Zsa Zsa Gabor is in hospital to undergo surgery to have part of her right leg amputated due to gangrene.
Doctors examined a lesion on the former actress's leg that had grown from just over an inch to about a foot and is growing gangrenous, publicist John Blanchette said.
"They're going to have to amputate part of her leg," he said. "They said if they didn't, she could lose her life."
He said the amputation would probably be below the knee.
Gabor was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Centre and had been prepared for surgery on Monday night, Mr Blanchette said. Her husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt is with her.
The 93-year-old broke her hip and had replacement surgery in July, and has been in hospital several times since then for swelling in her legs and blood clots.
She was in a critical condition and asked for a priest to read her last rites during a hospital visit in August, but recovered and returned home.
Gabor has used a wheelchair since she was partially paralysed in a 2002 car accident and had a stroke in 2005.
She retreated from the spotlight after the accident. She enjoyed staying at home and watching soap operas, game shows and old movies, Mr von Anhalt said in July 2010.
He said she hated having her picture taken while she was in her wheelchair. "She wants people to remember her as she was years ago," he said.