OAN’s Noah Herring
1:41 PM – Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Pope Francis underwent a successful surgery on Wednesday, in order to repair a hernia in his abdomen wall.
According to Vatican representatives, there were no complications during the three-hour-long surgery, which required Francis to be under anesthesia. After the surgery was completed, the surgeon announced that the Pope was awake and surgery was successful.
Francis was expected to remain at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for several days. The Vatican has alerted that all papal audiences were canceled through June 18th.
Dr. Sergio Alfieri, who had also performed the Pope’s colon surgery in 2021, said that the Catholic leader was alert and making jokes, asking, “When will we do the third one?”
During the successful operation, the Pope had adhesions, or internal scarring, which was removed due to the immense pain that the pope had been experiencing in recent months. A prosthetic mesh was also placed in his abdominal wall to repair the hernia, according to Alfieri.
The Pope had his surgery in an urgent matter as he was operated on just a day after testing. Doctors reassured his constituents that they also wanted to give him ample time to recover, as he is scheduled to travel later this summer.
Pope Francis’ surgery took a considerable amount of time compared to the standard 60 to 90 minutes that the operation usually takes.
According to Dr. Walter Longo, the chief of colon and rectal surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, Francis should be fine after a few weeks of recovery, but he also noted that the 86-year-old Pope is already frail, which should be factored into the recovery time.
“There’s the risk of going through surgery, operating on a fragile individual, but if he can get through it, he will be fine,” he said.
Francis remains in charge of the Vatican as well as the Roman Catholic Church, even while he was unconscious in the hospital, according to Canon law.
The Pope is anticipating a very busy schedule this summer, meeting with multiple groups each day. It was confirmed by the Vatican that August will be a big travel month, with Francis scheduled to go on a four-day visit to Portugal the first week of the month, as well as a trip to Mongolia starting on August 31st.
The schedule includes all of the protocol meetings of an official state visit and a day trip to the Marian Shrine at Fatima.
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