Update: Pope Francis undergoes surgery at Gemelli Hospital in Rome – Catholic Standard


VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis was hospitalized on July 4 and underwent surgery on his sigmoid colon, the lowest part of the large intestine, the Vatican press office said.

“The Holy Father reacted well to the operation, which took place under general anesthesia,” said the press service in a note published shortly before midnight. The statement did not specify how long the Pope was to stay in the hospital, although Italian surgeons interviewed on television said four to five days was normal.

The 84-year-old Pope was admitted to Gemelli Hospital in Rome in the afternoon after leading the midday Angelus recitation with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The Pope was to undergo “scheduled surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” the Vatican press office said.

Dr Sergio Alfieri, a Gemelli surgeon specializing in digestive tract and colon surgery, led the operation, assisted by a team of surgeons.

Stenosis is a narrowing of a passage in the human body. The Vatican’s description of the Pope’s condition indicated partial blockage of the lower intestine. He did not provide any information on the cause or suspected cause of the blockage or on the symptoms the Pope had experienced.

As soon as the Vatican announced the Pope’s hospitalization, messages of recovery began to appear on social media.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who had just arrived in France when the news broke, sent a telegram, his office said. The president said he and the Italian people accompanied the Pope with “loving thoughts” and wished for a speedy recovery.

Pope Francis has been generally healthy since he became Pope in March 2013, with the exception of recurrent attacks of sciatica, which causes a sharp pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which starts from the lower back. going through the hips and down each leg. At the end of December and the beginning of January, he missed several events because the pain was so intense.

The Pope also suffered from a lung disease in 1957 at the age of 21 which required him to undergo surgery to remove the right upper lobe from one of his lungs.

In an interview for a book published in early March, the Pope said that although his recovery was painful, it was “complete and I never felt any limitation in my activities.”

“As you have seen, for example, in the various trips that I have taken that you have covered, I have never had to restrict or cancel any of the planned activities. I have never felt tired or shortness of breath, “he told Nelson Castro, an Argentinian doctor and journalist.

The Pope also told Castro that when he was Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Argentina, a position he held from 1973 to 1979, he underwent emergency gallbladder surgery.

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