Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of the legendary Elvis Presley, tragically passed away due to a medical condition known as a small bowel obstruction. This condition was a complication that arose years after she underwent bariatric surgery, a type of surgery that helps with weight loss. Although this condition is very rare, the cause of her death has brought attention to the potential long-term risks associated with this type of surgery.
According to an autopsy report mentioned by Everyday Health, the small bowel obstruction that led to Presley's death was caused by adhesions. Adhesions are bands of scar tissue that can form after surgery, causing organ tissues to stick together. In Presley's case, these adhesions led to a blockage in her small intestine.
However, people who have had or are considering bariatric surgery should not panic. The risk of death associated with the procedure within 10 years is very minimal. In fact, the risk of death shortly after such a surgery is about 0.08%, or less than 1 in 1,000, according to a 2021 study based on data from several million patients.
While the risk of complications is low, it's important to be aware of them. Around 3% of patients who get bariatric surgery experience long-term complications, with the leading risk being malnutrition. The risk of developing long-term bowel obstruction across all types of abdominal surgeries is about 1% or 2%.
Presley's tragic death serves as a reminder of the importance of understanding the potential risks and complications of any surgery. If you're experiencing symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting after surgery, it's so important to seek medical attention immediately.
Bariatric surgery was performed more than 260,000 times in the U.S. in 2021, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. While it can be a life-changing procedure for many, it's important to make informed decisions and understand the potential risks and benefits.
If you like to learn more about the potential Risks and Complications with bariatric surgery, we recommend this guide: Bariatric Surgery Complications, Risks, and Side Effects