Pope Francis is doing “well” after bowel surgery, Vatican says

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Pope Francis was spending his first morning recovering on Monday in a hospital in Rome after bowel surgery under general anesthesia and was reportedly doing well.

The Vatican gave few details of the operation on Sunday evening at the Gemelli Polyclinic, a large Catholic hospital in the Italian capital.

An Italian cardinal told reporters he had been told the Pope was doing well.

POPE FRANCIS COMES TO ROME HOSPITAL FOR INTESTINAL SURGERY

Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives to recite the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square in the Vatican on July 4, 2021 (Associated press)
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Pope Francis waves to the crowd as he arrives to recite the Angelus prayer from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on July 4, 2021 (Associated press)

“Our prayer and our closeness are very great,” Cardinal Enrico Feroci said at the airport in Rome where he was taking a flight. The Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying that he had heard earlier in the morning from another cardinal, Angelo De Donatis, “and he told me the Pope is fine”. De Donatis is the vicar of the diocese of Rome.

Francis stays in a special suite on the 10th floor that the hospital keeps at the disposal of a pontiff, after Pope John Paul II has stayed there several times for various medical problems.

He is expected to remain hospitalized for several days.

Twice-daily updates on the status of Pope Francis are expected to be released from the Vatican, with the first coming later Monday morning.

The Vatican said Sunday night that Francis, 84, responded well to surgery on his lower colon.

But he didn’t say exactly what the operation involved or how long it lasted.

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Francis had developed diverticular stenosis, or narrowing, of the sigmoid portion of the large intestine.

The Vatican said the operation was scheduled, although it did not announce the hospitalization until after Francis checked in at Gemelli.

Doctors unrelated to the Pope’s hospitalization said it was common to have the affected part of the bowel resected in such cases.

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Messages of recovery continued to arrive for the Pope. The office of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said the leader “expresses affectionate wishes for a speedy recovery and a speedy recovery”.

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