FAITH

Vatican: Pope alert and well a day after intestinal surgery

Jul 5, 2021, 8:27 AM
Pope Francis waves during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on October...
Pope Francis waves during his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican on October 14, 2020. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

ROME (AP) — The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis is “in good condition, alert” and breathing on his own, a day after he underwent a three-hour operation that involved removing half his colon.

Francis, 84, is expected to stay in Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic, a Catholic hospital, for about seven days “barring complications,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said.

The brief medical bulletin contained the first details the Vatican released, coming more than 12 hours after the end of Sunday’s surgery. The procedure was necessitated by what the Holy See said was a diverticular stenosis, or narrowing the pope’s sigmoid portion of the large intestine.

“His Holy Father is in good, general condition, alert and breathing spontaneously,” Bruni said in a written statement. “The operation for the diverticular stenosis, performed during the evening of July 4, involved a left hemicolectomy and lasted for about three hours,” Bruni said.

That procedure generally entails removing the left side of the colon and attaching the remaining parts of the large intestine. But the Vatican didn’t elaborate.

Francis was spending his first morning convalescing in a Rome hospital following the surgery on the left side of his large intestine.

Before Monday’s statement, the Vatican had given scant details about the operation.

Earlier, an Italian cardinal told reporters he had been informed that Francis was doing OK post-operatively.

“Our prayer and our closeness are very great,” Cardinal Enrico Feroci said at Rome’s airport where he was catching a flight. The Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying that he had heard earlier in the morning from another cardinal, Angelo De Donatis, “and he told me that the pope is well.” De Donatis is the vicar of the Rome diocese.

Francis is staying in special, 10th floor suite that the hospital keeps available for use by a pontiff, after Pope John Paul II stayed there several times for various medical problems.

When the Vatican announced on Sunday afternoon that Francis had been admitted to hospital for a planned operation, it said that he needed surgery because he had developed a narrowing of the sigmoid portion of the large intestine.

Without citing sources, Rome daily Il Messaggero reported that “complications” arose during the surgery. Without specifying what happened, the newspaper said that the surgeons, after starting to operate via laparoscopy, ended up having to do incisions.

The Vatican statement made no reference to that report or to any “complications.”

Laparoscopy is a kind of surgical procedure often dubbed “keyhole surgery” since it allows the surgeon access to the inside of the abdomen without requiring large incisions. In the kind of surgery the Vatican said the pope was getting, laparoscopy is commonly used, experts have said.

Patients having laparoscopic surgery generally require shorter hospital stays.

Twice daily updates on Francis’ condition were expected to be issued by the Vatican.

Doctors not connected to the pope’s hospitalization have said it is common to perform a re-sectioning of the affected part of the bowel in such cases.

Get-well messages continued to arrive for the pope. Italian Premier Mario Draghi’s office said the leader “expresses affectionate wishes for a rapid convalescence and quick healing.”

Today’s Top Stories

Faith

The new monuments at This is the place heritage park....
Mark Jackson

This is the Place Heritage Park to unveil monuments for early Black pioneers

This is the Place Heritage Park will unveil a monument dedicated to early Black pioneers on July 22, just in time for Pioneer Day.
3 days ago
praying football coach...
JESSICA GRESKO Associated Press

Supreme Court sides with coach who sought to pray after game

The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said the coach's prayer was protected by the First Amendment.
7 days ago
downtown slc general conference temple square...
Simone Seikaly

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reacts to Roe v. Wade

SALT LAKE CITY — Leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have responded to the Supreme Court decision on Friday that overturned Roe v. Wade. Their statement began by reasserting a belief in the sanctity of human life. It also listed possible exceptions for members who may seek an abortion, which include […]
10 days ago
supreme court. it just ended remain in mexico policy...
MARK SHERMAN Associated Press

Justices rule religious schools must get Maine tuition aid

The most immediate effect of the court's ruling beyond Maine probably will be felt next door in Vermont, which has a similar program.
13 days ago
Photo credit: Just Add Chocolate Facebook page....
Lindsay Aerts

Chocolate shop apologizes, renames Book of Mormon-themed Twinkies

A Utah County chocolate shop has renamed its Book of Mormon-theme Twinkies after it was accused of being racist. The shop has also apologized.
24 days ago
hill cumorah monument...
Mark Jones and Aimee Cobabe

UPDATE: Suspect arraigned for reckless endangerment after gunshots fired at Hill Cumorah Visitors’ Center

No injuries were reported Wednesday after gunshots were heard near the Hill Cumorah Visitors Center in New York. Police say roughly 22 shots were fired.
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Vatican: Pope alert and well a day after intestinal surgery