Report: Doctor Who Performed Joan Rivers' Endoscopy Steps Down

According to The New York Times, the renowned gastroenterologist brought an unauthorized doctor into Rivers' operating room.

AP

A doctor who performed a throat procedure on Joan Rivers, who died last week, has stepped down as medical director of the New York clinic where the television personality was treated, the New York Times reported Friday.

Rivers, 81, died on September 4, a week after she suffered a cardiac arrest during the endoscopy and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Yorkville Endoscopy said on Friday that Dr. Lawrence Cohen, a renowned gastroenterologist and co-owner of the center, was not currently working there.

"Dr. Cohen is not currently performing procedures at Yorkville Endoscopy; nor is he currently serving as medical director," a representative for the center said in a statement to reporters. No other details were released.

According to the report in The New York Times, Dr. Lawrence Cohen, brought an ear, nose and throat specialist into Rivers' operating room to examine her, even though that doctor wasn't authorized to work at the clinic.

The report, which cited sources briefed on the matter, said the ENT specialist was brought in to examine Rivers' vocal cords while Cohen examined her digestive system.

The sources said it wasn't clear why Rivers stopped breathing.

Rivers' cause of death is still unknown, pending further tests, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The State Department of Health has been investigating the center on Manhattan's Upper East Side, examining documents and interviewing staff.

Rivers was known for her acerbic wit, cosmetic surgeries and classic put downs. Her career as a stand-up comedian, author, talk show host and reality TV star spanned five decades.