Dolly Parton’s health — The singer had undergone multiple surgeries to treat her illnesses

By Sonam Peldon — ON Jan 04, 2023
Dolly Parton
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Dolly Parton’s journey from humble beginnings in rural Tennessee to one of the richest entertainers in the world is a modern-day rags-to-riches story. The country music extraordinaire, who has written more than 3000 songs in her 67-year career, is widely loved and respected for her grounded and generous personality.

Parton has also earned the goodwill of the public with her comprehensive philanthropic endeavors along with chart-topping singles. In November 2022, she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for her achievement in music. But as is tradition, even Dolly Parton has been the subject of various rumors and assumptions about her private life, particularly about her health and well-being.

Dolly Parton not only underwent surgery to remove kidney stones but also reportedly had an esophagectomy

In the fall of 2022, social media sites were rife with reports of Dolly Parton suffering from a “dangerous disease”. The rumors went so far as to suggest that she was on life support.

But the rumors were debunked by the fact-checking website Snopes after they learned that the tale originated from a disreputable YouTube video. Parton has also been making multiple appearances and performances as of late, proving that she is in seemingly good health even at 76 years old.

Moreover, Parton’s most recent public health issue dates back to September 2015 when she underwent surgery to remove kidney stones. She was 69 years old at the time and the medical concern was fixed without any complications.

Parton was compelled to disclose the news about the surgery after almost a month in order to dismiss rumors of her having stomach cancer.

“It is true that I had kidney stones. I had them removed three weeks ago and I am doing just fine! There is absolutely no truth at all that I have stomach cancer. I love and appreciate everyone’s concern,” she said.

In June 2013, Parton allegedly had a secret esophagectomy to implant an advanced medical device into her esophagus after suffering from a gastroesophageal reflux disease – a condition where stomach acid leaks into the esophagus – for quite a few years. This surgery was carried out to prevent the potential development of esophageal cancer.

Her rather extreme weight loss during the time was also attributed to the illness and the eventual surgery and medication. While Parton’s team had denied commenting on the report, a source said that:

“Dolly knew something had to be done or she could die. Her weight was dropping dramatically, she was chugging antacid medication, and she couldn’t eat anything but soft, bland foods.”

When she was 35 years old, Dolly was diagnosed with endometriosis and had a partial hysterectomy to treat it

In 1981, Dolly Parton was 35 years old when she was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition where tissues grow outside the uterus, inflaming the pelvis and other parts of the body. In the months leading to the diagnosis, she had been suffering from severe abdominal pain accompanied by bleeding.

Parton underwent two surgeries to prevent internal hemorrhaging and at 36 years old, she had a partial hysterectomy to treat the disease. With the surgery, she lost her reproductive ability to naturally conceive children. She recalled the moment as:

“I went to the very bottom as far as my emotions and my health are concerned. I was getting away with murder. I wasn’t watching what I ate, I wasn’t conscious of nutrition, wasn’t taking care of myself. I was working hard, and underneath I was a pile of personal and emotional problems. All at once I fell apart. It was stomach problems and female problems – all over health problems actually.”