Pope Francis has left hospital in Rome nine days after a hernia operation.
It was the pontiff’s second stint hospital this year after treatment for a chest infection in March.
The 86-year-old appeared upbeat as he left the Gemelli Hospital on Friday morning.
When asked by well-wishers outside how he was doing, the Pope answered “still alive!”
His surgeon, Dr Sergio Alfieri, told reporters that the Pope was recovering well and was now healthy enough to travel.
“He will be able [to carry out his duties] better than before because he no longer will have the discomfort. He will be a stronger Pope,” Dr Alfieri said.
The pontiff traditionally takes July off, but in August he is scheduled to visit Portugal and Mongolia.
“He has already resumed working,” said Dr Alfieri. “We asked him to rest a bit, and I am certain that this time he will listen to us a bit more, because he has some important commitments which he told us he would respect.”
After the three-hour operation last Wednesday, in which the Pope was put under general anaesthetic to have a mesh prosthetic inserted into his abdominal wall, doctors urged him not to perform his regular Sunday blessing from a hospital balcony in order to avoid placing undue strain on the area.
The Vatican confirmed the Pope will preside over the angelus prayer this coming Sunday, but next Wednesday’s general audience will not take place “to safeguard the Holy Father’s post-surgery recovery”.
Pope Francis has faced a string of health issues in recent times.
In 2021, he spent 10 days in hospital after having a part of his colon removed, and just last month pulled out of his Friday audiences due to a fever.
And as a result of knee pain the pontiff frequently uses a cane and wheelchair to get around.
Despite this, Pope Francis remains relatively active and engaged in public life.