December 24, 2011 by staff
Members of the royal family were expected to visit Prince Philip, 90, in hospital on Christmas Eve.
The duke suffered chest pains and was taken by helicopter from Sandringham to the specialist cardiothoracic unit at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire on Friday night.
He underwent a successful “invasive procedure of coronary stenting”.
In a brief statement, Buckingham Palace gave an update on his condition, saying “the Duke of Edinburgh has had a good night”.
The royal family has gathered at the Queen’s private Norfolk estate for Christmas and will attend the Christmas Day morning service at St Mary Magdalene church.
Prince Philip is expected to remain in hospital for observation for a “short period” and receive a visit from some of his relatives.
If he makes good progress, he could reportedly be back among them for Christmas Day, or the Boxing Day shoot, which he was expected to lead.
Dr Simon Davies, consultant intervention cardiologist at the Royal Brompton hospital in London, said the duke may have been on the verge of a heart attack or actually had one before the stenting procedure was performed.
“They [surgeons] have 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 This metallic sleeve is opened up and then when the balloon is deflated and withdrawn the stent stays behind.”
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