Pope’s night ‘well spent’ after appendectomy in Rome

The pontiff is expected to remain in hospital for a few days recovering.

ROME AND LONDON — Pope Francis, who underwent appendicitis surgery on Wednesday, had a “good night,” Vatican officials said Thursday morning.

The Holy See press office said the operation was completed on Wednesday evening local time and “it lasted three hours without complications”. The pontiff is expected to spend several days in hospital recovering.

After his general audience at the Vatican on Wednesday, the pope went to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome and “underwent a laparotomy and abdominal wall plastic surgery with a prosthesis under general anesthesia,” said Matteo Bruni, director of The Holy See’s press office. A statement in Italian.

The Vatican said the surgery was arranged within the last few days. He is expected to stay in the hospital for several days to fully recover.

The 86-year-old pontiff spent three days in hospital in March after complaining of difficulty breathing.

Vatican officials said at the time that the pontiff’s March hospital stay went well with “normal medical progress” as he recovered from bronchitis.

Francis underwent appendectomy two years ago for diverticular stenosis. That three-hour surgery involves a hemicolectomy, which removes part of the colon.

Francis often uses a wheelchair or walker during public events, including when he presided over the funeral of retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in January.

Vatican officials said Thursday they plan to release more information on Wednesday’s proceedings.

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