Pope will undergo surgery on his intestines today after suffering stomach pains, Vatican reveals
- Pope Francis, 86, will be put under general anaesthetic for abdominal surgery
Pope Francis will have surgery on his abdomen on Wednesday afternoon at Rome’s Gemelli hospital after he complained of stomach pains, the Vatican has revealed.
The 86-year-old pontiff will be put under general anaesthetic for the abdominal surgery and is expected to stay in the hospital for ‘several days’ to recover.
Francis’ medical team had decided in recent days that the surgery was required to treat a ‘recurrent, painful and worsening’ constriction of the intestine.
The procedure comes two years after Francis had 13 inches of his colon removed because of an inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine.
Francis is set to have his latest operation on his abdominal wall today following his weekly audience at the Vatican this morning.
The pontiff had gone for a 40 minute check-up at Gemelli hospital yesterday over concerns about stomach pains before medics decided they must act.
Pope Francis (pictured today at the Vatican before the surgery) will have surgery on his abdomen on Wednesday afternoon at Rome’s Gemelli hospital after he complained of stomach pains, the Vatican has revealed
The 86-year-old pontiff (pictured today) will be put under general anesthetic for the abdominal surgery and is expected to stay in hospital for ‘several days’ to recover
Sources told La Stampa that following Francis’ colon surgery two years ago, hernias have formed, which risk blocking the intestine.
The Vatican said Francis will be undergoing an open abdominal surgery which can help a surgeon both diagnose and treat issues.
‘The stay at the health facility will last several days to allow for the normal postoperative course and full functional recovery,’ the Vatican said.
Francis was hospitalised in March 2023 with a bout of pneumonia after he experienced difficulty breathing at his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
The pope is particularly susceptible to respiratory infections, owing to the complications of a severe condition he contracted in his 20s.
When Francis was 21, he developed pleurisy – the inflammation of the tissue between the lungs and the ribcage.
The affliction was so serious he almost died and doctors were forced to remove several pulmonary cysts and a small part of his upper right lung, according to the pope’s biographer Austen Ivereigh.
A lengthy recovery process followed, which impacted Francis’ voice – he is often heard speaking in little more than a whisper.
The pontiff said he had made a full recovery from pleurisy, but his reduced lung capacity puts him at greater risk for chronic respiratory diseases.
This is a breaking news story, more to follow…