Pope Francis is recovering as expected and without complications, according to his treating doctor from abdominal surgery. “He’s fine,” said surgeon Sergio Alfieri at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital. However, the pope was advised to stay in hospital for the whole of next week.
“Perfectly normal” results
The 86-year-old pontiff is free of fever, has no abnormal heart or lung values and the blood and X-ray tests have yielded “absolutely normal” results, the doctor announced. Francis will no longer be treated intravenously with medication. This Saturday he should eat something solid for the first time, Alfieri said.
The head of the Catholic Church had an operation on Wednesday for a so-called laparocele, a hernia in the intestine. According to Alfieri, the pontiff survived the three-hour procedure and the general anesthesia well.
On the advice of the doctors and his medical supervisors, the Pope decided not to speak the Angelus prayer in public this Sunday – for example on the balcony of the hospital after his intestinal operation in summer 2021 – but exceptionally privately. Alfieri explained that the current goal is to put as little stress as possible on the abdominal wall to promote healing. A plastic mesh was implanted in the Pope to stabilize the area. Normally, the Pope prays the Angelus standing – this is not advisable.
From June 18th everything will remain as planned
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni reiterated that all of the Pope’s appointments have been canceled until June 18. For the time after that, everything will initially remain as planned. At the beginning of August, the Pope wants to fly to Lisbon for five days for World Youth Day. A five-day trip to Mongolia is also planned for the end of August.
Surgeon Alfieri suspects that Francis also decided to have the procedure so that he could carry out these planned trips and other projects in the future. The operation will result in the pope having less pain and being able to carry out his duties “better” in the future, the doctor said.
haz/se (dpa, afp, kna)