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Pope Francis has surgery for colon diverticulitis

By Livia Borghese, CNN

Pope Francis has “reacted well” after undergoing surgery Sunday for colon diverticulitis, according to the Vatican.

“The Holy Father reacted well to the surgery carried out under general anesthesia,” spokesperson Matteo Bruni said in a written statement.

The 84-year-old pontiff entered surgery in Rome’s Gemelli hospital earlier in the day, hours after conducting the traditional Sunday Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

According to a statement from the Holy See communications office, the procedure was “a scheduled surgical intervention for a symptomatic stenotic diverticulitis.”

Diverticulitis is an inflammation caused when people develop small sacs in the walls of the colon.

The sacs or pouches are called diverticuli. It’s usually symptomless, but can cause discomfort and, sometimes, bleeding.

It’s a common condition affecting more than half of adults in the United States, according to the US National Institutes of Health, and is more common as people age.

Italian President Sergio Mattarella wished Pope Francis a speedy recovery, in a message shared on the presidency’s website Sunday.

“Speaking on behalf of all Italians and of myself, we wish to send to Your Holiness our warm regards and the most cordial wishes for a good convalescence and speedy recovery,” the message sent to Pope Francis said.

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