How Marie Presley Died of a Rare Complication from Weight-Loss Surgery

Marie Presley, the only daughter of the late Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, died in January at the age of 54. The singer-songwriter and musician was known for her four high-profile marriages, her musical career, and her resemblance to her father. But what was the cause of her death?

Small Bowel Obstruction: A Fatal Blockage in the Intestine

According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, Marie Presley’s death was caused by a “sequelae of a small bowel obstruction”. A small bowel obstruction is a blockage in the small intestine, often because of things like scar tissue, a hernia or cancer. Without surgery, it can cause bowel tissue to die or perforate, leading to death.

In Marie Presley’s case, the report found that the obstruction was caused by adhesions (or, scar tissue) that developed after bariatric surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, that she underwent several years ago. “This is a known long term complication of this type of surgery,” the medical examiner’s report noted.

Bariatric surgery is a procedure that reduces the size of the stomach or bypasses part of the digestive system to help people lose weight. It can have many benefits, such as lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. However, it can also have serious side effects and complications, such as infections, bleeding, ulcers, malnutrition and bowel obstructions.

How Marie Presley’s Medications May Have Contributed to Her Death

The medical examiner’s report also stated that Marie Presley had therapeutic levels of oxycodone in her blood at the time of her death. Oxycodone is a painkiller that can also be addictive. The report said that quetapine metabolite (used to treat depression, schizophrenia or manic episodes) and buprenorphine (a painkiller that can also be used to treat opioid addiction) were present but “not contributory to death”.

However, some experts have suggested that these medications may have slowed down the motility of the intestine and made it more likely for it to get obstructed by the adhesions. Dr. Michael Camilleri, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, told CNN that “just because there were these other medications on board doesn’t necessarily mean that the person was more prone to develop the complications”. But he added that they could have masked the symptoms of the obstruction, such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

The Final Days of Marie Presley’s Life

Marie Presley’s last public appearance was two days before her death, at the Golden Globes. She looked radiant and happy as she posed with her mother Priscilla and her daughter Riley on the red carpet. She was nominated for best original song for “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”, which she co-wrote and performed for the film “The King’s Daughter”.

However, according to Priscilla Presley, who spoke to The Hollywood Reporter in an emotional interview, Marie Presley had been complaining of abdominal pain on the morning of her death. Priscilla said that she had an instinct that something was off with her daughter and tried to convince her to go to the hospital. But Marie Presley refused, saying that she had an appointment with her doctor later that day.

Priscilla said that she received a phone call from Marie Presley’s housekeeper around noon, telling her that Marie Presley was unresponsive and that paramedics were on their way. Priscilla rushed to her daughter’s home in Calabasas, where she found her in cardiac arrest. She said that she tried to perform CPR on her daughter until the ambulance arrived. But it was too late. Marie Presley was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. on January 12.

Priscilla said that she was devastated by the loss of her daughter and that she didn’t wish this on any mother. She said that she was grateful for the support of her family and friends and that she hoped that Marie Presley’s legacy would live on through her music and her children.

Marie Presley was buried next to her son Benjamin Keough, who killed himself in 2020. She is survived by her mother Priscilla, her daughter Riley, and her twin daughters Harper and Finley.

Doms Desk

Leave a Comment