The 84-year-old pontiff was admitted to Rome’s A. Gemelli Polyclinic on Sunday to obtain therapy for a situation often called symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon. This ends in a narrowing of the colon that may trigger ache, bloating and bowel motion issues. On Monday, the Vatican confirmed the Pope was “in good, general situation, alert” and breathing on his own.
The operation lasted around three hours and was reportedly carried out by a surgical team of 10 people, led by Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the director of Gemelli’s digestive surgery department.
It is believed the Argentine pontiff underwent a hemicolectomy, in which part of the colon is cut out and the ends are reconnected.
He is staying in a special 10th floor suite the hospital reserves for use by the Vatican.
Previous papal patients of the hospital include Pope John Paul II who stayed in the suite several times while being treated for various ailments.
Pope Francis was inundated with messages from well-wishers, praying for his speedy recovery.
The office of Italian prime minister Mario Draghi said he “expresses affectionate wishes for a rapid convalescence and quick healing.”
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The Pope has already suspended all of his general and private audiences in July, which he does every year.
The surgery appeared to be timed to coincide with a period in which his only public commitment was his Sunday blessing in St Peter’s Square.
It is the first time Francis has been admitted to hospital since his election in 2013.