Los Angeles, USA– The untimely passing of Lisa Marie Presley, the sole daughter of the iconic Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley, in January, has been determined to be caused by complications arising from prior weight-loss surgery, as revealed by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s report.
The report, obtained by CNN on Thursday, states that the cause of Lisa Marie Presley’s demise was a “sequelae of a small bowel obstruction.” This obstruction occurs when there is a blockage in the small intestine, often resulting from factors such as scar tissue, hernias, or cancer. If left untreated, it can lead to necrosis or perforation of the bowel, ultimately resulting in death.
Deputy medical examiner Dr. Juan M. Carrillo, who provided the official opinion in the autopsy report, attributed Presley’s small bowel obstruction to “adhesions (or, scar tissue) that developed after bariatric surgery years ago. This is a known long-term complication of this type of surgery.”
Moreover, Dr. Carrillo stated that he examined the autopsy toxicology results, which indicated the presence of “therapeutic” levels of oxycodone in Presley’s blood—meaning the levels were within the medically beneficial range and not deemed hazardous. He also mentioned the detection of quetapine metabolite, a medication used to treat depression, schizophrenia, or manic episodes, and buprenorphine, a painkiller with applications in opioid addiction treatment. However, he clarified that these substances were “not contributory to death.”
Dr. Michael Camilleri, a renowned consultant and professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the prestigious Mayo Clinic, explained to CNN that the medications discovered in Presley’s system could have potentially “slowed down the motility of the intestine and would have made it perhaps more likely” for the obstruction to occur due to the adhesions.
Lisa Marie Presley's death in January was from natural causes due to the effects of a small bowel obstruction. An autopsy report said it happened due to complications from bariatric surgery she had several years ago. https://t.co/wK9wMb8qKt
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 13, 2023
“It is important to note that adhesions can develop in anyone,” Dr. Camilleri emphasized. “The presence of these additional medications does not necessarily imply an increased susceptibility to complications.”
On the morning of her tragic passing, Lisa Marie Presley had complained of abdominal pain before being hospitalized due to an apparent cardiac arrest on January 12. The medical examiner’s report also highlighted her admission of abdominal discomfort.
Dr. Folasade P. May, an esteemed associate professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and director of the Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program, speculated that Presley’s cardiac arrest may have been caused by severe complications resulting from the small bowel obstruction. Neither Dr. Camilleri nor Dr. May were directly involved in Presley’s case but provided their expert opinions to CNN.
In a statement released at the time, the grieving Presley family expressed shock and devastation over the tragic loss of their beloved Lisa Marie. They conveyed their profound gratitude for the support, love, and prayers they had received and requested privacy during this incredibly challenging period.
Lisa Marie Presley’s final public appearance took place a few days before her passing at the Golden Globe Awards, where she accompanied her mother to lend support to the Baz Luhrmann film “Elvis,” a tribute to her late father’s life and legacy.
The world mourns the loss of Lisa Marie Presley, whose remarkable lineage and artistic contributions touched the hearts of many. As the circumstances surrounding her passing shed light on the potential risks associated with weight-loss surgery, her legacy serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize health and safety in pursuit of personal well-being.