Silvio Berlusconi is to have heart surgery after an attack that could have killed him, his doctor says.
The former Italian prime minister will undergo surgery by the middle of next week to replace a defective aortic valve, Dr. Alberto Zangrillo told reporters in Rome.
His political influence has waned since he left office in 2011.
Dr. Alberto Zangrillo said Berlusconi had “arrived at the hospital in a severe state”.
“He risked his life, he risked dying and he knew it… We have identified in an exact and certain way a pathology of aortic valve that is called aortic insufficiency,” the physician said.
“There’s only one way to correct it, which is the substitution of the aortic valve.”
Alberto Zangrillo added that his patient had been shocked by the news.
“At the beginning he didn’t want to believe it,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
“For a man who wants to live to be 130, this is a very unpleasant jolt.”
Silvio Berlusconi, a billionaire businessman who leads the Forza Italia party, was taken into hospital for tests in his home city, Milan, earlier this week.
A spokeswoman for the party said at the time Silvio Berlusconi’s condition was not life-threatening.