A bariatric surgeon explains the signs and risks of small bowel obstruction after Lisa Marie Presley died of a complication.
Six months after Presley was found unconscious in her California home, an autopsy report revealed that she had died from a severe complication of a bariatric surgery she had had years earlier.
Surgery is done to promote long-term weight loss when diet and exercise don’t work.
Dr. Hussein Abbas, a bariatric surgeon at Florida’s HCA Memorial Hospital, said that while obstruction can happen, what happened to Presley in general is very rare. He explained how bowel obstruction affects the body.
“It’s like if you imagine a garden hose, and this hose twists itself. This is basically what it does. So, if you imagine your intestines, a blood vessel passes to it, it twists and cuts off its own blood supply, ”Abbas said. “If you don’t spin it, that’s basically all you have to do. Get to him in time, spin the gut and save the gut.”
MORE: How Lisa Marie Presley’s Weight Loss Surgery Affected Her Death
Abbas said it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of small bowel obstruction, which include the following:
Cramping, nausea, bloating
Dehydration, fever, lack of appetite
Severe constipation and abdominal pain
Abbas suggests not masking stomach pain with drugs.
“A simple rule for all of our bariatric patients: if you have abdominal pain that does not go away, but gets worse, please call us and seek medical help immediately,” he said.
Abbas also took care of the security of the operation.
“This operation is just as safe, maybe even safer, than gallbladder surgery. In terms of his risk, in terms of his mortality, which we had here, and complications. So very, very low. And the benefits far outweigh those risks,” Abbas said.
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