Key Point: Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of rock legend Elvis Presley, died of a bowel obstruction caused by scar tissue that formed after bariatric surgery years ago.
Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of rock ‘n’ roll legend Elvis Presley, died of a rare complication from weight loss surgery, according to a new report1. The 54-year-old singer and songwriter passed away in January after suffering from a small bowel obstruction caused by adhesions that developed after bariatric surgery years ago. But what is bariatric surgery and why did it lead to her death?
Table of Contents
What is bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is a term that covers several types of procedures that aim to help people lose weight by reducing the size of their stomach or bypassing part of their digestive system. Some of the most common types are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric band. These surgeries are usually recommended for people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or 35 or higher with obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or sleep apnea.
What are the benefits and risks of bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery can help people lose weight and improve their quality of life and health. Studies have shown that bariatric surgery can lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and death in obese people. However, bariatric surgery also has serious risks and complications, such as bleeding, infection, leakage, ulcers, hernias, malnutrition, gallstones and bowel obstruction. Bowel obstruction occurs when something blocks the passage of food or stool through the intestines. It can cause severe pain, vomiting, bloating and constipation. It can also lead to tissue death, infection and perforation of the bowel wall.
How common is bowel obstruction after bariatric surgery?
Bowel obstruction after bariatric surgery is relatively rare, but it can happen at any time after the operation. According to a study published in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases in 2018, the incidence of bowel obstruction after bariatric surgery ranged from 0.5% to 4.1%, depending on the type of procedure and the follow-up period. The study also found that the most common cause of bowel obstruction was adhesions, which are bands of scar tissue that form between organs or tissues after surgery or inflammation. Adhesions can twist or pull the intestines out of place and create a blockage.
How can bowel obstruction be prevented and treated?
Bowel obstruction can be prevented by following the postoperative instructions given by the surgeon and dietitian, such as eating small meals, chewing well, drinking enough fluids, avoiding foods that can cause gas or constipation, taking vitamins and supplements as prescribed and exercising regularly. Bowel obstruction can be treated by using medications, fluids, enemas or nasogastric tubes to relieve the symptoms and clear the blockage. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove the obstruction or repair the damage.
Lisa Marie Presley’s death was a tragic reminder of the potential dangers of bariatric surgery. While bariatric surgery can be a life-saving option for some people who struggle with obesity, it is not a quick fix or a magic bullet. It requires lifelong commitment and care to avoid complications and maintain weight loss. As a weight loss coach, I advise anyone who is considering bariatric surgery to consult with their doctor and weigh the benefits and risks carefully before making a decision.
What do you think about Lisa Marie Presley’s death? Do you know anyone who has had bariatric surgery? What was their experience like? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.