Lisa Marie Presley’s death tied to weight-loss surgery ‘years ago,’ autopsy report says

Lisa Marie Presley poses for pictures in a black dress and holding a clutch bag.
The cause of death for Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, has been determined.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)
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Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, died from complications of a small bowel obstruction, according to the L.A. County medical examiner’s autopsy report obtained by The Times. She was 54.

“The obstruction was in the form of a strangulated small bowel caused by adhesions that developed after bariatric surgery years ago,” the report said. “This is a known long-term complication of this type of surgery.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, bariatric surgery is the collective name for a group of surgeries, such as gastric bypass, that involve making changes to someone’s digestive system to help with weight loss.


A toxicology report revealed that Presley had “therapeutic levels” of the opioid oxycodone, along with evidence of quetiapine and buprenorphine, but noted that the medications did not contribute to her death. The report found no evidence of foul play and deemed that she died of natural causes.

Presley died Jan. 12 at West Hills Hospital after suffering a cardiac episode near Calabasas. Hours after she was hospitalized, her mother Priscilla Presley’s publicist announced the sad news.

Singer Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, has died at age 54. She was hospitalized Thursday after suffering a cardiac episode.

Jan. 12, 2023

“Priscilla Presley and the Presley family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Lisa Marie,” the statement said. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

Presley is survived by her mother; her oldest daughter, actor Riley Keough; and 14-year-old twins, Harper and Finley Lockwood, whom she shared with ex-husband Michael Lockwood.

Presley, born Feb. 1, 1968, was the sole heir to her father’s Graceland. After Elvis died in 1977, she worked with her mother to turn the sprawling mansion into a lucrative tourist attraction.

A woman singing with her eyes closed while holding a microphone
Lisa Marie Presley, shown in 2012, was remembered in a public memorial at her father’s Graceland estate.
(Barry Brecheisen / Invision / Associated Press)

Presley’s cause of death was revealed weeks after Keough filed a petition to take over as the sole trustee of her mother’s estate.

In January, after Lisa Marie’s death, Priscilla contested her daughter’s will, challenging a 2016 amendment that replaced her and Lisa Marie’s former business manager, Barry Siegel, as co-trustees with eldest children Riley Keough, 33, and Benjamin Keough — who died in 2020 at age 27.

Priscilla and and Keough reached a settlement in May.

In the wake of the death of Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis Presley, all eyes are on the rock icon’s Graceland estate and his other personal effects.

Jan. 14, 2023

The public memorial was well attended by Presley’s music peers, including Billy Corgan, Alanis Morissette and Axl Rose, who concluded the ceremony with a performance of Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain.”

Keough, Presley’s eldest daughter, shared a moving tribute with the help of her husband, Ben Smith-Petersen.

Priscilla Presley read a poem by one of her granddaughters and Axl Rose sang a Guns N’ Roses song at the Graceland memorial for Lisa Marie Presley.

Jan. 22, 2023

“Thank you for showing me that love is the only thing that matters in this life. I hope I can love my daughter the way you loved me, the way you loved my brother and my sisters,” Smith-Petersen said on his wife’s behalf. “Thank you for giving me strength, my heart, my empathy, my courage, my sense of humor, my manners, my temper, my wildness, my tenacity. I’m a product of your heart. My sisters are a product of your heart. My brother is a product of your heart. We are you. You are us.”


Times staff writers Christi Carras and Anousha Sakoui contributed to this report.