Pope John Paul II Undergoes Surgery

By  | 

Vatican officials say the Pope was rushed to the hospital Thursday for fever and congestion due to a relapse of the flu.

A tracheotomy was performed to help ease the Pope's breathing, but Vatican officials say the procedure was elective. The tracheotomy was successful.

Local doctors say the Pope's age, his Parkinson's disease and his inability to walk put him at a greater risk for complications from the flu such as pneumonia. But they also say a tracheotomy is not standard procedure for influenza or pneumonia.