Pope Francis will remain in the hospital for a week while recovering from intestinal surgery, the Vatican says

pope francis
Pope Francis holds a Holy Mass on May 16, 2021.

  • Pope Francis was alert and in good condition the day after undergoing intestinal surgery.
  • He had a three-hour operation on Sunday that involved removing half of his colon, the AP reported.
  • The Vatican expects him to be hospitalized for about seven days.
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Pope Francis is “in good general condition,” the Vatican said in a statement Monday following the pope’s intestinal surgery on Sunday.

The 84-year-old pope underwent a three-hour operation that involved removing half of his colon, the AP reported. He is expected to stay hospitalized for about seven days – assuming there are no complications – in a suite reserved for popes in Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic.

The Vatican’s Sunday announcement that the pope had been hospitalized for surgery came as a surprise to the public, NBC reported. Earlier that day, he gave an address from the window of his study, but he did not mention the upcoming surgery.

The Vatican said in a Sunday statement that the surgery had been planned.

An Italian newspaper reported that surgeons started the operation laparoscopically but encountered complications and had to operate with wider incisions, according to the AP, which said the Italian paper did not cite its sources.

The statement from the Vatican on Monday did not mention any complications.

The pope’s bowel issues are very common in older people, doctors told the AP. But the physicians said that only about 10% to 20% of people with similar problems need surgery. For some people, the only way to alleviate the pain is to remove part of the colon.

“This is a major operation,” Dr. Walter Longo, chief of colon and rectal surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, told the AP. The primary concern, Longo said, is making sure that the parts of the bowel that were stitched together remain attached.

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The cosmetic surgery business has boomed during lockdown as employees look to ‘polish’ their appearance after hours on Skype, Zoom and FaceTime

Doctor injecting collagen into young womans lip
Doctor injecting collagen into a young woman’s lip.

  • Calling on Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams has made more people rethink their image and opt for cosmetic surgery, healthcare experts say.
  • “While this could be related to personal vanity, it is for some people also an important feature of their career and professional development”, said Liz Heath, the author of a cosmetic surgery report.
  • The report said a London clinic had reported a fivefold increase in bookings. Another surgical clinic in north-west England said the demand was “crazy.”
  • Dr. Lynn Jeffers, former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), said there has been a 64% increase in telemedicine consults in the US.
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Video calling during the pandemic has triggered a huge surge in enquiries and requests for cosmetic surgery, according to reports by health experts.

As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to lock themselves away, communication has moved mostly online. In response, businesses have resorted to holding meetings and conferences on apps such as Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams.

After looking at themselves in screens, more people are opting for face and neck lifts, cosmetic dentistry and hair restoration to maintain a professional look. This is according to a December report from LaingBuisson, a healthcare business intelligence site that advises the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Liz Heath, author of the LaingBuisson report, said: “The use of video calling via Skype, FaceTime, Zoom and Microsoft Teams has apparently triggered significant interest and demand for those wishing to ‘polish’ their appearance.”

While this could be related to personal vanity, “it is for some people also an important feature of their career and professional development,” she added.

Heath didn’t specify how many people had inquired for cosmetic surgery, but said a clinic in London had reported a fivefold increase in bookings. Meanwhile, a clinic in north-west England said the demand was “crazy.”

The report cited statistics from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) that virtual consultations rose up to 70% during lockdown.

Across the Atlantic, the US is experiencing a similar trend. After closing during lockdown, plastic surgeons were allowed to reopen their surgeries on May 1 in California, and June 8 in New York.

Dr. Lynn Jeffers is former president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. She told Business Insider that members of the group have seen a significant rise in patient consultations.

There has been a 64% increase in telemedicine consults in America, according to Dr. Jeffers. She said: “Video calling may have induced some people to notice and seek consultation for what they are now noticing on the screen.”

Botox is the most popular procedure

The ASPS released a report in July revealing 68% of 350 surgeons in the US have seen a heavy stream of clients since their clinics reopened between May and June, depending on the state.

Botox injections were the most-requested procedure, closely followed by breast augmentation, soft tissue fillers injected into lips or cheeks, tummy tucks, and liposuction, Dr. Jeffers said. 

Who is interested in cosmetic surgery?

The LaingBuisson report showed surgical treatments in the UK were generally requested by those in wealthy socio-economic groups. Non-surgical procedures, by contrast, stretched across demographics and socio-economic groups.

People over the age of 45 are most interested in seeking cosmetic surgery, and are willing to spend more money and time researching the procedures, the report said.

It also noted that demand from the younger generation – especially those under 18 – is growing.

Women dominate the cosmetic surgery scene, but it seems clinics across the UK are seeing more men are coming forward to have non-surgical treatments, or “tweakments”, the report said.

Dr. Jeffers said: “people of all ages, gender, and demographics continue to be interested in cosmetic plastic surgery” in the US.

After collecting data from a consumer survey, ASPS found that 49% of Americans who had not previously had plastic surgery would consider having either cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery, she added. 

Cosmetic surgery suits the WFH lifestyle

With extra time on their hands, people have been able to learn more about the procedures available to them after seeing their faces on screens, Dr. Jeffers explained.

After having an operation such as a face or neck lift, there is a 14-day period in which the client rests to let their body  heal.

Now that working remotely has become the norm, people are more inclined to have surgery and recover from it in the privacy of their own homes, instead of taking time of work, both Dr. Jeffers and the UK LaingBuisson report said.

Dr. Jeffers said some people had planned to have cosmetic surgery before the pandemic struck. So, they “took advantage of the downtime to have their procedures done when they could recover and work from home.”

Read more: A plastic surgeon says ultrawealthy clients are begging to fly him in on private jets and pay quadruple his rates to get work done during quarantine

Is this trend of Botox and boob jobs here to stay as people become increasingly reliant on video technology to keep connected?

Dr. Jeffers said it’s unclear whether the surge is down to pent-up demand after the reopening of surgeries, planned procedures that have been delayed, or new demand.

If the video-calling trend continues post-pandemic, however, it seems likely that business will also continue to boom for cosmetics surgeons. 


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