Pope Francis Under Observation After Undergoing Colon Surgery in Rome: 'A Scheduled Surgical Intervention'
The head of the Catholic Church underwent an operation for symptomatic diverticular stenosis on Sunday, according to Vatican City officials
Pope Francis is under observation after undergoing colon surgery on Sunday, according to Vatican City officials.
The head of the Catholic Church, 84, was transported to Gemelli Policlinic in Rome following Sunday's Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square.
Matteo Bruni, Director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed the operation in a statement.
"This afternoon, His Holiness Pope Francis was taken to A. Gemelli Policlinic in Rome where he will undergo a scheduled surgical intervention for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon," read the statement.
"Performing the surgery is Prof. Sergio Alfieri. Dr. Alfieri is in the hospital's Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and heads the Digestive Surgery Complex Operational Unit. He is specialized in general, digestive, colon-rectal, stomach, and pancreatic surgery," Bruni noted.
A medical bulletin was issued later in the day once the Pope's surgery was complete.
"Operation finished, [Pope Francis] will remain under observation," issued the Vatican.
According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, symptomatic diverticular stenosis is a "common condition that involves small bulges or sacs called diverticula that form from the wall of the large intestine."
This is not the Pope's first health scare. He opened up about nearly dying from the flu at age 21 in his 2020 book Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future about navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"When I got really sick at the age of twenty-one I had my first experience of limit, of pain and loneliness. It changed the way I saw life," Pope Francis wrote. "For months, I didn't know who I was, and whether I would live or die. The doctors had no idea whether I'd make it either."
"The following November they operated to take out the upper right lobe of one of the lungs," he explained in the book. "I have some sense of how people with coronavirus feel as they struggle to breathe on ventilators."