Surgeon says Spanish king 'lucky' after operation

15th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

King Juan Carlos I of Spain, who recently had a benign growth removed from his lung, was "very lucky" the cells did not prove cancerous, his surgeon said in an interview published Saturday.

"There was high percentage of probability that it was a tumour with malignant cells, which did not turn out to be the case," Laureano Molins told El Pais.

Molins, who operated on the monarch earlier this month, told the newspaper that the king was "very lucky" because "we had thought that we were probably dealing with a lesion with malignant cells".

The king "does not have a malignant tumour in his lung. I can assure you that the procedures would have been totally different," he said.

The surgeon said that Juan Carlos had reacted to the diagnosis with "a lot of calm" and asked for "total transparency" about his condition with the Spanish people.

The king left a Barcelona hospital on Tuesday smiling, three days after undergoing successful surgery.

Born on January 5, 1938, Juan Carlos Alfonso Victor Maria de Borbon y Borbon became king on November 22, 1975, two days after the death of right-wing dictator General Francisco Franco.

He is considered a pillar of democratic Spain, having played a key role during the country's transition to democracy after Franco's long dictatorship and an attempted military coup d'etat in 1981.

Over the last few years Crown Prince Felipe has taken a more leading role in royal affairs.

© 2010 AFP

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