Pope Francis, 84, underwent an operation on the large intestine last Sunday. During the procedure there was a drastic change in the operating room. Doctors had planned a sophisticated, minimally invasive surgery, performed with the help of robots. A few minutes after the start, however, the team identified that the problem was more serious than expected and had to opt for the operation called “outside”, when the belly is cut.
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Diverticulitis is an inflammation of the wall of the large intestine that causes the wall of the organ to thicken and become narrower — what is called stenosis in medical parlance. It is a common problem in the elderly and causes pain when evacuating. The problem is corrected by removing the affected part and joining the loose ends of the intestine. The Pope had half of the colon removed in the procedure, which was announced on Sunday and, according to the Vatican, was already scheduled in advance.
Last Wednesday night, the pope had a fever, but blood tests ruled out infection, according to the Vatican. Pulmonary and abdominal examinations, in addition to microbiological testing, had negative results. The discharge is scheduled to take place next Sunday.
This was the first time Argentine priest Jorge Mario Bergoglio was hospitalized since taking over as Pope Francis in 2013. All information about the Pope’s health condition is being released by the Vatican, unlike what happened with John Paul II, its predecessor, when doctors released detailed bulletins.
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