Italy's Berlusconi has surgery to fix attack damage
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi underwent jaw and dental surgery for four hours Monday to repair damage 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 was in good condition after the operation and had already returned to his villa in Arcore near Milan, Zangrillo told the ANSA news agency.
He said the operation went well but it will take few days for Berlusconi to recover.
"He put (the surgical team) members ... at their ease. It all went for the best" without any damage to nerve tissue, "and now he feels relieved," Zangrillo was quoted as saying.
Bloody photos shocked nation
The prime minister 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.
It said the operation involved a bone transplant and an implant, but did not give details.
The surgery forced the cancellation of a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, originally scheduled for Tuesday. Zangrillo told ANSA that Berlusconi might be back at work in Rome as early as Thursday.
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.
Berlusconi's problems these days aren't purely medical. Last month, an Italian judge ordered him to stand trial on charges he paid for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan girl, then tried to cover it up.