Pope Francis, 84, was to undergo surgery on Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Rome for an inflamed large colon, a Vatican statement said.
The pontiff was admitted to the Gemelli University Hospital “for a scheduled surgery for symptomatic diverticular stenosis of the colon”, it said.
The condition causes potentially painful inflammation of the diverticulum, a pocket that can form on the colon walls and which tend to multiply with age.
A potential complication is an abnormal narrowing of the colon.
The pontiff arrived at the clinic in the afternoon accompanied by his driver and one close aide, and Italian media said he was in the operating room a few hours later.
A health bulletin was to be issued once the operation had been completed. The pontiff was expected to spend the night in hospital, according to medical sources quoted by Italian news agencies.
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.
The pope announced earlier Sunday that he will visit Slovakia in September after a brief stop in Hungary to celebrate a mass in Budapest.
Francis’ visit to Slovakia will include the cities of Bratislava, Presov, Kosice and Sastin, the Vatican said in a statement.
Although more detailed plans for the trip will be announced later, there was no sign the pope intends to meet Hungary’s political leaders during his stop in Budapest.