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Pope Francis Undergoes Successful 3-Hour Hernia Surgery

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Jun 08, 2023
Pope Francis Undergoes Successful 3-Hour Hernia Surgery

According to the Vatican, Pope Francis has emerged from a three-hour hernia surgery without complications.

CBN News reports that Pope Francis will remain at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital for several days. He has canceled all appearances through June 18.

During the operation, doctors removed adhesions, or internal scarring, that had caused the pope pain in recent months, said Dr. Sergio Alfieri, who also said that Francis had undergone undisclosed abdominal surgery sometime before 2013 in Argentina. A prosthetic mesh was also placed in the abdominal wall to repair the hernia.

In 2021, the pope also had part of his colon removed.

“When will we do the third one?” Alfieri quoted Francis as saying after he woke up from the recent surgery this week.

Experts say the hernia likely formed over a scar from his 2021 colon surgery. Doctors were primarily concerned that his intestine had become trapped.

“When the intestines are trapped, the blood supply to the bowel is compromised. And if you don’t take care of it, the bowel will die, and you will have gangrenous intestines,” said Dr. Walter Longo, chief of colon and rectal surgery at Yale University School of Medicine.

The hernia repair surgery usually takes between 60 to 90 minutes.

“There’s the risk of going through surgery, operating on a fragile individual, but if he can get through it, he will be fine,” Longo said.

Pope Francis, 86, is at risk of complications because he had part of one lung removed as a young man.

Earlier this year, Francis spent three days at the Gemelli Hospital for bronchitis. On April 1, he posted, “Still alive!”

Francis is expected to have a busy summer of travel. In August, he will visit Portugal and Mongolia.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Giulio Origlia/Stringer

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.