BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world’s longest-serving monarch, has suffered an inflamed colon weeks after having an operation to remove his gall bladder, the palace said.
The 86-year-old king, who has suffered from a series of ailments in recent years, is treated as a near-deity in Thailand and his health is a subject of public concern.
“Results from the blood tests and a stomach X-ray found inflammation to his colon,” according to an announcement by the Royal Household Bureau late Tuesday.
Doctors treating the monarch at a Bangkok’s Siriraj hospital prescribed antibiotics to reduce an accompanying fever, it added.
In early October the king was rushed to the hospital from his coastal palace in the southern seaside resort of Hua Hin.
He underwent an operation to remove his gall bladder after tests revealed the organ was swollen, and has remained in hospital since.
Bhumibol, who is officially King Rama IX, had left the Siriraj in September after a stay of almost six weeks for a check-up, before being sent back with the gall bladder problem.
He lived in the same hospital for nearly four years after being admitted with respiratory problems in 2009 – but there was no explanation from the palace over his prolonged stay.
Born on December 5, 1927 in the United States, Bhumibol came to the throne aged 18 in 1946. He was crowned four years later after finishing his studies in Switzerland.
The king has no official political role but is seen as a unifying figure in politically volatile Thailand, which has seen 19 failed or attempted coups since an absolute monarchy was abolished in 1932.
The king has endorsed the latest coup leader, Prayut Chan-O-Cha, as prime minister.