The Jerusalem Post

Pope is walking and eating, tests good after surgery – Vatican


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis’s progress following intestinal surgery is going normally, and he slept well and got up to walk, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

The results of routine tests were good, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said. He said in a statement that the pope also had breakfast and read several newspapers.

The 84-year-old pope underwent a three-hour operation on Sunday night known as a left hemicolect­omy, a procedure in which one side of the colon is removed.

He is expected to stay in Rome’s Gemelli University Hospital for seven days barring any complicati­ons.

Francis timed the surgery for the start of July, a month in which he traditiona­lly slows down, canceling all public and private audiences.

His only public commitment­s in July are his Sunday blessings in St. Peter’s Square.

It was still not clear if he would leave the hospital in time to recite it at the Vatican this Sunday or if he would preside from his window at the Gemelli, which the late Pope John Paul II did several times.

The sprawling Catholic-run Gemelli hospital and medical school in the northern part of Rome traditiona­lly treats popes and a part of its 10th floor is permanentl­y reserved for them. It includes its own intensive care unit.

The surgery was for symptomati­c diverticul­ar stenosis of the colon, the Vatican press office said. It has issued only four short statements so far on his health.

The condition, more common in older people, sees sac-like pouches protrude from the muscular layer of the colon, leading it to become narrow and causing pain and inflammati­on.

It was the first time Francis has been hospitaliz­ed since his election as pope in 2013.

When Pope John Paul was in the same hospital, the doctors issued signed medical bulletins with many details and occasional­ly met the media.

The guidance is believed to come directly from Francis, who guards his privacy more closely than John Paul, who was hospitaliz­ed at Gemelli several times during his 27-year pontificat­e.

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