At the end of the General Audience, Pope Francis left for Rome's Gemelli Hospital. There he will undergo a laparatomy—an operation that requires the opening of the abdomen.
The operation has been scheduled for several days. The day before the surgery, the Pope visited the hospital for clinical tests. He suffers from an “incarcerated incisional hernia” that is causing reoccurring and worsening pain.
The operation will require general anesthesia, a practice that somewhat intimidates the Pope, as he has revealed in previous interviews. The Vatican Press Office confirmed Pope Francis' stay at the hospital will be extended by several days to allow time for full recovery.