Pope Francis has undergone a successful colon procedure at a hospital in Rome, according to the Vatican.
Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni, who is the director of the Holy See’s press office, said that Pope Francis “responded well” to the surgery, which was performed under general anesthesia by Dr. Sergio Alifieri at Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic.
It is unclear when the 84-year-old pope is expected to leave the hospital.
“The Holy Father, admitted in the afternoon to A. Gemelli Polyclinic, underwent in the evening planned surgery for a diverticular stenosis of the sigmoid” portion of the colon, Bruni said in a written statement. “The Holy Father responded well to the surgery conducted under general anesthesia,” the statement continued, adding that there was a four-person surgical team and a four-person anesthesiologist team in the operating room.
Earlier on Sunday, Bruni announced that Pope Francis would undergo a “scheduled surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.”
Diverticular stenosis or diverticulitis is a condition where there is a narrowing of the colon. Symptoms include recurrent abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel movements.
Worth noting: The announcement that the pontiff was being admitted to the hospital came hours after the pope made a public appearance in St. Peter’s Square, where he told the crowd that he would go to Hungary and Slovakia in September. Pope Francis never mentioned his impending surgery which Bruni later described as “scheduled.”
At the end of his remarks, he asked the crowd to pray for him.
“And please, don’t forget to pray for me,” he said.
A week earlier, Pope Francis similarly asked the public to pray for him at the same Sunday appearance.
“I ask you to pray for the pope, pray in a special way,” Francis said on June 27 and thanked the crowd. “The pope needs your prayers. I know you will do that.”
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