New York-based surgeon Chittaranjan Ranawat described the post-surgery condition of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Thursday evening as 'good'.
Ranawat had performed surgery on Vajpayee's right knee at Breach Candy Hospital on Thursday morning.
Briefing the media, he said the surgery was similar to the one performed for the prime minister's left knee less than a year back.
He said the prime minister, who is 'comfortable', would spend eight to 10 days in hospital, but would be out of bed in a day or two, depending on the level of pain.
He said there was no pain now in the left knee and added that 90 per cent of such knee-replacement surgeries were effective for 15 years.
The operation on the prime minister began around 0900 hrs (IST) and ended around 1045hrs. The prime minister was conscious throughout the operation and had been given local anesthesia on the lower part of the body.
Among those who called soon after the operation were Leader of Opposition Sonia Gandhi, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. However, the prime minister did not attend to their calls in keeping with Ranawat's advise.
Ranawat told mediapersons that it was not advisable for the prime minister to meet visitors for at least three days.
Officials of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) - Principal Secretary Brajesh Mishra, Joint Secretary Ashok Saikia, Private Secretary Anand Rajan, Officer on Special Duty Sudheendra Kulkarni and Ashok Tandon - were all present at the hospital to attend to any emergency.
Union Home Minister L K Advani, who flew in on Wednesday night, Vajpayee's foster daughter Namita and her husband, Ranjan Bhattacharya, were also present in the hospital.
"Like the last time, bulletins about the prime minister's health would be released at regular intervals," said a source in the PMO.
Asked whether he deserved a Padma Bhushan for conducting a successful surgery on the prime minister's left knee, Ranawat said the question should be asked of those who recommended his name for the award.
Asked whether he would now get a Bharat Ratna, he laughed, "I hope I get it."
Dr Ranawat said squatting or sitting cross-legged was not advisable for the prime minister now.
Asked whether it would be the last surgery for the prime minister, he replied, "Hopefully for the knees."
On whether the prime minister's knee problem was due to excess weight and
whether he had advised Vajpayee to reduce his weight, he said, "I advise everybody to reduce their weight."
Dr Ranawat said he would perform two more surgeries at the hospital on Thursday and 15 to 20 more during his trip.
The Complete Coverage: The PM's Surgery
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