Pope Francis has resumed work after a second night in hospital following an operation to repair an abdominal hernia, the Vatican announced Friday.
The 86-year-old pontiff underwent a three-hour operation at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Wednesday, and was reportedly delighted when he woke up from anesthesia.
Friday ate breakfast and then “spent most of the morning in a chair” rather than in bed, according to the Vatican. “This allowed him to read newspapers and return to work,” a statement said.
His post-operative recovery is proceeding as expected, according to the statement.
Thursday, the pope called to thank the mother of a young boy who baptized him when the pope and the boy were receiving treatment at Gemelli Hospital at the end of March, after the family sent him a sticker wishing him a speedy recovery.
At the time, the Pope spent three nights in hospital with a respiratory infection, which was treated with antibiotics.
In July 2021 he underwent surgery in Gemeli for a type of diverticulitis that affects pockets that form in the lining of the intestine. He left the hospital after ten days.
This time the pope entered the hospital to treat a hernia at the site of a previous operation, surgeon Sergio Alfieri told reporters after the operation on Wednesday.
He underwent general anesthesia and the hernia was repaired with a surgical mesh, according to Alfieri.
All meetings of the pope with the public until June 18 have been canceled to give him time to recover.
Pope Francis has headed the Catholic Church since 2013, after the resignation of his predecessor, Benedict XVI.
Benedict XVI, who died on December 31 at the age of 95, caused a surprise in 2013 when he announced his abdication in a step not taken by any of the popes since the Middle Ages.