VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis “reacted well” to planned intestinal surgery Sunday evening at a Rome hospital, the Vatican announced.
In a statement late Sunday, a Holy See spokesman, Matteo Bruni, said the 84-year-old Francis had general anesthesia during the surgery necessitated by a stenosis, or narrowing, of the sigmoid portion of the large intestine.
He didn’t say how long surgery lasted.
Earlier in the day, Francis had cheerfully greeted the public in St. Peter’s Square in keeping with a Sunday tradition and told them he will go to Hungary and Slovakia in September.
A week earlier, Francis, 84, had used the same appearance to ask the public for special prayers for himself, which, in hindsight might have been hinting at the planned surgery at Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic.
The Vatican said the pope had been diagnosed with “symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” a reference to a narrowing in the large intestine.
Francis is in generally good health, but did have part of one lung removed as a young man. He also suffers from sciatica, occasionally having painful bouts of the condition that involves a nerve affecting the lower back and leg.
Gemelli doctors have performed surgery before on papal patients, including on Pope John Paul II, who had a benign tumor in his colon removed in 1992.