The pope will be operated on urgently for a risk of intestinal obstruction

Antonino Galofaro (in Rome) with AFP / Photo credit: ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP
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12:23 p.m., June 07, 2023

Pope Francis, 86, will undergo emergency surgery under general anesthesia this Wednesday afternoon in Rome for a risk of intestinal obstruction, the Vatican announced. This surgery will lead to “several days” of hospitalization, said in a press release the director of the press service of the Holy See, Matteo Bruni.

On Wednesday morning, the Argentine pope presided over the general audience in St. Peter’s Square in front of thousands of faithful. “At the end of the general audience, the Holy Father went to the A. Gemelli University Hospital where, at the beginning of the afternoon, he will undergo a surgical operation of laparotomy and plastic surgery of the wall abdominal with prostheses, under general anesthesia”, indicated Matteo Bruni. Laparotomy is an operation that involves opening the abdomen.

Poor health

“The operation, organized in recent days by the medical team assisting the Holy Father, became necessary due to an incisional hernia that causes recurrent, painful and worsening subocclusive syndromes,” said he added. Tuesday morning, the head of the Catholic Church had already gone to the Gemelli hospital for “examinations”, but the Vatican had not communicated on the nature of the latter.

In July 2021, the Bishop of Rome had already been hospitalized for ten days in this hospital for a heavy colon operation. He claims to have kept “after-effects” of the anesthesia. At the end of March, François had again been treated for three days in the same establishment for a respiratory infection. The health of Jorge Bergoglio, elected in 2013, regularly fuels speculation about the possibility of a renunciation of his office and his succession.

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