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Prince Philip treated for blocked coronary

The Duke of Edinburgh has been successfully treated for a blocked coronary artery after being rushed to hospital with chest pains, Buckingham Palace said.

Philip was taken from Sandringham to the cardiothoracic unit at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, last night, where an "invasive procedure of coronary stenting" was performed.

The royal will remain in hospital for observation for a short period.

Buckingham Palace said last night: "Following tests at Papworth Cardiothoracic Hospital in Cambridge this evening the Duke of Edinburgh was found to have a blocked coronary artery which caused his chest pains.

"This was treated successfully by the minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting. Prince Philip will remain in hospital under observation for a short period."

The Duke is expected to be in hospital for the immediate Christmas period and is likely to be visited by some of the royals gathered in the Queen's private estate in Sandringham.

Dr Simon Davies, consultant intervention cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, said Philip may have been on the verge of a heart attack or actually had one before the stenting procedure was performed.

Dr Davies said: "What they have done is they put a miniature sausage-shaped balloon down the artery, pushed the balloon into the narrowed section and then blown it up.

"That forces the material that is blocking the artery outwards and then gets the blood flowing down the artery again.

"The stent is like a little metal sleeve fitted over the balloon when it is blown up.

"This metallic sleeve is opened up and then when the balloon is deflated and withdrawn the stent stays behind."

This is the most serious health scare suffered by the Duke who is known for being a robust and active 90-year-old.

He has belied his years by carrying on with his many royal engagements and in October joined the Queen for an intensive 11-day tour of Australia that took the royal couple to many of the country's major cities.

The last time he was admitted to hospital for any length of time was in April 2008 when a chest infection laid him low for a number of days and he was eventually admitted for treatment.

But even with the respiratory problem he walked into the medical institution and walked out three days later and went on to make a full recovery.

The drama began when the Duke was rushed to hospital with reports saying he was flown to the medical institution.

Papworth describes itself as the UK's largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital and the country's main heart and lung transplant centre.

Following tests, the Duke was treated probably under local anaesthetic and the blockage was cleared successfully.

The Duke is expected to be in hospital for the immediate Christmas period and is likely to be visited by some of the royals gathered in the Queen's private estate in Sandringham.

Dr Simon Davies, consultant intervention cardiologist at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, said Philip may have been on the verge of a heart attack or actually had one before the stenting procedure was performed.

Dr Davies said: "What they have done is they put a miniature sausage-shaped balloon down the artery, pushed the balloon into the narrowed section and then blown it up.

"That forces the material that is blocking the artery outwards and then gets the blood flowing down the artery again."

Belfast Telegraph

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