showed his confidence in the leadership of Manmohan Singh and said that the prime minister would resume his duties in two weeks.
“He is a man of strong will power. I am confident that he will be back to his duty within two weeks and would come back with more energy,” Moily said.