Saudi king undergoes "successful" back surgery in Riyadh

Published November 18, 2012


Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz underwent a "successful" operation in a local hospital to correct a back problem, the royal court announced in a communique disseminated by the official SPA news agency on Sunday.

Preparatory tests performed before the surgery on the 88-year-old monarch began at 12:30 p.m. local time (0930 GMT) on Saturday, after which the operation was carried out with doctors finishing up around 3:15 a.m. (0015 GMT), the communique said.

Abdullah was admitted to the National Guard's King Abdulaziz Hospital in the capital, according to the SPA, which added that the operation performed there consisted of tightening a loose ligament in his back.

In October 2011, the Saudi king underwent a successful operation to tighten ligaments around his spine at the same medical center.

In addition, Abdullah was operated on in New York on Nov. 24, 2010, for a herniated disk and complications from a blood clot associated with it.

On Dec. 3 that same year, he underwent surgery again as part of his treatment to more firmly set his spinal disks, and in February 2010 he returned to Saudi Arabia after convalescing outside the kingdom for three months.

Abdullah has ruled Saudi Arabia since the death of his half-brother, King Fahd, on Aug. 1, 2005.

The current king named another half-brother, 76-year-old Prince Salman, crown prince last June after the death of Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz. EFE