Joan Rivers Had Unplanned Throat Biopsy, Stopped Breathing During Procedure: Report

Joan Rivers
New details have emerged on Joan Rivers' death. Cindy Ord/Getty Images

New details have emerged about the procedure that preceded Joan Rivers' death. According to a new report from the New York Daily News, the beloved comedienne underwent an unplanned throat biopsy during a routine endoscopy that led to her ultimately fatal hospitalization.  

NYDN reports that Rivers, who passed away after about a week of hospitalization last Thursday, Sept. 4, arrived at Yorkville Endoscopy in New York City on Aug. 28, for a procedure that friends called "a diagnostic procedure [to] see why her voice had gotten raspy." 

When the doctor performing the endoscopy found "something" on the late star's vocal cords, another doctor, whom Rivers reportedly brought with her and didn't work for Yorkville Endoscopy, "asked if he could use their instruments" to perform an unplanned throat biopsy, the paper reports. 


The New York Daily News added that Rivers had agreed to the endoscopy, but not the biopsy, and that it was "a huge no-no" for Yorkville Endoscopy to allow the outside doctor to perform the spur-of-the-moment operation. 

During the biopsy, the television personality reportedly suffered the vocal cord contraction laryngospasm, which stopped her breathing. Sources told the Daily News that if the biopsy had been done in a hospital, which is better equipped to deal with unexpected outcomes, "she might have been okay." 

There has been little comment from Rivers' daughter Melissa Rivers, nor representatives from Yorkville Endoscopy, on the report. An initial autopsy performed on the Fashion Police star was inconclusive, failing to determine the "cause and manner of death." 

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