Pope Francis continues to recover at a hospital in Rome after undergoing abdominal surgery earlier this week.
The pope underwent a laparotomy and received abdominal wall plastic surgery on Wednesday.
The Vatican Press Office released a statement Saturday reporting that Pope Francis is maintaining “a cautious convalescence that aims to minimize strain on the abdominal wall to allow the implanted prosthetic mesh and muscle fascia repair to heal optimally.”
Pope Francis’s doctors are urging against the pontiff leading a scheduled Angelus public prayer on Sunday.
Instead, the Vatican is saying the pope will be praying in private and “uniting himself spiritually with affection and gratitude to the faithful, wherever they may be, who wish to accompany him” in prayer.
Francis, 86, underwent a three-hour operation at Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Wednesday, June 7, to repair a hernia, which doctors said was successful enough that he should have no limitations on his travels and other activities after he recovers.
During the operation, doctors removed adhesions, or internal scarring, on the intestine that had caused a partial blockage.
Dr. Sergio Alfieri, director of abdominal and endocrine sciences at Gemelli hospital, said in a Friday press conference that the Pope woke up in good spirits and was even joking.
“When will we do the third one?” Alfieri said, quoting the pope.
Alfieri has declared the surgery a complete success and has stressed that Pope Francis is recovering well.
Alfieri has also revealed that in addition to the 2021 colon surgery, Francis had undergone previous abdominal surgeries at some time before 2013 in Argentina, which had also caused scarring.
The Vatican said that all of the pope’s private and general audiences had been canceled until June 18 as a precautionary measure.