Pope Francis leaves hospital 9 days after operation

Friday, 16 June 2023 (14:43 IST)
Pope Francis left a Rome hospital on Friday after undergoing a hernia operation.
The 86-year-old pontiff had undergone three hours of open abdominal surgery under general anesthesia at Rome's Gemelli Hospital on June 7.
'Better than before'
Nine days after the pope underwent his surgery, he was wheeled out of the hospital and seen waving to reporters and well-wishers at the main entrance. 
"The pope is well. He's better than before,'' Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who did the surgery, told reporters as the pope was driven away. Alfieri added that the pope was fit enough to travel. 
Francis is set to travel to Portugal and Mongolia in August. All his other engagements until June 18 have been canceled. 
Traditionally, the pope takes all of July off, except during the Sunday blessings, which are his only public appearances during that month. Thus, he will have all of next month to rest before his travels. 
Increasing health issues 
Over the last few years, the leader of the 1.3 billion Catholics in the world has suffered increasing health issues.
The pope's open abdominal surgery was done after he had 33 centimeters (13 inches) of his large intestine removed in 2021, to treat a painful bowel condition called diverticulitis. 
Back then, he had been hospitalized for 10 days. Early in 2023, Francis said that the condition had returned. 
In March, he was hospitalized after he developed a respiratory infection.
He also suffers from sciatica nerve pain. During his youth, Francis had one part of his lung removed. 
For more than a year now, the pope has been using a wheelchair and a walker due to knee pain.

(Photo: Twitter/Vatican News)

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