February 15, 2014 00:52:53 GMT
Following a 2012 health scare, the talk show host underwent a surgery that removes 80 percent of her stomach.
Rosie O'Donnell revealed during a Go Red luncheon on Friday, February 14 that she underwent a vertical gastric sleeve surgery to save her life. The talk show host attended the Detroit event sponsored by the American Heart Association to announce that she has lost 40 lbs. since the procedure was done.
"I did it to save my life," she said according to People. The 51-year-old had a life-threatening attack in 2012 when 99 percent of her LAD artery was blocked. The kind of heart attack is often lethal and O'Donnell said she was very lucky to have survived it. Since then, she went through a lifestyle change by starting a healthy diet and exercise. She reduced the intake of red meat, sugar and carbohydrates in hope to go under 200 lbs.
However, her health did not improve that much so she opted for surgery. "She tried to lose weight on her own but it wasn't working," her spokesperson Cindi Berger told People, adding, "It was a life saving surgery. But it's only a tool, not a cure."
The surgical weight-loss procedure removed 80 percent of the patient's stomach. O'Donnell has gone from 230 lbs. to 190 lbs. since July 2013.