The Vatican announced on Sunday that Pope Francis had been admitted to a hospital in Rome for scheduled surgery on his large intestine.
The announcement came just three hours after the pope warmly greeted the crowd in St Peter’s Square and announced that he will be visiting Hungary and Slovakia in September.
The brief statement from the Holy See’s press office did not specify when the surgery would take place at the Gemelli Polyclinic, a Catholic teaching hospital, only that a medical update would be provided once the surgery was completed. The procedure, however, is expected to be performed later on Sunday, according to sources.
It is the pope’s first hospitalisation since his election to the papacy in 2013.
The 84-year-old pontiff was diagnosed with “symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon,” which is a narrowing of the large intestine, according to the Vatican.
Professor Sergio Alfieri, the director of Gemelli’s intestinal surgery department, was to perform the surgery.
Born on December 17, 1936 in Argentina, Francis lost part of his right lung at the age of 21. He also suffers from a hip problem and sciatica.