Friday, December 1, 2023

Pope Francis undergoes intestinal surgical procedure, no problems, Vatican says

ROME — Pope Francis underwent intestinal surgical procedure Wednesday and completed the three-hour process with out problems, the Vatican mentioned, although the episode raised recent issues concerning the well being of the 86-year-old pontiff.

Francis will stay within the hospital for at the very least 5 to seven days, his physician mentioned. The Vatican canceled his conferences till June 18, whereas additionally selling his deliberate journey to Portugal in August.

The pope ought to have the ability to preserve his already-announced journey schedule within the coming weeks and months, so long as he doesn’t overexert himself, his surgeon, Sergio Alfieri, mentioned in postoperative information convention.

Alfieri mentioned that this hadn’t been an emergency intervention however that the pope had made the choice to proceed after experiencing recurring ache.

The pope’s intestinal points, the surgeon mentioned, appeared associated to adhesions and inside scars, probably from earlier surgical procedures relationship again to his days in Argentina, earlier than turning into pope.

After addressing the obstructions, a mesh-like prosthesis was inserted within the pope’s bowels, Alfieri mentioned. The process occurred below normal anesthesia, which produced no adversarial results, the surgeon mentioned.

Alfieri recounted that upon awaking from his second intestinal surgical procedure in two years, the pontiff joked, “When is the third surgical procedure?”

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In July 2021, Francis had 13 inches of his colon eliminated to deal with a stenosis, or narrowing, of his giant gut. He has urged that concern about going below normal anesthesia once more influenced his resolution to keep away from knee surgical procedure to restore strained ligaments which have restricted his mobility.

Regardless of well being points, Francis, one of many oldest pontiffs in historical past, has maintained an brisk tempo for many of his decade as pope.

On Wednesday morning earlier than the surgical procedure, he participated in his common normal viewers on the Vatican after which greeted the trustworthy in St. Peter’s Sq., blessing a baby with a hand on his head and making his rounds within the uncovered “popemobile” within the brilliant daylight.

Francis was taken to Rome’s largest hospital — Gemelli — within the early afternoon.

That is his second hospitalization this yr. He was delivered to Gemelli in March with bronchitis.

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Whereas he was within the hospital for only some days then, it got here forward of the Holy Week and Easter interval, including to issues. The Vatican sought to reassure the general public with each day updates — displaying the pope working, consuming pizza, baptizing infants and handing out chocolate eggs on the pediatric oncology ward.

Francis, whose knee ache requires him to make use of a wheelchair and a strolling stick, has beforehand acknowledged that he could have to decelerate — and even think about retirement sooner or later.

“I don’t suppose I can proceed with the identical tempo of the journeys as earlier than,” he mentioned after a visit to Canada final yr. “I believe at my age and with this limitation, I’ve to save lots of [my energies up] a bit to have the ability to serve the church.”

He has mentioned he can be open to stepping down if his well being made it unimaginable to run the church.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was the primary pope to step down in 600 years.

Francis has mentioned it’s a “regular possibility” to consider retirement — however that he wasn’t there but.

Pope Francis says ‘door is open’ to eventual retirement as he slows tempo

Along with a go to to Portugal for World Youth Day within the first week of August, the Vatican has introduced a deliberate journey to Mongolia later that month.

However church officers aren’t blasé about his well being.

“It’s no joke, huh?” a Vatican official mentioned Wednesday after he appeared up the surgical procedure. “Particularly as a result of it’s an aged particular person. … I belief the individuals in whose palms he’s, however it’s no stroll within the park.” He spoke on the situation of anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic.

Faiola reported from Lisbon.

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