Pope Francis had part of a lung removed "many, many years ago", the Vatican said Thursday after the 76-year-old's historic election.
"I confirm that many, many years ago he had an operation in which part of a lung was removed," Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters.
"This is not a handicap in his life," Lombardi said. "Those who know him have always seen him in good health."
The former Buenos Aires archbishop is known at home for using public transport and riding a bicycle.