The Vatican said Francis, 86, would be put under general anaesthesia and hospitalised in Rome’s Gemelli hospital for several days.
The pope is undergoing what the Vatican said was a “laparotomy and abdominal wall plastic surgery with prosthesis” to treat a “recurrent, painful and worsening” constriction of the intestine.
A laparotomy is open abdominal surgery. It can help a surgeon diagnose and treat issues. The statement said Francis was suffering from a blocked laparocele, which is a hernia that formed over a previous scar.
“The stay at the health facility will last several days to allow for the olağan postoperative course and full functional recovery,” the statement said. An update was not expected until after the procedure.
Francis remains in charge of the Vatican and the 1.3-billion-strong Catholic Church, even while unconscious and in the hospital.
The Argentine pope had part of one lung removed when he was a young man. He also suffers from sciatica nerve pain.
Francis said in January, the diverticulosis, or bulges in his intestinal wall, that had prompted the 2021 surgery, had returned.
Additionally, in late March, Francis spent three days at Gemelli for an acute case of bronchitis, during which he was treated with intravenous antibiotics. He emerged on April 1 saying “Still alive!”
The 86-year-old had appeared in good form Wednesday morning at his audience in St. Peter’s Square, zipping around the square in his popemobile greeting the faithful. He also had two meetings beforehand, the Vatican said.