Big B Amitabh Bachchan undergoes surgery in Mumbai

The 69-year-old Bollywood superstar underwent two successful abdominal surgeries in north Mumbai.

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The Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan on Saturday underwent two successful abdominal surgeries at the Seven Hills Hospital at suburban Andheri in north Mumbai, two days after he revealed on his blog that he would go under the scalpel.

Late on Friday night, 69-year-old Bachchan was admitted to the same hospital where his daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai delivered a baby girl in November. He had just finished shooting for a Bhojpuri film produced by his make-up man of 30 years, Deepak Sawant.

Speaking to reporters shortly after the surgery outside the hospital, Bachchan's actor son Abhishek Bachchan said: "I thank you for your thoughts, prayers, wishes, especially media for respecting our privacy. Dad had a small procedure today which is the legacy of his 1982 accident. He has been taken back to his room after the surgery. He is fine, hail and hearty and talking." He said his father would be kept under observation for 24 hours and was likely to be discharged on Sunday.

Though speculative reports said it was a hernia procedure, Bachchan and his family members as well as the hospital doctors did not comment.

Asked specifically about the nature of the surgery, a hospital spokesperson said: "All I can say is that he underwent an abdominal surgery."

Bachchan has had a history of stomach ailments since his accident on the set of Manmohan Desai's film Coolie in 1982. The actor was injured when Puneet Issar punched him in the stomach while shooting an action sequence, and recovered after several days in the hospital. In 2005, Bachchan was hospitalised again at Lilavati Hospital for intestinal surgery to treat diverticulitis, a medical condition in which tiny pouches bulge outward from weak spots along intestinal walls causing inflammation.

Bachchan himself put millions of fans at ease on Saturday night when he tweeted from the hospital and even joked on Twitter with his son. "Back ...! Thank you for your prayers. Your love and wishes never fail. Indebted for life. One that I shall never be able to pay back," Bachchan wrote.