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Vatican details pope's treatment

Hospital spokesman Nicola Cerbino reads a statement from the Vatican Thursday.
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CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains the tracheotomy procedure.

ROME, Italy (CNN) -- The following is a Vatican statement as translated from Italian on the condition of Pope John Paul II:

"The flu syndrome which this morning made it necessary to hospitalize the Holy Father at the Polyclinic Gemelli became complicated over the past few days by the return of episodes of acute difficulty in breathing, caused by a pre-existing functional stenosis of the larynx.

"Such a clinical presentation called for an elective tracheotomy to assure adequate ventilation of the patient and to help resolve the pathology of the larynx.

"The Holy Father was informed of and gave his consent to the operation.

"The operation, which began at 8:20 p.m. and ended at 8:50 p.m., was performed and concluded without complications.

"The immediate postsurgical conditions are regular.

"The Holy Father will spend the night in his hospital room.

"The surgery was performed by Prof. Gaetano Paludetti, of the otolaryngological clinic of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, and by Dr. Angeloi Carmaioni, the chief otolaryngologist of the Hospital San Giovanni of Rome, helped by Prof. Giovanni Almadori.

"The anesthesia was administered by Prof. Rodolfo Proietti, of the otologanrycological clinic of the University of Florence and consultant to the Vatican's sanitarium and by Dr. Renato Buzzonetti, the Holy Father's personal physician."

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