Joan Rivers Death Lawsuit: Yorkville Endoscopy Says 'Biopsy Of The Vocal Cords Has Never Been Performed' [VIDEO]

11:47 AM EDT 9/11/2014 by Jamie Dinar, Celebeat Reporter

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Yorkville Endoscopy has released a statement regarding Joan Rivers' untimely death.

Joan Rivers: Source Claims Doctors Performed 'Unauthorized Throat Biopsy'

At the end of last month, Rivers went into cardiac arrest during a procedure on her vocal cords, and died one week later at New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital. Now, the medical center is speaking out, defending itself against claims of an unplanned biopsy.

Yorkville Endoscopy released a statement to CNN yesterday, claiming that although a New York newspaper alleged a doctor made a "spur-of-the-moment" decision "to take a scalpel to a polyp-like growth on her vocal cords," the clinic acted completely within its limits.

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The statement reiterated it would not be able to divulge too many details because of medical privacy rules, but the New York State Health Department confirmed investigations that "a biopsy of the vocal cords has never been performed at Yorkville Endoscopy," said the statement.

The statement addressed public speculation that anesthesia, which was questionably used to sedate Rivers during the procedure, could have contributed to the star's cardiac arrest.

"General anesthesia has never been administered at Yorkville Endoscopy. The type of sedation used... is monitored anesthesia care. Our anesthesiologists utilize light to moderate sedation," and is only administered by licensed medical doctors who are board-certified, the statement read. "Our anesthesiologists monitor the patient continuously utilizing state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and remain at the bedside throughout the procedure and into recovery."

The statement then touched upon criticism that Rivers should have been treated in a hospital, rather than the clinic.

"Yorkville Endoscopy has strict policies in place for the criteria of who gets treated in this center versus in a hospital. Every patient is pre-screened by their gastroenterologist, an anesthesiologist and a nurse for appropriateness to be treated at Yorkville Endoscopy," the statement said.

The outpatient clinic is currently under investigation by the New York State Department of Health, CNN reports, and also triggered an investigation by the New York medical examiner's office.

The cause and manner of death remain inconclusive, and will be announced "at some point," Julie Bolcer, the examiner spokeswoman, told CNN.


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