Pope Francis’ recovery from bowel surgery continues to be “consistent and satisfactory,” the Vatican said on Wednesday, as it revealed final exams showed he had suffered a “severe” narrowing of his colon.
The daily Vatican update made no mention of cancer detected during an examination of tissue taken from Francis’ colon on Sunday. Doctors said it was a good sign and proof that the suspected condition of a colon narrowing due to inflammation and scarring had been confirmed.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the 84-year-old Pope continued to eat regularly after Sunday’s surgery to remove half of his colon, and intravenous therapy had been suspended.
“The fact that he’s eating means his intestinal tract is working as it should,” said Dr. Walter E. Longo, professor of colon and rectal surgery and surgery at Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New. Haven Health, who was not involved in Francis’ care. “The fact that infusion therapy has been discontinued means that the amount of fluid he needs to maintain his daily functions is now being met by his oral intake. “
EXPLANATION: POPE FRANCIS, WELL HOSPITALIZED, IS STILL IN CHARGE
Bruni said the final examination of the affected tissue “confirmed severe diverticular stenosis with signs of sclerosing diverticulitis,” or hardening of the sacs that can sometimes form in the lining of the intestine.
Dr Manish Chand, associate professor of surgery at University College London who specializes in colorectal surgery, said the hardening of the tissue is believed to have occurred as a result of repeated inflammation and infection, resulting in scarring which make the colon less elastic.
He said there was always a concern in such cases that there might be a small cancer that had not been seen in previous imaging.
“It’s reassuring to hear that there is no underlying tumor and that the diagnosis of diverticular disease is confirmed,” said Chand, who was also not involved in Francis’s care.
Francis underwent three hours of scheduled surgery on Sunday. He is expected to stay at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, which has a special suite reserved for popes, all week, assuming there are no complications, the Vatican has said.
US President Joe Biden, a Roman Catholic who has quoted Francis in the past, was among those offering vows of recovery. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a daily briefing Tuesday that the president “wishes him good luck and a speedy recovery.”
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages and affection received these days, and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and the prayer,” Bruni’s statement said.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Francis enjoyed relatively robust health, although he lost the upper part of a lung in his youth due to infection. He also suffers from sciatica, or nerve pain, which causes him to walk with a severe limp.
The Vatican has continued with normal operations in his absence, although July is traditionally a month when the Pope cancels public and private audiences. There was no weekly general audience on Wednesdays, for example, but the one-month suspension of the Pope’s weekly catechism classes had been announced earlier.
You Can Read Also