Pope Francis has responded well to intestinal surgery, the Vatican said Sunday.

Doctors performed the surgery on Sunday evening and the pontiff responded well to the procedure, which was performed under general anaesthetic, Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said shortly before midnight.

How long the 84-year-old head of the Catholic Church will stay in the Agostino Gemelli Polyclinic hospital in Rome was not disclosed.

Francis has an intestinal disease which can cause protrusions to form on the wall of the intestine, according to the Vatican. These in turn can become inflamed – a condition called diverticulitis. The disease, which can cause pain or fever, often occurs in older people.

The clinic has treated several popes before Francis, according to the Vatican News media portal.

Hours earlier on Sunday afternoon, Francis still said the traditional Angelus prayer to the faithful in St Peter’s Square from the window of his study as usual.

He then announced a trip to the Hungarian capital Budapest and to several cities in Slovakia from September 12 to 15.

Source: dpa/MIA