Pope alert after intestinal surgery, Vatican says

Pope alert after intestinal surgery, Vatican says
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The Vatican on Monday said Pope FrancisPope FrancisTop Vatican official, aide test positive for COVID-19 NY mayor revises Bronx apartment fire death toll down to 17 Pope sends condolences to victims of 'devastating' Bronx fire MORE is alert and breathing on his own following surgery to remove part of his large intestine.

Pope Francis was taken to the hospital on Sunday for the planned surgery. According to a statement from the Holy See's spokesperson Matteo Bruni, the surgery took about three hours and involved a left hemicolectomy, the removal of one side of the colon.

Barring any complications, the pope, 84, is expected to remain in the hospital for seven days to recover.

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Before the surgery took place, Bruni said in a statement that the surgery was for “a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” which refers to a narrowing in the large intestine.

Several hours before the surgery, Pope Francis announced plans to travel to Slovakia and Hungary in September.

A week before this surgery, The Associated Press reported that the pope had asked the public to pray for him, though it is unclear if his request for prayer had to do with the surgery.

“I ask you to pray for the pope, pray in a special way,” Francis had said. “The pope needs your prayers."

“I know you will do that," he added.

As a young man in Argentina, part of one of Francis's lungs was removed due to infection.