Pope Francis is recovering from an intricate surgery done over the weekend, the Vatican says.
The Vatican announced on Sunday that the head of the Catholic Church is "doing well after surgery." The Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni said in a statement that Pope Francis was admitted on Sunday afternoon to the A. Gemelli Policlinic then underwent colon surgery that same evening.
The surgery was particularly for "a diverticular stenosis of the colon" that was done under general anesthesia. Despite his age, being 84 years old, and the intricate procedure, the pope is said to have "reacted well" to the surgery performed on him.
"The Holy Father reacted well to the surgery done under general anaesthesia and performed by Prof. Sergio Alfieri, assisted by Prof. Luigi Sofo, Dr. Antonio Tortorelli and Dr. Roberta Megnhi," Bruni said in the statement.
"Anaesthesia was administered by Prof. Massimo Antonelli, Prof. Liliana Sollazzi, Dr. Roberto De Cicco, and Dr. Maurizio Soave. Also present in the operating room were Prof. Giovanni Battista Doglietto and Prof. Roberto Bernabei," he added.
Bruni, in an earlier statement, assured the public that Dr. Alfieri is a specialist on the procedure. He said Alferi is the A. Gemelli Policlinic Digestive Surgery Complex Operational Unit Head. Alferi, who works in the same hospital's Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, specializes in "general, digestive, colon-rectal, stomach and pancreatic surgery."
"Pope Francis is doing well overall, alert and breathing on his own," Bruni said on Sunday evening in an update on the pontiff's health status.
Vatican News reported that Pope Francis recited the Angelus as usual on Sunday at St. Peter Square before he left Casa Santa Marta that afternoon for the hospital. Vatican News revealed that reports on the Pope being taken to the hospital was confirmed by Bruni that afternoon to the members of the Press.
Vatican News also disclosed that the surgery lasted for three hours. It cited Bruni in saying that the "hemicolectomy on the left side took place during the surgery" during that length of time.
WND explained that a diverticulitis is a condition that affects the colon where it is either inflamed or infected. The procedure done on Pope Francis is called a left-hemicolectomy because the left side of his colon was removed.
Casilino Hospital Oncological and Emergency Surgery Scientific Director Dr. Giovanni Battista Grassi explained in an interview with the New York Times that the procedure done to the Pope is a "very delicate and" a "certainly complex procedure."
As per WND, the announcement on the Pope's surgery came as a surprise to many because there was no prior publication that he was scheduled to undergo it. WND pointed out that the Pope's surgery was the first known medical procedure done him since he had no prior serious health issue.
The Pope's recovery is said to be continuous but would require him to rest for a week in the Gemelli Hospital. Vatican News explained the seven days confinement is for "barring any complications," that is to ensure the Pope's full recovery.
"Once he has gotten through the postoperative stay, once he has undergone an adequate rehabilitation, he can return to living his life in a normal way, without any problems," Grassi said.