July 14 (UPI) -- After spending more than a week in a Rome hospital after intestinal surgery, Pope Francis left and returned to the Vatican on Wednesday, officials said.
The pope was discharged from Gemelli Hospital early Wednesday after spending about 10 days there. He had part of his colon removed on July 4.
Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said the 84-year-old pontiff continues to improve.
"Before returning to the Vatican, the pope went to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major where ... he expressed his gratitude for the success of his surgery and offered a prayer for all the sick, especially those he had met during his stay in hospital," Bruni said, according to Vatican News.
Pope Francis appeared for the first time in public from his hospital window during his weekly Angelus prayer on Sunday.
The pope's surgery had been scheduled after testing showed symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.
"In these days of being hospitalized, I have experienced how important good healthcare is, accessible to all," the pope tweeted on Sunday.
"Let us pray for all the sick that may no one be left alone, that everyone receive the anointing of listening, closeness and care. We can all give it with a visit, a phone call, an outstretched hand."