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Berlusconi has 4-hour face surgery

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 7, 2011 at 9:01 a.m.


This Dec. 17, 2009 file photo shows Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi waving from his car as he arrives at his home in Arcore, Italy after being attacked by a mentally ill man at a political rally.

— Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi underwent face surgery for four hours Monday to repair damage he suffered when a man hurled a statuette at him in 2009.

The 74-year-old Berlusconi was operated on with general anesthesia in Milan, said a statement from his office that quoted his personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo.

Berlusconi suffered a broken nose and two broken teeth when a man hurled a miniature statue of Milan's cathedral at him at close range at the end of a political rally in Milan on Dec. 13, 2009. The attacker had a history of psychological problems.

The operation Monday "became necessary to restore the anatomy and jaw function that had been gravely compromised" in the attack, said the brief statement.

Without detail, it said the operation involved a bone transplant and an implant.

Berlusconi spent about a month out of public view after the attack. Photos of his bloodied face and shocked expression made the front-pages of newspapers around the world at the time.

The premier also had heart surgery in the United States in 2006 to install a pacemaker.

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