Pope Francis has left hospital, 10 days after an operation to remove half his colon.
The 84-year-old pontiff briefly got out of the car carrying him back to the Vatican as it reached the Perugino Gate, greeting the security guards.
He had surgery at Rome’s Gemelli hospital to tackle a severe narrowing of his large intestine on 4 July.
Following the three-hour procedure he was in “good condition, alert and breathing on his own”, the Vatican said.
It is the only major operation he has undergone since accepting the papacy in 2013.
There were plans to discharge him at the weekend, but the Vatican said he needed to stay a few more days for further recovery and rehabilitation.
The planned operation was scheduled for this time of year because his audiences are suspended and he generally takes some time off.
He made his first public appearance since having surgery on Sunday, standing for about 10 minutes while speaking from his suite’s 10th-floor balcony.
On Tuesday, he visited a children’s cancer ward, smiling and walking without assistance.
Apart from his Sunday blessing, he has no commitments for the rest of July.
In September, there are plans for a trip to Slovakia and to Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
Two months later, health permitting, Francis is expected to address the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.
He is also due to visit Malta and Cyprus later in November.
Francis had part of one lung removed when he was a young man but otherwise appears to have enjoyed good health.
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