Surgery would affect Pope's ability to handle his Duties - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Surgery would affect Pope's ability to handle his Duties

ROME(AP)_ The surgery that reportedly has been performed on Pope John Paul could have a serious impact on his abilities to carry out his duties.

Italian news agencies say doctors have performed a tracheotomy to help him breathe. It's a procedure in which a hole is made in the throat and a tube is inserted to assist breathing.

The operation would prevent the pope from being able to speak for an extended period of time. It would also probably require a long hospital stay.

And, just the anesthesia required for surgery is risky for a person of the pope's age -- especially considering that he has Parkinson's disease.

The pope is 84 years old.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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