Pope, Upon Doctor's Advice, to Skip Sunday Public Blessing; Surgeon Says Recovery Absolutely Normal

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2023-06-10 09:45:24  • 4 mins

ROME (AP) Pope Francis, wisely following doctors advice, will skip Sundays customary public blessing to allow him to better heal after abdominal surgery earlier this week, his surgeon told reporters.

Blood and imaging tests indicate that the 86-year-old pope's recovery is proceeding in an absolutely normal manner, Sergio Alfieri, who operated on the pontiff, also told reporters on Saturday at Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome.

During the three-hour-long operation on Wednesday, using general anesthesia, doctors removed increasingly painful scarring that resulted from previous abdominal surgeries as well as repaired a hernia in the abdominal wall, with the insertion of a prosthetic support netting.

Alfieri said while Francis' recovery has been medically uneventful, any extra physical exertion, like rising from bed to move to an armchair to recite the traditional Sunday noon blessing and commentary to the public through a video link, could be risky at this point.

For this reason, we (medical staff) asked him to skip the weekly noon appearance, Alfieri said.

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