Published March 03, 2011
But according to one expert, given her age and the amount of weight she has to lose, simple diet and exercise alone are not enough to have brought on such drastic results.
Beverly Hills-based surgeon, Dr. Lawrence Koplin (who does not treat Franklin) noted that losing such a vast amount of weight in a short period of time is incredibly challenging with diet and exercise alone.
"Losing this amount of weight with exercise and diet would require a strict, strict team, and is said to be impossible especially those above 40 with a slowed metabolism,” Koplin told us. “Surgical correction is the fastest way to see an 85 pound weight decrease in just a few months.”
Franklin's weight loss followed a major health scare late last year, after the 68-year-old underwent surgery for an undisclosed ailment in December after complaining of debilitating side pains. Fans and the media speculated that she was suffering with pancreatic cancer, a claim she consistently denied.
But Internet rumors are now swirling that indeed Franklin was not diagnosed with cancer, but became seriously ill – canceling a slew of concerts and appearances including the recent Grammys – due to complications surrounding a gastric bypass surgery procedure.
Although it is not known exactly when Franklin embarked on a weight loss regime, she looked significantly larger while performing in Philadelphia on July 27, 2010 and bigger than current at Heat v Pistons game on February 11, 2011.
A rep for Franklin did not respond to our request for comment, and she has so far declined to elaborate on what caused her recent emergency surgery.
Nonetheless, Franklin is looking as svelte and healthy as ever.
Furthermore, an insider told us that her mystery illness is being very much kept under wraps even to those who work closely with Franklin.
“I don’t think it was cancer, nobody really knows what was wrong,” said our source.