Vatican Press Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls confirmed a short time ago that doctors at Rome’s Gemelli hospital have successfully performed a tracheotomy on Pope John Paul II.
The Vatican indicated that the procedure lasted about 30 minutes and that the Pope is now resting following the surgery and will not be transferred to intensive care.
Gemelli spokeswoman Nicola Cerbino read a statement to the press, saying that the “influenza that lead to the Pope’s hospitalization in the Gemelli Hospital has presented some complications with episodes of respiratory problems.”
“This”, she said, “lead to the decision to perform an elective tracheotomy to facilitate suitable breathing for the patient and to favor the resolution of the laryngeal pathology.”
Cerbino added that the Pope, “properly informed, gave his consent for the intervention. Surgery began to 8:20pm (Rome time) and finished at 8:50pm. It had a positive result”, she said.
She also added that, “The Pope will spend the night in its room.”
The surgery was performed by Prof. Gaetano Plaudetti, of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Dr. Angelo Camaioni, from the Hospital S. Giovanni of Rome, with the attendance of Prof. Giovanni Almadori.
The Gemelli’s attending physician, Renato Buzzonetti was also present for the surgery.
The Pope was taken by ambulance to the hospital this morning around 11am due to what the Vatican called a relapse of the flu that hospitalized him for ten days on February 1st.
Faithful across the globe have been offering prayers and petitions for the recovery of the aging Holy Father.