Pope's night 'passed well' after intestinal surgery in Rome

ByPhoebe Natanson ABCNews logo
Thursday, June 8, 2023

ROME and LONDON -- Pope Francis' night "passed well" after he underwent intestinal surgery on Wednesday, Vatican officials said Thursday morning.

Vatican officials had said Wednesday evening that the surgery was over and that "it took place without complications and lasted three hours."

The pope then "spent a quiet night managing to rest for many hours," Matteo Bruni, director of the press office for The Holy See, said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Francis was "in good general condition, alert and breathing on his own. Routine follow-up examinations are good," Bruni said.

The pontiff is expected to spend several days in the hospital recovering.

After his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, the pope went to Gemelli hospital in Rome and underwent "a Laparotomy and abdominal wall plastic surgery with prosthesis under general anaesthesia," Bruni said in a statement in Italian on Wednesday.

The surgery was arranged within the last few days, the Vatican said. He's expected to stay in the hospital for several days to make a full recovery.

The 86-year-old pontiff spent three days in the hospital in March after he complained he was having difficulty breathing.

The pontiff's March hospital stay had gone well "with normal medical progress," as he recovered from bronchitis, Vatican officials said at the time.

Francis also had intestinal surgery two years ago for diverticular stenosis. That three-hour operation included an hemicolectomy, which is the removal of part of the colon.

Francis often uses a wheelchair or walker during public events, including when he presided over the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, his retired predecessor, in January.

Vatican officials said on Thursday they planned to release additional information on Wednesday's procedure.

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