June 6, 2007 / 9:24 AM / 12 years ago

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito surgery a success

TOKYO, June 6 (Reuters) - Japan’s Crown Prince Naruhito, heir to one of the world’s oldest monarchies, had surgery to remove a benign intestinal polyp on Wednesday, and doctors said the 70-minute operation was successful.

"The operation to remove the polyp proceeded smoothly as scheduled and finished successfully," chief palace doctor Ichiro Kanazawa told reporters.

The polyp was a rare kind located in the duodenum and would require the prince to rest after the operation, a palace spokesman said.

The polyp was discovered during a routine medical examination in March.

Kanazawa said Naruhito, 47, had chatted with his wife, Crown Princess Masako, shortly after waking up from anaesthesia.

Naruhito will stay in hospital for about a week and rest at the palace for another week afterwards.

The Crown Prince would be able to have light meals within two or three days, said Hirokazu Nagawa who heads the team of four doctors who conducted the surgery.

When asked about how he was feeling after the operation, Naruhito told Nagawa: "I am alright. Has it finished?"

Naruhito’s grandfather, Emperor Hirohito, died of intestinal cancer in 1989, and his father, the current Emperor Akihito, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002.

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