Pope Francis receives abdominal surgery

Mick the Ram


Pope Francis has been admitted into Rome’s Gemelli hospital where he will have surgery on his abdomen on Wednesday afternoon (7 June).

The Vatican confirmed that an operation was necessary to repair a laparocele, a hernia that sometimes forms over a scar, often from a previous surgical procedure.

It is understood that his medical team have decided to rush this through given the level of pain that the Pope was said to be suffering, due to “intestinal sub-occlusive syndromes”.

The surgery will necessitate a laparotomy and treatment to the abdominal wall, and will take place under a general anaesthetic, which given the pontiff’s age of 86, has obvious risks attached to it.

Expected to remain in hospital for several days

Pope Francis spent around 40 minutes at the same hospital on Tuesday (6 June) receiving the regulation pre-operation procedures.

The Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni tried to calm any anxieties by stating that it will be perfectly normal to expect his recovery to require him to remain at the medical facility for several days, as it would for anyone receiving intrusive surgery, as part of a post-operative course of care.

Health issues a growing concern

A series of health issues have affected the pontiff in recent years. He recently was hospitalised with bronchitis and received treatment for a lung infection. Two years ago he had 3 centimetres of his colon removed due to an inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine that was causing bowel pain; a complaint that it was recently revealed had returned.

He also has an on-going knee problem brought about through strained ligaments, which requires at times the use of both a cane and wheelchair.

Not ready to step down

There have been significant concerns raised over the Pope’s health, although the man himself continues to dismiss any doubts, maintaining that there is no possibility of him leaving office.

He has been troubled throughout his life with one health issue after another, including right the way back to when he was in his twenties, when he had part of one of his lungs removed back in his home country of Argentina.

Only last month he was forced to pull out of his regular audiences due to being in a “feverish state”.

Busy summer schedule

Nevertheless, he still managed to demonstrate his determination to undertake his role to the full by zipping around St. Peter’s Square greeting people, just hours before entering the hospital.

He also attended two meetings beforehand, and is committed to a busy schedule in the coming months with visits to Mongolia and Portugal scheduled.


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