Comedian Joan Rivers passed away last night at the age of 81 after suffering from complications after surgery on her vocal cords.
While the operation was reported to be a “routine procedure” by ABC, Rivers suffered severe complications, including cardiac arrest, and was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on the 28th of August. The original procedure took place at Yorkville Endoscopy Center, a state-of-the-art facility that opened last year.
Yorkville Endoscopy is now under investigation, but wrongdoing is not suspected.
After several weeks in intensive care, during which she remained in a medically-induced coma, Rivers was moved to a private room. She died the next day at 1.17pm local time.
Read more: How Joan Rivers reversed her Osteoporosis
Rivers was no stranger to surgery, having undergone numerous cosmetic operations throughout her lifetime. As written in the Guardian, Rivers once joked ““I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they’ll donate my body to Tupperware.”
She was also aware of the risks, remarking in one of her books about the topic that a leading surgeon had once said to her “Joan, even thoroughbreds trip.”
Surgery becomes exponentially more dangerous as patient's get older, and the risk of complications from even routine surgeries can become very high.
Data from the CDC released in 2012 showed that patients in the 75-84 year age group were seven times more likely to die from surgery than those aged between 45 and 64.
Other health issues have plagued Rivers over the past few decades, including Osteoporosis, of which she was a high-profile sufferer.
When she was first diagnosed with the illness, the doctor told her that it would kill her, she said in an interview with Lifescript. She also suffered from severe Bulimia in her younger years, but recovered after counselling.
Update: RadarOnline obtained information from insiders close to Joan Rivers that suggest investigators are not ruling out a fatal dose of the powerful sedative Propofol was administered to Rivers during the surgery. Propofol was the same drug administered to Michael Jackson and that caused his death. This has however not been confirmed by the New York State Department of health.
One study has shown that the abuse of the anaesthesia drug propofol by health care professionals is a growing problem.
Currently investigations into the exact cause of her death continue as results from the first autopsy report are inconclusive.
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