Surgeon Sergio Alfieri, who operated on Pope Francis in the abdomen, announced Saturday that the pontiff is in good condition and is recovering in hospital, but he will not celebrate the Angelus before the faithful on Sunday.
“He has no fever and all heart and respiratory functions are normal,” the surgeon told reporters.
But the doctors recommended that he not celebrate the Angelus in public, to avoid making efforts that put pressure on the muscles of the abdominal wall such as getting out of bed or sitting, or trying to go to the window of his room in Gemelli Hospital to say the prayer and bless the faithful.
Alfieri stressed that “Pope Francis does not suffer from a heart problem now, and he did not suffer from that in the past (…) so the heart is fine.”
“In general, after an operation of this kind, a person stays in the hospital for four or five days. We hope to convince him to stay for the next week because the recovery period in the hospital will allow him to return to work with more strength and safety,” he added. He pointed out that Pope Francis, who is 86, cannot, like other people of his age, go home to watch TV and rest, as he has activities and responsibilities as head of state and head of Catholics.
However, he acknowledged that the final decision rests with the Pope, who will decide when he wants to leave the hospital.
Alfieri said that during the recovery period, the pope must make “the least possible effort affecting the abdominal wall” to allow muscle wounds to heal, and to allow a surgical prosthetic mesh to integrate with the abdominal tissue. And the doctor stressed that “the rupture of the prosthesis will require him to return to the operating room, and this will not be a pleasant thing for him or me.”
The pope was admitted to the hospital to treat a hernia at the site of a previous operation, surgeon Alfieri told reporters after the operation on Wednesday.
The 86-year-old underwent a three-hour operation at Gemelli Hospital in Rome.
He underwent general anesthesia and the hernia was repaired with a surgical mesh, according to Alfieri.
All of the pope’s public meetings have been canceled until June 18 to give him time to recover.
The Pope is currently on the tenth floor of Gemelli Hospital, known as the “Hospital of the Popes”, in the same room where John Paul II stayed on many occasions.