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Yorkville Endoscopy Releases Biopsy Statement Amid Joan Rivers Rumors

Joan Rivers' Death Raises Questions About Endoscopies 2:17

The private New York City clinic where Joan Rivers stopped breathing while undergoing an outpatient procedure on her vocal cords released a statement Wednesday about the clinic's care following a report that alleged an unplanned biopsy was performed at the facility. "A biopsy of vocal cords has never been performed at Yorkville Endoscopy," the clinic said in a statement.

The clinic, citing confidentiality rules, made it clear that it was not providing specific information about Rivers or any other patient, but rather was describing its standard practices. "General anesthesia has never been administered at Yorkville Endoscopy," the clinic said. "The type of sedation used at Yorkville Endoscopy is monitored anesthesia care. Our anesthesiologists utilize light to moderate sedation."

The New York Daily News, citing an anonymous medical source familiar with the case, had reported Wednesday that a doctor who traveled with Rivers to the clinic allegedly performed a biopsy that caused the legendary comic's vocal cords to seize up. The doctor allegedly asked the clinic's staff if he could use the facility's instruments when a doctor there spotted "something" on the performer's vocal cords, the Daily News reported.

In response to NBC News' inquiries about Joan Rivers' medical procedure and Yorkville Endoscopy, the New York State Department of Health told NBC News they are "investigating the matter." Rivers stopped breathing during a vocal cords procedure on August 28 and went into "respiratory or cardiac arrest," according to the New York Fire Department. She was then rushed to Mount Sinai hospital, where she died last Thursday at 81.

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— Daniel Arkin