Pope Francis, 84, is alert, breathing unaided and in good condition after undergoing surgery to remove part of his colon, the Vatican reported on Monday (5). The pontiff, however, must remain in the hospital for at least seven days.
According to spokesperson Matteo Bruni, the surgery Francisco underwent – a left hemicolectomy, a procedure in which part of the colon is removed – lasted three hours and was performed by ten professionals from Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
This was the first time the Vatican has given details of the specific nature of the surgery, programmed to treat a condition of diverticular stenosis, a condition in which “pockets” form in the muscle layer of the colon, making it narrower. .
In addition to causing pain, the disease can lead to bloating, inflammation, and difficulty evacuating. It is a more common diagnosis in the elderly.
The Pope arrived at the hospital at 3:00 p.m. (10:00 a.m., GMT) this Sunday (4), accompanied by his driver and a close collaborator. Francisco will remain in a room on the 10th floor of the Roman hospital, the same room used by John Paul II on several occasions after the 1981 bombing and during the treatment of his various health problems.
The windows on the 10th floor were kept closed all night. It was the first time that Pope Francis had to be interned since taking over the leadership of the Catholic Church in 2013.
The pontiff suspended the Wednesday general audiences during the month of July and has no meeting scheduled on his official agenda until next Sunday (11), when he will appear on the veranda of the apostolic palace for the traditional prayer. of the Angelus.
Born December 17, 1936 in Argentina, Jorge Bergoglio had the upper lobe of his right lung removed at age 21, due to pleurisy. He suffers from hip problems and chronic sciatica.
This Sunday, Francisco celebrated the traditional Sunday prayer of the Angelus at the window of the Santa Marta residence for the faithful gathered under a blazing sun in Saint Peter’s Square. He appeared in good shape and delighted to announce an official visit to Slovakia from September 12 to 15, his second overseas trip in 2021, after Iraq in March.
“I am not afraid of death”, he confided in 2019 during an interview with the Argentinian journalist Nelson Castro, who wrote a book on the health of the popes. In the book, Francisco says that even after the severe pain he felt after the lung operation he underwent, he was convinced he would be cured.
“I never felt any limitation in my activities. Even on several international trips, I never had to limit or cancel any of the planned activities,” said the pontiff at the time.
More recently, however, Francisco de has had to cancel some dates, such as the traditional New Year’s Mass on January 1.