As per reports from Rome (AP), Pope Francis is acting “wisely” by adhering to his doctor’s suggestions and will forego the usual Sunday public blessing, to enable himself to recuperate more effectively after his recent abdominal surgery.
The Pope’s surgeon, Sergio Alfieri, who undertook the operation, addressing the media on Saturday at Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, stated that the results of blood tests and imaging indicate that the 86-year-old pontiff’s recovery is proceeding as expected and is entirely normal.
During the surgical procedure that lasted for three hours on Wednesday, performed under general anesthesia, the medical team removed scar tissues that were causing growing discomfort from previous abdominal surgeries.
The surgeons also mended a hernia in the abdominal wall by inserting a prosthetic mesh support. According to Sergio Alfieri, although Pope Francis’ recovery has been progressing uneventfully, any added physical strain at this juncture, such as getting up to move from the bed to an armchair to deliver the habitual Sunday noon blessing and speech via a video link to the public, could pose potential risks.
Although the Vatican previously stated that Pope Francis had been sitting in a chair to read newspapers after the surgery, his customary Sunday noon address typically involves a 15-minute speech and blessing given to the public.
The medical professionals overseeing the Pope’s recovery, including his Vatican nurse and doctors, have advised him against making a public appearance on Sunday to minimize strain on his abdominal wall.
The objective is to support optimal healing of the implanted mesh and repaired muscle fascia. According to Alfieri, this recommendation is based on ensuring the “least strain” on his abdominal area for an ideal recuperation.
According to the surgeon who performed Pope Francis’s surgery, if he doesn’t take great care during his recovery, there is a risk of tearing the implanted mesh and requiring further surgery.
Sergio Alfieri stated that if the Pope’s recovery proceeds with great care, he will return to the Vatican stronger than before, indicating that prudence was recommendable by medical experts, and it’s wisely accepted by the Pope.
As of now, according to his medical team, Francis’ diet has progressed from liquid to semi-liquid, and he has not experienced any fever.
The surgeon who performed Pope Francis’s surgery, Sergio Alfieri, confirmed in his latest medical briefing that the Pope’s cardiac and respiratory status is stable, with no issues at this time.
Despite his age of 86, there are no pathologies regarding these systems, according to Alfieri. While the Pope is in the hospital, he will privately recite the traditional Sunday noon prayer, and people are encouraged to join in from afar. The Vatican spokesperson Matteo Bruni has made this announcement.
During his private Sunday noon prayer, Pope Francis will be spiritually united with the faithful who wish to accompany him, according to Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
He encourages people to join him in prayer and express their gratitude and affection towards him. Additionally, thousands of individuals gathered in St. Peter’s Square to promote brotherhood, which is a subject that the Pope has been dedicated to and even wrote an encyclical about it in 2020.
While the Pope couldn’t speak to the crowd, a cardinal read out his speech, expressing his absence and acknowledging the support from the gathered people.
In his prepared speech read by a cardinal, Pope Francis expressed his gratitude towards those gathered in St. Peter’s Square and acknowledged the importance of being brothers and sisters even when we are not close physically.
Currently, the Pope is recovering in the 10th-floor apartment reserved for papal use at Gemelli Polyclinic, with no date announced yet for his release from the hospital. Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who performed the Pope’s surgery, hopes that he will stay at least another week in the hospital to ensure his full recovery and return to work with more strength and safety.
According to Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who performed Pope Francis’ surgery, there were no complications during the operation or from the general anesthesia.
During the surgery, adhesions that had formed after a previous surgery were removed. In 2021, part of the Pope’s colon was removed due to a narrowing of a section of the bowel, and the hernia that was repaired this time had formed over a previous scar.
The same scars found two years ago were causing pain due to adhesions, which worsened over time.
After the surgery, Pope Francis is not experiencing much pain and is currently on mild pain medication to help him breathe comfortably.
This is according to Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who performed the operation. The Pope has two overseas trips planned for August, including a Catholic youth jamboree in Portugal and a first-ever pilgrimage by a pontiff to Mongolia later that month.
Alfieri indicated that the timing of the surgery was chosen specifically to allow the Pope to stick to his travel plans, indicating that Francis himself had factored in these considerations.