"I didn't really know I was sick, but you know, I'm definitely on the mend," Tamar Braxton said
During The Real on Wednesday, the R&B singer revealed that, in addition to suffering from blood clots in both of her lungs, she also suffers from a condition known as thoracic outlet syndrome that forced her to undergo surgery to have a rib removed.
Braxton, 38, was hospitalized during DWTS in November. Though at first doctors believed she had pneumonia, medical tests soon revealed she was actually suffering from pulmonary embolism, and she subsequently dropped out of the dance competition while taking a break from co-hosting the talk show.
During her appearance on The Real, Braxton invited both her vascular surgeon and cardiologist on the show to discuss her health and successful rib removal surgery, which was over 2 hours long.
According to the experts, Braxton developed thoracic outlet syndrome, a condition in which muscles develop and compress veins, “because she is essentially an athlete.”
“So she had to have the rib removed to remove the obstruction of her vein,” they explained.
“Well, you know, Dancing with the Stars is the most fit I’ve ever been in my life,” Braxton explained of her physical condition at the time. “You know what I’m saying? There’s not a time in my life I could remember eating a Big Mac and it not showing up on me the next day – because I was dancing five to six hours a day!”
As to what effect her participation in DWTS had, Dr. Allan Tulloch admitted the strenuous activity could have exacerbated her condition.
“Any increased activity would put you at an increased risk,” Tulloch said. “She was probably born with a predisposition, you know, just the way the muscles are, but certainly the more activity that you did I think would have put you at an increased risk for developing the problem.”
Additionally, Braxton has a 10 percent chance of facing the same health scare as her rib on the other side is also “not perfect.”
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Despite the obstacles, Braxton maintained that she is currently healthy, though some days she does find it difficult to get out of bed.
“You know, I’m blessed, number one, beyond measure. I’m feeling fantastic,” she said. “I didn’t really know I was sick, but you know, I’m definitely on the mend. Some days are really tough.”
“I’m what you call a pusher,” she continued. “So I am feeling great. And thank you guys for your prayers and your thoughts.”
Braxton’s reality show with husband Vince Herbert, Tamar & Vince, airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on WEtv, and The Real airs weekdays on Fox (check local listings).