From The New York Times:
The Vatican announced on Sunday that Pope Francis had been admitted to a hospital in Rome for a “scheduled surgery” of the colon.
Matteo Bruni, a Vatican spokesman, said in a statement that Francis, 84, had been taken to the Gemelli hospital in the Italian capital. Mr. Bruni said the surgery would take place later on Sunday, and noted that a medical bulletin would be issued afterward. He said that the pope had “symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.”
The surgery would be performed by Dr. Sergio Alfieri, who heads the hospital’s complex operational unit for digestive surgery, the Vatican said.
It is the first time that Francis has been admitted to a hospital since becoming pope in 2013. Unlike his predecessors, he has never left the Vatican for the cooler papal residence in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, during the summer. He normally slows down his schedule in July.
In general, his health has not raised concerns. More than 60 years ago, he had an upper lobe of his lung removed as a result of complications from tuberculosis. At times, his breathing has seemed labored during speeches.
He also has sciatica, a condition that causes leg and back pain, and has missed engagements in the past. This past year, he missed New Year’s Eve and Day services because of a flare-up.
From Vatican News:
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, confirmed the information through a statement to accredited journalists sent through Telegram: “This afternoon, His Holiness Pope Francis was taken to A. Gemelli Policlinic in Rome where he will undergo a scheduled surgery for a symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon.”
Performing the surgery is Prof. Sergio Alfieri. Dr. Alfieri is in the hospital’s Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and heads the Digestive Surgery Complex Operational Unit. He is specialized in general, digestive, colon-rectal, stomach and pancreatic surgery.
Diverticular disease is the general name for a common condition that involves small bulges or sacs called diverticula that form from the wall of the large intestine (colon). Although these sacs can form throughout the colon, they are most commonly found in the sigmoid colon, the portion of the large intestine closest to the rectum.
Pray for the pope!