Pope Francis Eats, Walks Two Days After Surgery

By Robin Foster
Health Day reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 7, 2021 (Healthday News) – After major colon surgery performed on Sunday, Pope Francis ate breakfast, read the papers and took a walk on Tuesday, the Vatican said.

“His Holiness Pope Francis rested well during the night,” Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said. “Post-operative recovery is regular. Routine check-ups are good.”

The 84-year-old religious leader underwent three-hour surgery for a narrowing of the large intestine on Sunday. The Vatican said doctors removed the left side of his colon, the Associated press reported.

The Vatican has shared few details about the Pope’s diagnosis or the procedure he underwent, saying only that he had entered the hospital for surgery planned for diverticular stenosis or a narrowing of the colon. Surgery usually involves removing the left side of the colon and then joining the remaining healthy parts of the large intestine.

It’s a common problem that affects around 80% of people over 80, but surgery may become necessary if the lining of the colon becomes so scarred that it becomes clogged, Dr Yann Parc, department manager at the Saint Antoine hospital in Paris, told the PA. Parc was not involved in the care of the Pope.

“It seems that the Pope had this pathology, and it is understandable that Italian surgeons removed this part and sewn it to the rectum to recreate normal digestive transit,” Parc told the press service.

Pope Francis enjoyed fairly robust health during his tenure, although he lost the upper part of a lung in his youth due to infection. He also suffers from sciatica, or nerve pain, which causes him to walk with a limp, PA mentionned.

The Pope is expected to stay at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, which has a special suite reserved for Popes, while he recovers, the PA mentionned.

Francis’s next public appearance would normally be next Sunday, where he usually appears in a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square, blesses the faithful below, and speaks for a few minutes.

If he remains hospitalized, Fran├žois could do what one of his predecessors did during his convalescence in Gemelli. During some of his many stays there, Saint John Paul II would sometimes appear at the window of his hospital room to greet and bless the supporters gathered outside, the PA reported.

More information

Visit the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons to learn more about diverticular disease.

SOURCE: Associated press

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