Pope Francis ‘alert, in good condition’ after surgery, to remain in hospital for 7 days: Vatican

Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said that Pope Francis is to remain in the hospital for about seven more days “barring complications.”
Pope Francis raises his hand in greeting at the Vatican on July 4, 2021, hours before being admitted to Gemelli hospital in Rome.(Reuters)
Pope Francis raises his hand in greeting at the Vatican on July 4, 2021, hours before being admitted to Gemelli hospital in Rome.(Reuters)
Published on Jul 05, 2021 04:20 PM IST
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By | Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Pope Francis is in good condition, alert and breathing without assistance on his own, a day after he underwent a three-hour surgical operation which involved removing half of his colon, the Associated Press reported on Monday citing the Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni. Bruni also said that the Pope is to remain in the hospital for about seven more days “barring complications,” AP reported.

Earlier on Monday, the Vatican News said that Pope Francis “reacted well” to a surgical operation that he underwent on Sunday evening. He was admitted at the A Gemelli hospital in Rome, usually reserved for popes, for diverticular stenosis of the colon. “Admitted in the afternoon to the A. Gemelli Hospital, the Holy Father underwent surgery in the evening for a diverticular stenosis of the colon,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy Sees Press Office.

“The Holy Father reacted well to the surgery done under general anaesthesia and performed by Prof Sergio Alfieri, assisted by Prof Luigi Sofo, Dr Antonio Tortorelli and Dr Roberta Megnhi,” Bruni further said briefing on the Pope’s condition and the medical team that attended to him during the surgery. “Anaesthesia was administered by Prof Massimo Antonelli, Prof Liliana Sollazzi, Dr Roberto De Cicco, and Dr Maurizio Soave. Also present in the operating room were Prof Giovanni Battista Doglietto and Prof Roberto Bernabei,” he added. The Vatican is also expected to update twice a day on the condition of the head of the Catholic church.

Also read | Pope meets 'super-hero' Spider-Man at Vatican, gets a mask

However, there was no further information shared about the duration of the surgery and also on how long the Pope would remain in the hospital. According to a news report by the Associated Press, the recovery from the surgery usually requires several days in the hospital.

What is diverticular stenosis ?

The diverticular stenosis of the colon, for which the pontiff underwent surgery, is the condition where the colon becomes narrow due to sac-like protrusions emerging from the muscular layer of the colon, according to Reuters. Elderly people are more prone to the condition, which can cause bloating, inflammation and difficulty in bowel movements along with causing pain.

Harvard Health calls diverticulosis one of the most common medical conditions in the United States. It names diet, especially the refinement of carbohydrates, as one of the major reasons for the condition.

Other health conditions

The 84-year-old pontiff had a part of his lungs removed after an illness during his young age in his native Argentina, due to which he is sometimes short of breath. The Pope also suffers from Sciatica that causes him pain, radiating from the lower back to the sciatic nerves in the legs. He also receives physiotherapy for the same, which has led to difficulty in walking and forced the Pope to cancel some events at the beginning of this year.

In 2014, a year after Francis was elected the Pope, he was forced to cancel many engagements due to what was believed to be a stomach ailment.

(With inputs from Vatican News, Associated Press and Reuters)

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