Pope Francis was scheduled to have intestinal surgery on Wednesday, two years after removing 13 inches of his colon due to inflammation and constriction of the large intestine.
The Vatican announced that Francis, 86, would be sedated and hospitalized at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for several days.
The pope underwent “laparotomy and abdominal wall plastic surgery with prosthesis” to cure a “recurrent, painful, and worsening” intestinal constriction.
A laparotomy is an open abdominal surgery procedure. It can aid a surgeon in both diagnosing and treating problems.
“The stay at the health facility will last several days to allow for a normal post-operative course and full functional recovery,” according to the statement.
Francis had earlier colon surgery at Gemelli in July 2021 and spent 10 days there. He had severe inflammation and constriction of the intestines.
In January, Francis said that the diverticulosis, or bulges in his gut wall, that caused the surgery in 2021 had resurfaced.
Francis went to the Gemelli on Tuesday for what the Vatican said were medical tests. It revealed no details at the time.
Francis, 86, had appeared in good form Wednesday morning at his audience in St. Peter’s Square, zipping around the square in his popemobile, greeting the faithful. He also had two meetings Wednesday morning beforehand, the Vatican said.
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The Argentine pope had part of one lung removed when he was young. He also suffers from sciatica nerve pain and has been using a wheelchair and walker for more than a year because of strained ligaments in his knee.
In late March, the Pope was hospitalized for three days. The Vatican initially claimed Francis had gone in for routine checks, but he later confessed he had felt pain in his chest and was hurried to the hospital, where bronchitis was diagnosed. He was put on intravenous antibiotics and released on April 1, saying he was “still alive.”
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Francis has had a busy schedule recently, with many audiences each day. The Vatican has recently confirmed a travel-filled August, when the Holy See and Italy are generally on holiday, with a four-day visit to Portugal in the first week of August and a similarly long journey to Mongolia beginning Aug. 31.
The Vatican revealed the itinerary for Francis’ travel to Portugal for World Youth Day celebrations from Aug. 2-6 on Tuesday, indicating that the trips were very much on. The agenda reveals a typically busy schedule that includes all of the protocol meetings of a formal state visit, various events with young people, and a day excursion to the Marian shrine at Fatima.
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