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Hallelujah! Pope Francis is Back in Action after Successful Surgery

Rome- After nine days of abdominal surgery, Pope Francis has been discharged from Gemelli Polyclinic hospital in Rome. The 86-year-old pontiff underwent a three-hour operation to repair a hernia and remove painful scarring. However, Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who performed the operation, has given a positive update on his patient’s condition. He stated that the pope is now “better than before” his hospitalization.

Pope Francis left the hospital in a wheelchair, smiling and waving to a crowd of well-wishers while saying “thanks.” He then stood up to climb into a small Vatican car that was waiting for him. As reporters thrust microphones in his face, the pontiff batted them away good-naturedly. “The pope is well. He’s better than before,” said Dr. Alfieri, as the crowd surged towards the exiting pontiff.

The scarring that had resulted from previous abdominal surgeries had been increasingly causing the pope pain. There was also the risk of an intestinal blockage if adhesions, or scar tissue, weren’t removed. Alfieri said that the surgery went smoothly, and there were no complications while the pope was recovering in the 10th-floor apartment reserved exclusively for pontiff hospitalization.

Image credits: USA TODAY

Initially, the Vatican had announced that all of the pope’s audiences would be canceled through June 18. However, Alfieri said that the pope was well enough to travel, and he is scheduled to head to Portugal at the start of August and Mongolia at the end of that month. “He will be able (to carry out his duties) better than before because he no longer will have the discomfort. He will be a stronger pope,” Alfieri said.

Image credits: CBS News

The pope’s medical staff has confirmed that there were no complications during the surgery, and he is now allowed to resume his duties. Francis is expected to have many high-profile appointments next week at the Vatican, including audiences with the presidents of Cuba and Brazil. The meetings, however, haven’t been officially announced yet by the Vatican.

The pope has been hospitalized three times at Gemelli Polyclinic in just under two years. In July 2021, he underwent surgery to remove a 13-inch section of his bowel because of narrowing of his intestine. That, as well as abdominal surgeries years before in his native Argentina before he became pontiff, had contributed to the painful scarring. Then in early spring of this year, Francis was back in the hospital to receive intravenous antibiotic treatment for bronchitis, which he later said caused him pain and fever.

Image credits: ABC News

As a young man in his native Argentina, Francis had a portion of one lung removed following an infection. The latest hospitalization came just as Francis seemed to be walking better, with the aid of a cane, following months of often using a wheelchair because of a painful knee problem. He also suffered from sciatica, a painful inflammation of a nerve that runs down from the back to the leg.

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Despite the pope’s health problems, rumors have been circulating that he could decide to resign, as did his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict. However, CBS News Vatican consultant Father Anthony Figuereido said earlier this year that Francis had “certainly made it clear – unless he’s impeded from being a pope, maybe through some minor difficulty, some illness of the mind, he will continue to be that pope.”

In conclusion, the pope’s successful surgery is a relief to millions of Catholics worldwide. It is excellent news that he will be able to carry out his duties better than before and resume his busy schedule. We wish him a speedy recovery and good health.


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