By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis continued to have a “satisfactory” recovery from colon surgery, and by July 7 doctors had removed his intravenous drip, the Vatican press office said.
After undergoing the surgery late July 4 at Rome’s Gemelli hospital, “the post-operative progress of His Holiness Pope Francis continues to be regular and satisfactory,” the July 7 statement said.
“The Holy Father has continued to eat regularly, and infusion therapy has been suspended,” it added.
Announcing that the pope had arrived at the Rome hospital July 4, the Vatican had said he was to undergo “a scheduled surgical intervention for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.”
The next morning, the Vatican had said the surgery lasted three hours and included “a left hemicolectomy,” the removal of the descending part of the colon, which can be recommended to treat diverticulitis, when bulging pouches in the lining of the intestine or colon become inflamed or infected.
Three days after surgery, the Vatican said, “the final histological examination has confirmed a severe diverticular stenosis with signs of sclerosing diverticulitis,” a hardening of the tissue.
“Pope Francis is touched by the many messages and the affection received in these days, and expresses his gratitude for the closeness and prayer,” the Vatican message said.
Pope Francis is expected to remain in the hospital at least until July 11. Since the pontificate of St. John Paul II, the Gemelli hospital, part of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, has maintained a suite of rooms on the 10th floor for use by the pope.