Pope Francis to undergo colon operation – Vatican

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Pope Francis, 84, was to undergo surgery Sunday 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.

A health bulletin was to be issued once the operation had been completed.

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.

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