Pope Francis, 86, to have abdominal surgery

Pope Francis will have surgery on his abdomen on Wednesday afternoon at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, the Vatican says.

He is expected to stay in hospital for “several days” to recover from the hernia operation, the Vatican said.

A statement released by the Holy See Press Office said the Holy Father “will undergo a laparotomy and abdominal wall surgery under general anesthesia.”

“The surgery, decided upon over the past few days by the medical team assisting the Holy Father, became necessary due to an incisional laparocele (hernia) that is causing recurrent, painful and worsening sub-occlusive syndromes,” the statement said.

The Press Office added that the Pope will remain in the hospital for several days “to allow for a normal post-operative course and full functional recovery.”

The Pope’s admission to the hospital follows a visit and consultation with doctors at the same facility on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pope Francis carried out his weekly audience as normal and didn’t mention his planned operation.

The day before, the Pope was at the same Rome hospital for a scheduled check-up, months after he was taken to hospital with bronchitis.

He spent three days in hospital in March to treat a lung infection, in the same month that he marked the 10th anniversary of his pontificate.

In 2021, Pope Francis spent 10 days in hospital after having a part of his colon removed, in a bid to address a painful bowel condition. He recently revealed that the complaint had returned.

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