Pope Francis is “in good general condition, vigilant, and breathing on his own,” after surgery for diverticular stenosis that “involved a left hemicolectomy” — the removal of the left side of the large bowel — and is expected to remain in hoospital for seven days, “absent complications.”
That is according to a statement issued at noon Rome Time on Mondy by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni. The seven days’ recovery in hospital is two more than Italian wire service ANSA reported on Sunday, in the hours immediately following the operation.
The Press Office statement also confirms the partial removal of Pope Francis’s large intestine — a detail reported in the Italian press, which the Vatican had not furnished in its statement on Sunday — and specifies that the surgical intervention lasted roughly three hours.
Prof Sergio Alfieri performed the operation, assisted by Prof Luigi Sofo, Dr Antonio Tortorelli, and Dr Roberta Menghi.
Prof Massimo Antonelli, Prof Liliana Sollazzi, and Drs Roberto De Cicco and Maurizio Soave administered the anaesthesia, while Proff Giovanni Battista Doglietto and Roberto Bernabei — respectively the head of the Vatican’s healthcare services and the pope’s personal physician — were present in the operating theatre.
Pope Francis made no mention of the previously scheduled operation during the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer. The Holy See announced the medical intervention Sunday afternoon.
Among the many messages expressing prayerful best wishes for Pope Francis’s speedy and complete recovery was one from the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella.
“The affectionate thoughts of all Italians, of whom I make myself the interpreter by joining my own,” wrote Mattarella, “accompany Your Holiness in these hours, together with the most cordial wishes for a good convalescence and an even better and prompt recovery.”
Pope Francis has experienced other health issues recently, including bouts of painful sciatica that caused him to skip several events between the of 2020 and early 2021.
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