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Pope Francis up and around after intestinal surgery at Rome hospital

By Zarrin Ahmed
Pope Francis up and around after intestinal surgery at Rome hospital
A statue of Pope John Paul II is seen outside the hospital where Pope Francis underwent surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon in Rome, Italy. Photo by Massimo Percossi/EPA-EFE

July 6 (UPI) -- Pope Francis is improving after he underwent intestinal surgery last weekend, the Vatican said on Tuesday.

Officials said the pontiff rested well overnight, had breakfast in the morning and went for a walk.

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The Vatican also noted that the pope performed well in routine follow-up tests.

Pope Francis underwent a colon operation at Rome's Agostino Gemelli Hospital on Sunday. He was treated for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.

Francis, 84, received general anesthesia during the surgery, which was necessitated by a narrowing of the sigmoid portion of the large intestine.

The surgery is Pope Francis' first known medical treatment since he was elected to the papacy in 2013.

Francis had part of one lung removed when he was younger and has sciatica, a condition that affects nerves in the lower back and leg and has forced him at times to skip scheduled appearances.

The pope had delivered the Angelus prayer at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican before he was taken in for surgery.

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