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Berlusconi in 'excellent' shape after heart surgery - doctor

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is lucid and in excellent condition after surgery to replace a faulty heart valve, his surgeon said.

Dr Ottavio Alfieri told a press conference on Wednesday there were no complications during the four-hour operation and that overall his heart was in very good shape.

He said complications could still arise but added: "I feel very calm."

Mr Berlusconi, 79, was admitted to the San Raffaele hospital in Milan on June 5 suffering from what his personal doctor, Alberto Zangrillo, said was a potentially fatal heart-valve problem.

The aortic valve, which had not been closing properly, was replaced with one made of bovine tissue.

Dr Alfieri said the surgery became necessary after a sudden and "severe" deterioration of the valve, which had been under observation for some time.

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