The Vatican has revealed Pope Francis went through an abdominal surgery “without complications”,
The hernia operation at Rome’s Gemelli hospital lasted three hours. The 86-year-old is expected to stay in hospital for several days to recover.
All of his commitments for the next 10 days have been cancelled as a “precautionary measure”.
The Pope has faced a series of health issues in recent years, and uses a cane and a wheelchair.
In a statement, the Vatican said the pontiff’s medical team had decided in recent days that surgery was needed.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pope Francis carried out his weekly audience as normal and did not mention his planned operation.
The Pope was at the same Rome hospital on Tuesday for a scheduled check-up, months after he was taken to hospital with bronchitis.