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Lisa Marie Presley's Friends Slam Doctor Who Did Surgery That Led to Her Death

An autopsy report showed that the singer died of a complication related to weight-loss surgery.

In January, the shocking news broke that Lisa Marie Presley had died at age 54. Not only was her death a surprise because of her age, but because the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley had been out in public often just prior, attending events for the Oscar-nominated movie Elvis. In fact, she was at the Golden Globe Awards just two days before she died.

At the time, it was reported that Presley had gone into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. Now, six months later, an autopsy report tells a more complete story: she suffered a complication related to a weight-loss surgery she had secretly undergone years prior. In a new report from Page Six, sources close to the singer say that they were shocked to find out that Presley had had bariatric surgery and questioned why a doctor would allow it. Read on to find out more.

RELATED: See Elvis Presley's 3 Granddaughters Now.

Presley died on Jan. 12, 2023.

Lisa Marie Presley at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Icelandic Glacial

Presley died at age 54 on Jan. 12. The news was announced by her mother, Priscilla, who said in a statement to People, "It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us. She was the most passionate strong and loving woman I have ever known. We ask for privacy as we try to deal with this profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers. At this time there will be no further comment."

A few hours prior to her death being confirmed, People reported that Presley had been hospitalized for a possible cardiac arrest. According to Page Six, she had complained of abdominal pain in the days before.

Her autopsy report includes more details.

Lisa Marie Presley at the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2022
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

On July 14, CNN reported that an autopsy from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner determined that Presley died from a small bowel obstruction, meaning a blockage in the small intestine. Deputy medical examiner Juan M. Carrillo reported that Presley's obstruction was caused by "adhesions (or, scar tissue) that developed after bariatric surgery years ago. This is a known long term complication of this type of surgery."

According to Mayo Clinic, "Gastric bypass and other weight-loss surgeries—known collectively as bariatric surgery—involve making changes to your digestive system to help you lose weight. Bariatric surgery is done when diet and exercise haven't worked or when you have serious health problems because of your weight." The website notes that bowel obstruction is one of the long-term risks.

Presley's autopsy report also noted that there were three types of drugs found in her system—including a "therapeutic" level of oxycodone—but that they were "not contributory to death." Carrillo wrote, "There is no evidence of injury or foul play. The manner of death is deemed natural."

A friend spoke out against the doctor who performed the surgery.

Lisa Marie Presley at the premiere of "Mad Max: Fury Road" in 2015
Tinseltown / Shutterstock

A friend of Presley's spoke to Page Six about the autopsy result and shared their surprise at the performer having undergone weight-loss surgery.

"When did you ever see Lisa look as if she needed bariatric surgery?" the unnamed friend said. "She was not big at all. I don't know what kind of doctor would perform this surgery on her."

According to Page Six, friends of Presley's knew that she'd had minor cosmetic procedures but had no idea she'd had bariatric surgery.

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Another source claimed Presley had struggled with her weight.

Lisa Marie Presley at the 2013 CMT Music Awards
s_bukley / Shutterstock

Jeffrey Augustine—who Page Six describes as "a former Scientologist and private investigator"—claimed, "She went on a crash diet to lose 40 pounds before showing up with [director] Baz [Luhrmann] for the Elvis movie. She was having financial problems and she hoped the publicity from the film would bump up Elvis sales." (Presley is a former Scientologist.)

Augustine also said that "Lisa Marie always had issues with her weight," but added, "The fact that she allegedly died from bariatric surgery really caught me by surprise."

RELATED: Elizabeth Taylor Says Late Husband Told Her to "Go Back" During Vivid Near-Death Experience.

Presley had said she was worried about her health because of her family history.

Finley Lockwood, Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Riley Keough, and Harper Lockwood at the TCL Chinese Theatre in 2022
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

While Presley hadn't publicly shared that she underwent bariatric surgery, the mother-of-four had talked openly about weight loss in the past.

In 2014, she spoke to People about her diet and the exercise routine and said she was at her "happy" weight. "I'm at the weight I was at when I was a teenager," she said. "I love the way clothes fit right now."

She said that her family's health history was the reason she wanted to make changes in her lifestyle. "Knowing my family history—my father's side is totally not healthy and they have shorter life spans [her father died at 42], while my mom's side is super fit with long life spans," she said. "I didn't know where I would land. So I said, 'Okay. I'm going to play it safe and try to be as healthy as I can be.'"

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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