Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Pope Francis Under the Knife

Pope Francis has recently undergone intestinal surgery, according to an announcement from the Vatican. The 86-year-old pontiff had a three-hour procedure to treat a "recurrent, painful, and worsening" constriction of the intestine. This health issue is the latest in a series of challenges faced by Pope Francis in recent years, leading to speculation about the possibility of his retirement.

Two years ago, Pope Francis had 13 inches (33 cm) of his colon removed due to inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine. Now, he has undergone a "laparotomy and abdominal wall plastic surgery with prosthesis" to address the current issue. A laparotomy is an open abdominal surgery that helps diagnose and treat problems. Fortunately, there were no complications reported after the three-hour operation.

The Vatican stated that Pope Francis will remain in Rome's Gemelli hospital for several days to allow for normal post-operative recovery. His recent health challenges include bronchitis, which led to a three-day hospital stay earlier this year. Despite these difficulties, Pope Francis continues to fulfill his duties, even appearing at his audience in Saint Peter's Square before being admitted to the hospital.

As a young man, Pope Francis had part of one lung removed, and he currently deals with sciatica nerve pain. He has been using a wheelchair and walker due to strained ligaments in his knee. During a visit to Canada last July, he was visibly in pain while lowering and raising himself from chairs. However, he ruled out knee surgery at that time due to lingering effects from previous anesthesia during colon surgery.

The Vatican's announcement provides insight into Pope Francis's health challenges and underscores his commitment to serving the church despite physical limitations.


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Sources:
1. [The Guardian: "Pope Francis has undergone intestinal surgery"](https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jun/07/pope-francis-to-undergo-intestinal-surgery)

2. [U.S. News: "What Kind of Surgery Did Pope Francis Have, and Why?"](https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2023-06-07/what-kind-of-surgery-is-pope-francis-having-and-why)


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