Pope to stay in hospital for seven days as details of surgery revealed

Pope Francis is alert, breathing without assistance and in a good overall condition after surgery to remove part of his colon, the Vatican has said.

The 84-year-old is expected to stay in hospital for seven days barring any complications, following his three-hour operation on Sunday night by a 10-person surgical team at Gemelli hospital in Rome, the Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni said in a statement on Monday.

The pope underwent a left hemicolectomy, a procedure in which one side of the colon is removed. It was the first time the Vatican disclosed the specific nature of the surgery.

The statement did not say whether the decision to remove part of the colon had been taken before or during the surgery.

The scheduled surgery was for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, a condition in which sac-like pouches protrude from the muscular layer of the colon, leading it to become narrow.

In addition to causing pain, the condition, which is more common in older people, can lead to bloating, inflammation and difficulty in bowel movement.

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