Ricky Tomlinson is recovering in hospital after undergoing a quadruple heart bypass.
The comic actor had the operation at Liverpool's Cardiothoracic Centre after doctors discovered his arteries were severely blocked.
Consultant cardiac surgeon Aung Oo told the BBC: "The operation went according to plan and he is now recovering within the hospital's critical care unit."
Tomlinson's family thanked well-wishers but requested 48 hours of privacy to enable the 68-year-old to focus on his recovery.
The Royle Family star is currently fronting a campaign urging men to have heart check-ups to avoid surgery.
Speaking about the operation last month, he said: "I am apprehensive, of course I am. But I don't really have any choice. I've been told I've got to get in and have it done and that's that."
Tomlinson has major heart operation
Published Saturday, Oct 20 2007, 10:35 BST | By Beth Hilton