Four-time Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi will undergo heart surgery next week.
His doctors said he should make a swift recovery after having a defective aortic valve replaced.
The 79-year-old was admitted to hospital on Monday suffering from what his doctors called a cardiac deficiency.
“Berlusconi risked his life, he risked dying, yes,” said Dr Alberto Zangrillo. “He arrived in hospital in a condition that was very serious, very worrying. He was aware of that.”
The doctor said that for a man who wants to live to be 130, this is a very unpleasant jolt.
Zangrillo said there was a two percent risk of mortality linked to the procedure which was expected to last four hours.