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Pope in ‘good condition’ after intestinal surgery

Pontiff underwent minor procedure and said to be doing well

Tim Wyatt
Monday 05 July 2021 12:02 BST
Pope Francis made no mention of his upcoming surgery during his regular Sunday morning appearance
Pope Francis made no mention of his upcoming surgery during his regular Sunday morning appearance (VATICAN MEDIA/AFP via Getty Imag)
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Pope Francis is doing well after spending a night in hospital following scheduled intestinal surgery, the Vatican has said.

The 84-year-old head of the Catholic Church underwent the operation on Sunday evening in Rome and is currently convalescing in the special 10th floor papal suite of the Gemelli Polyclinic.

The Vatican has not released many details about the particular surgery, other than that it was on the lower part of the pontiff’s colon and was prompted by the pope developing a diverticular stenosis.

This is when bulges or sacs form in the wall of the large intestine, causing it to narrow. It is not considered a particularly serious condition for most people.

An Italian Cardinal in Rome, Enrico Feroci, told reporters on Monday he had heard Pope Francis was recovering well from the surgery, which involved him going under general anaesthetic.

“Our prayer and our closeness are very great," he said at Rome’s airport while catching a flight.

Later, in an official statement, the Vatican confirmed the pontiff was in a “good general condition”.

“His Holiness Pope Francis is in good general condition, alert and breathing spontaneously.

“The surgery for diverticular stenosis carried out in the evening of 4 July involved a left hemicolectomy and lasted around three hours.

“He is expected to remain in hospital for approximately seven days, barring any complications.”

Although the Vatican said on Sunday the surgery was planned, it was only announced after the pope had already checked into the hospital and Francis made no mention of it during his normal Sunday appearance in St Peter’s Square.

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