Doctor Who Reportedly Performed Joan Rivers Surgery Out
By Antoinette Bueno
The gastroenterologist who reportedly performed the late Joan Rivers' endoscopy is no longer performing procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy -- the facility where Rivers went into cardiac arrest – ET can confirm.
"Dr. Cohen is not currently performing procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy; nor is he currently serving as medical director," a spokesperson for Yorkville Endoscopy told ET Friday.
According to WABC, Dr. Lawrence Cohen -- who was the medical director of the facility -- was actually asked to leave Yorkville Endoscopy and has since stepped down. According to the report, sources say that Dr. Cohen allowed a specialist unaffiliated with Yorkville Endoscopy to examine Rivers, even though that doctor was not authorized to practice in the clinic.
Rivers stopped breathing while undergoing an outpatient procedure on her vocal chords on August 28. After being rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, she was placed under a medically induced coma.
She was pronounced dead at the age of 81 on September 4.
The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that it was an unplanned biopsy that caused her to stop breathing – however, Yorkville Endoscopy has denied the claim. "A biopsy of the vocal cords has never been performed at Yorkville Endoscopy," the facility said in a statement.
The New York State Health Department is currently investigating Rivers' treatment. Neither the gastroenterologist nor the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist has been accused of wrongdoing.