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Pope in ‘good’ condition after surgery, faces week in hospital

Pope Francis arrives at Irbil airport, Iraq, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
Pope Francis arrives at Irbil airport, Iraq, Sunday, March 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Pope Francis is doing well after surgery for an inflamed large colon, but the 84-year-old is expected to spend around seven days recovering in hospital, the Vatican says.

The pontiff was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital yesterday for a scheduled operation under general anaesthetic for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.

Francis “is in good general condition, alert and breathing spontaneously,” spokesman Matteo Bruni says in a statement, adding that the surgery “lasted about three hours.”

A week earlier, on the eve of the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Francis seemed to hint at the upcoming operation, saying: “I ask you to pray for the pope, pray in a special way. The pope needs your prayers.”

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