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Rosie O'Donnell says she lost 40 pounds through surgery

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Comedian Rosie O'Donnell has never been ashamed of her size, but on Friday she revealed she has taken measures to lose weight.

During a luncheon sponsored by the American Heart Surgery Association in Detroit on Valentine's Day, O'Donnell announced that she underwent vertical gastric sleeve surgery.

Since having the procedure in July, O'Donnell says she has lost 40 pounds and currently weighs 190 pounds.

The surgery reduces stomach size by 25 percent and limits the amount of food a stomach can hold.

O'Donnell, who had a heart attack two years ago says, "I did it to save my life." She also had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was pre-diabetic. O'Donnell, 51, also started a healthy diet, which involved a reduced intake of red meat, carbohydrates and sugar. She also increased her exercise by taking daily short walks with her wife Michelle Rounds.

"She tried to lose weight but it wasn't working," O'Donnell's spokesperson Cindi Berger tells the magazine. "It was a lifesaving surgery. But it's only a tool, not a cure."

The Mayo Clinic says, gastric bypass surgery is one of the most common types of bariatric surgery in the United States. Many surgeons prefer gastric bypass surgery because it generally has fewer complications than do other weight-loss surgeries.

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