Why Joan Rivers’s Death Is A Reminder Of The Dangers Of Elective Surgery

Renae Gylbert

Comedienne Joan Rivers died today after complications from an elective throat procedure she had done last week.

CNN says Rivers stopped breathing and suffered cardiac arrest, before being placed in a medically induced coma and on life support last Thursday.

She was best known for her witty, hilarious and sometimes insulting commentary on everything from celebrity fashion and personal lives to sexuality and politics.

But one thing the New York native was most famous for was her love for cosmetic surgery. And she made it no secret that she made a number of enhancements over her almost 60-year career.

In fact, The Huffington Post reported that in 2010, Joan Rivers said to do whatever you feel to make yourself feel and look prettier if desired.

"Babies respond to pretty faces. So stop telling everyone it's okay not to be pretty! If you can fix it, fix it! If it makes you happier. I love to look in the mirror and say, 'For 77, you look good.' That's all. I don't care what anyone says. Not bad for 77."

But it may have been the love of cosmetic surgeries that may have ultimately claimed her life.

Often times, surgery on seniors, particularly elective surgery can be very risky. According to the New York Times, Dr. Martin Makary says that even though technology can better detect how a 70 or 80-year-old will respond to surgery, outcomes are often up in the air.

Rivers was 81.

"There are some people you worry won't do well, and then they fly. And some people you are confident will do well have a cascade of symptoms that lead to their demise or permanent disability — and everybody is shocked."

Additionally, a study from the Journal of the American College of Surgeons found that the more frail an elderly person is, the more complications they will deal with after surgery.

The University of Rochester Medical Center states that the most important pre-operative steps for anyone to take are to ensure the facility is accredited to perform the procedure by certified practitioners.

Ironically, the clinic Rivers had her surgery performed in is being investigated for her death.

Besides some complications with osteoporosis a few years back, Joan Rivers appeared to be fairly healthy for her age. So, why she chose to have work done on her throat is still unclear.

Rivers was famous for her signature raspy, heavy New York-accented voice.

Rivers' list of elective cosmetic surgeries including facelifts, an eye tuck and rhinoplasty surgeries, according to E!.

The New York Daily News reported back in 2012 that Melissa Rivers, Joan Rivers only child, intervened with her mother's cosmetic surgery obsession, stating she was getting botox done every five to six months.

Sadly, Joan Rivers will never get the chance to fully accept her body as it naturally was.