Pope Francis was discharged from a Rome hospital after surgery

Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis, who left Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on June 16, underwent abdominal surgery last week.

Rome, Italy

Pope Francis He was discharged on Friday from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, where the 86-year-old had been recovering Abdominal surgery.

The pontiff left the hospital in a wheelchair and spoke to well-wishers and medical staff gathered outside the entrance, as seen on CNN video.

People lined the sidewalk outside the facility to catch a glimpse of the pope, who smiled and waved to those waiting.

He was escorted to a waiting car as security surrounded him as he exited.

Pope Francis remains in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital after undergoing stomach surgery last Wednesday. He resumed his work from the hospital and will be taken back to the Vatican following his release.

On Thursday, Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, said the pontiff “had a good night’s rest. Medical staff said the medical course is continuing. Hematochemical tests are within normal range.”

Earlier in the day, Bruni added, “as a sign of gratitude, he coordinated the entire operating team, made up of medical staff, nurses, social and health workers and assistants, and made the surgery possible last June 7.”

The pontiff also visited children in the pediatric oncology and children’s neurosurgery wards, “who have expressed their love for the Pope in recent days through numerous letters, drawings and messages, and are being looked after for a speedy recovery,” Bruni said.

“Greeting those present, His Holiness thanked all the health workers for their professionalism and efforts to relieve each other’s suffering with tenderness and humanity in addition to medicines,” he said.

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An earlier version of this article misstated the timing of the Pope’s release

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