Pope Francis hospitalized for abdominal surgery
Rome Newsroom, Jun 7, 2023 / 03:01 am
Pope Francis will undergo abdominal surgery under general anesthesia on Wednesday afternoon, the Vatican has confirmed.
The operation was planned by the pope’s medical team in recent days after it became necessary due to a hernia that was causing recurrent, painful, and worsening symptoms, according to Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
Bruni said that Pope Francis will have a laparotomy and abdominal wall reconstruction with prosthetic material in the early afternoon on June 7.
The surgery will attempt to repair an incisional hernia, a type of abdominal wall hernia at the site of a previous surgical incision. In the pope’s case, this could be the result of the scarring caused by the pope’s colon surgery in July 2021.
The pope will be taken to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital immediately after his general audience in St. Peter’s Square and will recover in the hospital for several days post-surgery.
The news of Pope Francis’ surgery comes one day after Italian media reported that he went to Gemelli hospital for a 40-minute visit on June 6.
Pope Francis, 86, was hospitalized for four days in March for a lung infection and canceled all of his scheduled activities on May 26 due to a fever.
Since early 2022 the pope has suffered from knee pain. He started to have difficulty standing and walking and has been using a cane and wheelchair for over a year.
Pope Francis told the Italian bishops in May last year that he did not want to have his knee operated on because he did not want to recover from general anesthesia again following his 2021 colon surgery.
The pope has also dealt this year with a recurrence of diverticulitis, a painful inflammation of bulges in the large intestine, for which he was operated on in July 2021.
Despite his recent medical challenges, the Vatican recently announced the pope’s intention to visit Mongolia Aug. 31–Sept. 1.
Francis is also scheduled to be in Lisbon, Portugal, for World Youth Day Aug. 2–6. The trip also includes a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.