Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley, died of a rare and serious complication of weight-loss surgery, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office. The report, released on Thursday, stated that Lisa Marie’s death in January was caused by a “sequelae of a small bowel obstruction”. This means that her small intestine was blocked by scar tissue that formed after she underwent bariatric surgery several years ago. The obstruction prevented food and fluids from passing through her digestive system, leading to severe pain, infection, and ultimately cardiac arrest.
What is Bariatric Surgery and Why Did Lisa Marie Have It?
Bariatric surgery is a term that covers several types of procedures that aim to help people lose weight by reducing the size or function of their stomach. Some of the most common types are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and gastric banding. These surgeries can help people who are obese or have obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or sleep apnea.
Lisa Marie Presley had struggled with her weight for most of her life. She once said that she inherited her father’s “appetite for everything” and that she used food as a coping mechanism for stress and emotional issues. She also admitted that she had tried various diets and pills, but none of them worked for her in the long term. In 2015, she decided to undergo bariatric surgery, hoping to improve her health and self-esteem. She reportedly lost over 100 pounds after the surgery and said that she felt happier and more confident.
What are the Risks and Complications of Bariatric Surgery?
Bariatric surgery is not a quick fix or a magic solution for weight loss. It requires a lifelong commitment to follow a strict diet and exercise regimen, as well as regular medical check-ups and supplements. Bariatric surgery also carries some serious risks and potential complications, both in the short term and the long term.
Some of the short-term risks include bleeding, infection, leakage, blood clots, pneumonia, and death. Some of the long-term complications include nutritional deficiencies, ulcers, gallstones, hernias, dumping syndrome, and bowel obstruction. According to NBC News, deaths from small bowel obstructions are rare. In many cases, patients experience significant pain and would probably be admitted to hospital.
How Did Lisa Marie Die from a Small Bowel Obstruction?
According to the autopsy report obtained by NBC News, Lisa Marie Presley had complained about abdominal pain in the months before her death and the morning of January 12th, when she was found unresponsive at her home in Calabasas, California. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The report stated that she died of natural causes and that the cardiac arrest was caused by a “small bowel obstruction”.
A small bowel obstruction occurs when the small intestine is blocked by something that prevents food and fluids from passing through. This can be caused by various factors, such as tumors, medication, or inflammation. In Lisa Marie’s case, the report found that the obstruction was caused by adhesions (scar tissue) that developed after bariatric surgery years ago. “This is a known long-term complication of this type of surgery,” the report noted.
Adhesions are bands of fibrous tissue that can form between organs or tissues after surgery or injury. They can cause organs or tissues to stick together or twist, creating a blockage or a kink in the intestine. This can lead to symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea. If left untreated, a small bowel obstruction can cause serious complications such as infection (peritonitis), tissue death (necrosis), or rupture (perforation) of the intestine.
How Can Small Bowel Obstructions Be Prevented or Treated?
There is no sure way to prevent adhesions from forming after surgery, but some factors that may reduce the risk include using minimally invasive techniques (such as laparoscopy), avoiding unnecessary surgeries, using anti-adhesive agents or barriers during surgery, and following post-operative instructions carefully.
The treatment for small bowel obstructions depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Some cases may resolve on their own with conservative measures such as fasting, fluids, antibiotics, or painkillers. Other cases may require surgery to remove the obstruction or repair the damage. The sooner the diagnosis and treatment are done, the better the chances of recovery.
What is Lisa Marie’s Legacy?
Lisa Marie Presley was more than just Elvis Presley’s daughter. She was also a singer and songwriter who released three albums over the course of her career. She was also well-known for four high-profile marriages: to musician Danny Keough, pop star Michael Jackson, actor Nicolas Cage, and producer Michael Lockwood. She had four children: Riley and Benjamin Keough (from her first marriage), and Harper and Finley Lockwood (from her fourth marriage).
Lisa Marie Presley was laid to rest next to her son Benjamin Keough, who killed himself in 2020, at Graceland, her father’s mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, where she lived as a child with her father, who died in 1977. Her estate and will have been at the center of a family dispute involving her mother, Priscilla Presley, and her daughter, Riley Keough. The dispute was settled in May. The details were never made public.
Lisa Marie Presley was a beloved daughter, mother, sister, and friend. She was also a talented artist who had a passion for music and a unique voice. She will be remembered for her courage, generosity, and kindness. She will be missed by many.