European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has cut short his holiday to have urgent surgery to remove his gallbladder.
The 64-year-old was taken back to Luxembourg from Austria to undergo an urgent cholecystectomy.
Mr Juncker, who is due to leave his post as the EU’s figurehead in October, has had to respond to speculation about his health before.
Last year he swayed and stumbled at a dinner for NATO leaders in Brussels and had to be supported on his feet.
His spokesman later said it was caused by sciatica and cramps as he hit back at claims Mr Juncker was drunk.
The gallbladder operation is common and usually happens if a person develops painful gallstones
The gallbladder is a small, pouch-like organ in the upper right part of the stomach which stores bile – a fluid produced by the liver that helps break down fatty foods.
According to the NHS, the patient can usually leave hospital the same day or the next morning if keyhole surgery is used.
Mr Juncker will be replaced as European Commission on 31 October by German conservative Ursula von der Leyen.
The Commission’s role includes proposing new laws, managing EU policies and supervising how its money is spent, negotiating trade deals and representing the EU on the world stage.