Berlusconi has 4-hour jaw and dental surgery

Silvio Berlusconi
Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi waves from his car as he arrives at his home in Arcore, Italy after being attacked by a mentally ill man at a political rally, on Dec. 17, 2009. A statement released Monday from Berlusconi's office said that Berlusconi had undergone face surgery for four hours to repair damage he suffered when a man hurled a statuette at him in 2009. Berlusconi suffered broken teeth and a broken nose during the attack, which came at the end of political rally in Milan. Luca Bruno / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Italian Premier 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.

The premier 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.

The premier also had heart surgery in the United States in 2006 to install a pacemaker. A decade ago he revealed that he had successfully battled prostate cancer, including with surgery. in 1997.

He has also had cosmetic surgery around his eyes and a hair transplant.