Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican Press Office, looks at Dr. Sergio Alfieri, a chief surgeon at Rome's Gemelli's hospital, who operated on Pope Francis June 7, 2023, and speaks to reporters at the hospital as seen in this screengrab of the news conference broadcast live by Vatican Media. Alfieri said the pope was recoverying well from a three-hour surgery for a hernia. (CNS screengrab/Courtesy Vatican Media)
Pope Francis is "alert" and resting well, the Vatican said on June 8, one day after the pope successfully underwent a three-hour operation to repair a hernia.
The 86-year-old pope entered Rome's Gemelli hospital just before noon on Wednesday, June 7, for the previously announced operation. Later that evening, Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the surgeon who operated on the pontiff, told reporters that Francis had responded well to the surgery, was awake and even joking with the medics.
The operation successfully removed the scars from his July 2021 surgery where he had a portion of his colon removed and was able to repair the hernia through the abdominal wall with the aid of a prosthetic mesh.
A June 8 Vatican news bulletin said that the pope's doctors continue to monitor his progress and that the pope has responded well to follow-up tests after getting a peaceful night of sleep. He is expected to spend the entirety of today continuing to convalesce in the special papal suite on the 10th floor of Rome's Gemelli hospital.
Alfieri told reporters that the typical recovery time for such an operation is between five to seven days. The Vatican has canceled all of the pope's scheduled appointments until June 18.
"The pope is informed of the messages of closeness and affection that have arrived in the last few hours and expresses his gratitude, asking at the same time to continue to pray for him," said the Vatican communique.