Spain's King Juan Carlos undergoes surgery

Madrid, Mar 3 (EFE).- Spain's King Juan Carlos underwent surgery for a herniated disc at a Madrid hospital on Sunday, and Royal Household spokesmen said that the operation was successful.

The 75-year-old monarch is now recovering in the La Milagrosa clinic in the capital, where the operation was performed and where he will remain for a week before being released to continue his recovery at Zarzuela Palace.

Juan Carlos was brought out of surgery three hours after entering the operating theater, where he was operated upon by neurosurgeon Manuel de la Torre Gutierrez.

On hand at the hospital awaiting the results of the surgery were Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Princess Letizia and the king's two daughters: Princess Elena and Princess Cristina.

The queen arrived at the hospital with her two daughters about 90 minutes after her son, Prince Felipe, and his wife.

During the operation, which was performed under general anesthesia, the surgeon used top-of-the-line equipment and high precision instruments to repair the slipped disc and stenosis of the spine in the lumbosacral portion of the king's back.

The surgeon's work consisted of "reducing" the herniated portion of the disc that was pressing on the spine, freeing up the nerves that had been compromised by the stenosis and reconstructing the damaged structures.

Dr. De la Torre said that the king was doing "stupendously well" after the operation and that it will take between two and six months for him to make a full recovery.

"Once again, once again ...," a smiling King Juan Carlos said to the many reporters present upon his arrival at the hospital for his seventh operation - for assorted health problems - in the past three years.

The king was driven to the hospital in a dark-colored SUV sitting in the front passenger seat, from where he waved and smiled at reporters through the open window.