VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis is doing well following intestinal surgery, the Vatican said on Sunday after the 84-year-old pontiff was hospitalized for the first time since his election in 2013.
Spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement that the pontiff “responded well” to the surgery, which was done under general anesthesia and which the Vatican had said earlier had been scheduled and not prompted by an emergency.
He gave no further details about the surgery or how long it lasted and did not say how long the pope would remain in Rome’s Gemelli hospital.
The pope entered the hospital early on Sunday afternoon and the statement was issued just before midnight Rome time.
Francis underwent surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon, a condition where sac-like pouches protrude from the muscular layer of the colon, leading it to become narrow. The operation was carried out by a 10-person medical team.
In addition to causing pain, the condition can lead to bloating, inflammation, and difficulty in bowel movement. It tends to affect older people more.