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Rosie O'Donnell showcases 50-pound weight loss 9 months after bariatric surgery

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Rosie O'Donnell has lost 50 pounds since undergoing gastric sleeve surgery in August 2013, and feels unstoppable. O'Donnell proudly displayed her slimmed-down face in a Twitter photo she posted with the caption, "Almost 50 lbs off. I can see it now."

The 5-foot-7 O'Donnell underwent the bariatic surgery in July 2013, and has slimmed down from 230 to 180 pounds so far. Doctors have recommended she drop another 30 pounds.

Rosie Was Pre-Diabetic Almost Died

"I did it to save my life," O'Donnell told People. Rosie, who almost died of a heart attack in 2012, said she was pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

In gastric-sleeve surgery, about 80 percent of the stomach is removed to create a small sleeve-shaped stomach, about the size of a banana. As a result, you get full after three or four bites of food and can no longer eat huge portions.

O'Donnell, 51, said she turned to weight-loss surgery after being unable to lose weight on her own through diet and exercise. She's now following a healthy diet and working out regularly by taking daily walks.

Rosie hopes her bariatric surgery will inspire other obese people to lose weight, overhaul their diets and exercise. She also wants women to be aware of heart-attack symptoms and be vigilant about their health.

Weight-Loss Surgery Works Faster Than Diet and Exercise

O'Donnell joins a growing list of celebrities getting bariatric surgery. Comedian Lisa Lampanelli got the gastric-sleeve procedure in April 2012 and lost 106 pounds in less than a year.

Similarly, celebrity chef Graham Elliot has lost 150 pounds since getting gastric sleeve in July 2013. And "Today Show" star Al Roker lost 150 pounds after getting gastric bypass.

Bariatric surgery has skyrocketed in popularity, as more medical experts embrace the procedure for producing dramatic weight loss and for reversing diabetes and heart disease. There are many emotional disruptions that accompany weight-loss surgery's stunning physical changes, according to Weight Loss Surgery For Dummies, which just proves that losing weight is as much of an emotional transformation as a physical one.

Meanwhile, bariatric surgeons said they are still troubled by the negative stigma surrounding weight-loss surgery, insisting it's not the "easy way" out by any means. "People lose sight of the fact that the patients aren't just obese, they're sick," said bariatric surgeon Dr. Alan Wittgrove. "It's not as easy as just losing weight."

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