In a surgery lasting three hours on June 7, a team of surgeons operated on a hernia in the pope’s abdominal wall at the site of a previous surgical incision.
Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the director of the hospital’s abdominal surgery department, said at a press conference immediately following the surgery that the hernia may have come about following past operations Francis underwent in Argentina, including for peritonitis, a redness or swelling of the lining of the abdomen often caused by appendicitis.
He said that Francis had been experiencing pain for several months due to an incisional hernia and decided on June 6 to undergo the surgery to correct it.
The 86-year-old pope has been hospitalized three times in the past two years. He was hospitalized for four days in March for a lung infection and has also dealt this year with a recurrence of diverticulitis, a painful inflammation of bulges in the large intestine following his operation in July 2021.
The surgeon said that Pope Francis, upon waking from the operation, was already cracking jokes and had asked him when the next surgery would be.
Alfieri underlined that the conditions treated by the operation on June 7 and the prior surgery of July 2021 were both benign and have been resolved.