A spokeswoman for Milan's San Raffaele hospital, where the 79-year-old centre-right leader will have a defective aortic valve replaced, confirmed the comment made to reporters by Berlusconi's personal doctor Alberto Zangrillo.

READ: Berlusconi's pimp bags 7-yrs jail term

The media mogul said in a message on Facebook on Friday his Forza Italia party was perfectly able to function despite his absence, ahead of a run-off vote in municipal elections on June 19.