UCI Health expert on risks of bowel obstruction after bariatric surgery

Lisa Marie Presley’s death the result of a known complication of procedure

July 21, 2023
uci health bariatric surgeon dr ninh nguyen wearing a white coat and badge in observation area; nguyen spoke to everyday health about lisa marie presley's death years after weight loss surgery
UCI Health bariatric surgeon Dr. Ninh Nguyen spoke to Everyday 
Health about scarring risk after bariatric surgery.

IN THE NEWS: A recent report by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner concludes that Lisa Marie Presley’s death in March was the result of a small bowel obstruction caused by scarring years after weight-loss surgery.

Everyday Health logo gray and black letters with green apple on background with larger apple and blue green colorsUCI Health bariatric surgeon Dr. Ninh T. Nguyen spoke to Everyday Health about the complication, which is a known risk of the procedure. Some types of the surgery come with less risk than others, he says.

Bowel obstructions from scar tissue usually are not life-threatening…Compared with the gastric bypass, the sleeve gastrectomy has a lower risk of bowel obstruction, as there is no rerouting of the small intestine.

Nguyen is a board-certified UCI Health surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive gastroesophageal surgery and bariatric surgery. He pioneered the development of laparoscopic esophagectomy and gastrectomy for the treatment of esophagogastric pathology and laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass for the treatment of morbid obesity.

Nguyen is a professor and chair of the Department of Surgery at the UCI School of Medicine, chief of gastrointestinal surgery and associate director of the UCI Health Digestive Health Institute and past president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. He has been principal investigator on numerous research grants and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

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