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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Operation Rules Out Papal Tumor

ROME -- Pope John Paul II had his appendix removed Tuesday, and doctors said the "textbook" operation had been a perfect success and showed that the Roman Catholic leader was not suffering from another tumor.

Francesco Crucitti, chief surgeon at the Gemelli hospital, told a packed news conference the operation had allowed doctors to "exclude, yet again" the presence of other diseased tissue.

Crucitti, grilled by journalists despite his opening statement, was firm in ruling out another tumor.

"I exclude it in the most categorical way. There are no secrets ... it was exactly what the pre-operative tests showed," he said. "He has never had any other growth [since 1992]."

A Vatican statement last month that three bouts of fever the 76-year-old Pope has suffered since Christmas had been caused by recurrent inflammation of the appendix had met with skepticism.

Some doctors had speculated that the Polish-born Pope might have a new tumor after one the size of an orange was removed in 1992 as it was starting to turn malignant.

The Pope spent about two hours in the operating room but the surgery itself lasted 50 minutes. Doctors said the Pope had shown no ill effects during surgery or from the anaesthetic.