Pope Francis underwent abdominal surgery without complications

RELIGIOUS NEWS AGENCY (REDNA) – Pope Francis underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a hernia in his abdominal wall, the latest malady to befall the 86-year-old pontiff who had part of his colon removed two years ago.

The Vatican said there were no complications during the three-hour surgery, which required Francis to be under general anesthesia. Soon after the procedure, the surgeon who performed the operation said the pope was awake and that the hernia was fixed.

The pontiff was expected to remain at Rome’s Gemelli hospital for several days. As a precaution, all papal audiences were canceled through June 18, the Vatican said.

Dr. Sergio Alfieri, director of abdominal and endocrine sciences at Gemelli, who also performed Francis’ 2021 colon surgery, said the pope was alert and even joking. “When will we do the third one?” he quoted Francis as saying.

During the operation, doctors removed the adhesions, or internal scarring, that had caused the pope pain in recent months, said Alfieri, who also revealed that Francis had undergone previous undisclosed abdominal surgery sometime before 2013 in Argentina.


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