VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis underwent a CT scan of his chest and abdomen on Thursday morning after running a fever during his hospitalization, according to the Vatican. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said July 8 that the pope “temporarily ran a temperature” the evening prior.
“This morning he underwent routine and microbiological examinations, and a chest and abdomen scan, which proved negative,” Bruni said. A computed tomography (CT) scan combines multiple X-ray images of a body part taken from different angles.
On the fifth day of the pope’s recovery in the hospital after an almost three-hour surgery that removed part of his colon, the pope is able to move and eat unassisted, and is no longer in need of intravenous treatment, the Vatican said. This latest update comes a day after the Vatican confirmed that the 84-year-old pope had suffered a “severe” narrowing of the colon.
Bruni said that examinations showed that Pope Francis had experienced “severe diverticular stenosis [narrowing] with signs of sclerosing [hardening] diverticulitis.” Pope Francis was hospitalized on July 4 to undergo an operation to relieve stricture of the colon caused by diverticulitis, a common condition that involves the formation of small bulges or sacs on the wall of the colon.
A 10-person medical team was involved in Francis’ surgery, which was carried out under general anesthesia, lasted about three hours and included a hemicolectomy, the removal of one side of the colon. The Vatican spokesman said July 5 that the pope was expected to spend seven days recovering in the hospital, “barring complications.”
Pope Francis is staying in Gemelli University Hospital, located on Rome’s highest hill, Monte Mario. The pope’s hospital room is on the 10th floor of the sprawling polyclinic in a wing reserved for papal medical emergencies. The pope’s medical suite can be identified from the street by its five large windows covered by white blinds.
It is the same room where John Paul II stayed during many of his hospital treatments, including for a colon surgery in 1992 and his hospitalization after being shot in an assassination attempt in 1981. This is the 84-year-old Francis’ first major operation during his pontificate. In 2019, he had an outpatient surgery for cataracts and he occasionally suffers from flare-ups of sciatic pain.
During his hospitalization, Pope Francis sent an affectionate message to the young patients in the nearby pediatric oncology and children’s neurosurgery wards, according to the Vatican. “At this particular moment, he looks toward all those who suffer, expressing his closeness to the sick, especially those most in need of care,” Bruni said.