1 of 3 | Pope Francis is resting following a successful, three-hour surgery. Photo by Stefano Spaziani/UPI | License Photo
June 8 (UPI) -- Pope Francis is resting comfortably after undergoing a successful three-hour surgery on his abdominal wall, the Vatican said on Thursday.
Matteo Bruni, the Vatican spokesman, said Pope Francis will spend several days in the hospital recovering "to allow for a normal post-operative course and full functional recovery."
"The surgery, decided upon over the past few days by the medical team assisting the Holy Father, became necessary due to an incisional [hernia] that is causing recurrent, painful and worsening sub-occlusive syndromes."
Physicians used a prostheses mesh during the pontiff's laparotomy and plastic surgery early Wednesday morning at Rome's A. Gemelli University Hospital.
Surgeon Sergio Alfieri, who operated on the pope, said he expects him to make a full recovery. He said the surgery was necessary because the hernia was causing him frequent pain.
"We found several strong adhesions between some partially congested mid-intestinal loops and the parietal peritoneum, causing the above-mentioned symptoms," Alfieri said. The adhesions were removed and the hernial defect was repaired with the prosthetic mesh, he said.
Alfieri said while the surgery was needed, he stressed that it was not an emergency.
"Had it been an emergency, we would have intervened yesterday when he came into the hospital for a scheduled CAT scan," he said.
Alfieri said Pope Francis' hernia may have been a product of past operations he had in Argentina, including for peritonitis, a redness or swelling of the lining of the abdomen often caused by appendicitis.
The operation was the latest health-related issue facing the pope. In July 2021, he underwent colon surgery. In March, he was hospitalized for three days with bronchitis.