There was no this noon, as expected, a newsletter from the doctors. It was the Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni who gave the explanations. “His Holiness is in good general condition, conscious and breathing spontaneously,” he said. The times were longer than those that were handled in the first hours in the speculations. The surgery lasted three hours and the postoperative period will extend for seven days, “except for complications”, the hospitalization of Pope Francis in the Gemelli hospital.
Yesterday he underwent surgery by a vast team of specialists with 55-year-old surgeon Sergio Alfieri as the protagonist. Spokesman Bruni explained that the surgery for the blockage (stenosis) of the diverticula of the colon, “involved a left hemicolectomy.”
This term means that the surgeon cut a part of the left side of the colon to remove the diverticula compromised with infections.
The Roman newspaper “Il Messaggero” wrote in its edition this Monday that complications had occurred during the operation. He said that the operation had begun with the laparoscopic technique, but that the surgeon Alfieri and another who helped him had to “practice initiations.”
Laparoscopy is widely used in this type of operation. It is a surgical technique that allows access to the interior of the abdomen without making large incisions.
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for the Angelus prayer at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Sunday, July 4, 2021. (AP
Diverticula are small pockets that form on the walls of the colon, a disease suffered by most of the elderly of both sexes. And the Pope is 84 years old.
Infections require the use of antibiotics, special diets and, if necessary, surgical intervention in the affected area. The goal of surgery is to reduce the risks caused by diverticulitis, which includes bleeding and whose major complication is intestinal perforation.
Two Vatican nurses have been assisting the Pope since he settled yesterday on the tenth floor of the polyclinic in the area reserved for the pontiffs. There, John Paul II was interned seven times since the May 1981 attack in St. Peter’s Square, which almost cost him his life.
Vatican nurses are added to the health staff of the Gemelli hospital. One is Massimiliano Strapetti, a veteran, and the other is also highly trusted. They were with the pontiff all night.
In the area reserved for the pontiffs, which also includes a small chapel, there is a long corridor that connects with the elevators. It is controlled by the Italian police, but there are also several members of the Vatican Gendarmerie and the internal security of the polyclinic.
The Pope’s room has large windows from which Saint John Paul II looked out 40 years ago.
The Pope entered the Gemelli almost anonymously, accompanied only by his driver and an assistant. At noon, after praying the Angelus to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square from a window of the Apostolic Palace, he announced that in September he would visit Hungary and Scholachia between September 12 and 15.
The operation was scheduled at the most opportune moment, as soon as the Pope began his vacation in the month in which everyone takes it in the Vatican. In July the general audiences and the official activities of the pontiff are suspended. Only on Sunday at the Angelus prayer he maintains weekly contact with the faithful.