Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president, is said to be recovering well from the gall bladder operation he had in Germany on Saturday.
But news of his surgery has fuelled speculation about the 81-year-old's health.
In the past, reporting anything about Mubarak's wellbeing was dangerous; journalists have even been jailed for it.
But the government has been transparent about this procedure, even though it has inevitably raised questions about the country's political future.
Many Egyptians fear Mubarak's illness or death could leave a power vacuum.
Without a vice president and with no successor, could Egypt tailspin into chaos? And what will be the impact on the wider Arab world?
Inside Story presenter Shiulie Ghosh is joined by Maged Reda Boutros, a professor of political science and a member of the policies committee of the ruling National Democratic Party, Amr Hamzawy, the research director of the Middle East Centre at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Wael Abbas, a human rights activist and journalist.
This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday, March 8, 2010.
Source: Al Jazeera