Pope Francis 'alert and breathing on his own' after colon surgery

Pope Francis is recovering after a planned surgical operation.

"His Holiness Pope Francis is in good general condition, alert and breathing on his own," said a statement released by the Holy See Press Office on Monday.

The surgery lasted about three hours and involved a hemicolectomy -- which is the removal of part of the colon, the statement said. The Holy See also said Monday he is expected to stay at the hospital for about a week barring any complications.

The surgery was done on the evening of July 4 after the Pope was hospitalized Sunday afternoon at the Policlinico A. Gemelli hospital in Rome, according to a previous statement.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is praying for the current pope's recovery, the retired pope's secretary said Monday on Italian TV channel Mediaset.

Earlier Sunday, Pope Francis announced that he will visit Slovakia in September after a brief stop in the Hungarian capital of Budapest.

It will be the Pope's second trip outside Italy this year after trips planned in 2020 were cancelled due to COVID-19.

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