Francis goes into the operating room this afternoon

Pope will undergo surgery on his intestines today after suffering stomach pains, Vatican reveals

Francis will have surgery on his abdomen on Wednesday afternoon at Rome's Gemelli hospital after he complained of stomach pains, the Vatican has revealed.

The 86-year-old pontiff will be put under general anaesthetic for the abdominal surgery and is expected to stay in the hospital for 'several days' to recover.

Francis' medical team had decided in recent days that the surgery was required to treat a 'recurrent, painful and worsening' constriction of the intestine.

The procedure comes two years after Francis had 13 inches of his colon removed because of an inflammation and narrowing of the large intestine.