NY surgeon surrenders medical license after admitting to fake surgeries

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 by: L.J. Devon, Staff Writer
Tags: surgeons, medical license, fake surgeries

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(NaturalNews) A scam artist surgeon, Dr. Spyros Panos has surrendered his medical license in the wake of over 250 malpractice lawsuits.

"I'm glad someone finally stopped him," says Debra Cole, a former patient of the fraudulent New York surgeon. Dr. Panos is now a former orthopedic surgeon from the Mid Hudson Medical Group in Poughkeepsie, NY, who is accused of routinely faking surgeries. Panos was let go from Mid Hudson in 2011, and is now hiding from the reality of hundreds of malpractice lawsuits.

"To do everything he's allegedly done and to be able to continue to operate on other people, it is just terrible," says Cole, who is a two-time recipient of fake knee surgeries performed by the fraudulent Dr. Panos.

Dr. Panos fooled people from 2007 all the way until 2011, when he was let go from Mid Hudson.

Professionals are now calling for further investigation in hopes of finding a network of culprits that may have assisted Dr. Panos in performing fake surgeries. They are questioning medical professionals at the Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie where Panos conducted most of his multiple false "phantom" surgeries.

As reported by ABC News, the spokesman for Saint Francis Hospital, Larry Hughes, "said he was unaware of the surrender filing and couldn't comment."

The medical ethics director at NYU Langone Medical Center, Arthur Caplin, says its troubling that those connected aren't being brought forth, stating, "You can't perform this many suspect surgeries without the cooperation of many other people."

The 44-year-old Panos and his attorneys are not returning calls or commenting on the situation.

Panos hasn't been charged with any criminal offense as of yet either.

Patient dies during fake knee operation

One of the most controversial cases involving Dr. Panos was during the surgery of Constance Nenni. Nenni was 76 years old when she died under the knife of one of Panos's "phantom" knee operations. Speaking about her death, Nenni's daughter told ABC News, "[Panos] wakes up every morning spending the illegal funds he collected while his victims wake up every day in pain. In my mother's case, all we have are memories."

Upon further investigation into Pano's operations, documents from the state of New York reveal that Panos scheduled an average of 22 surgeries a day and often billed patients for work he never even conducted. He basically scheduled people into surgery where he promised he'd fix their problem; with patients listening to his advice, he'd collect their money for surgeries they didn't even need. After sedating them and opening them up, he'd take some time and just staple them back up, making them think he did something to help. Who knows what else he might have done while patients were under his knife?

Panos has also admitted to not complying with proper medical standards for orthopedic care and has kept inaccurate medical records between 2007 and 2011.

Holding fraudulent surgeons accountable

Representing 70 state medical boards, the Federation of State Medical Boards, reports that in 2011 1,905 physicians in the United States lost their medical licenses. 185 physicians in New York State lost their licenses that year alone.

Since fake surgeries are hard to prove, how many other physicians might be operating with a license and pocketing patients' money in surgery scams? How might insurance reimbursement be a tempting way for physicians to earn more money while advising unnecessary procedures? How might blind adherence to a physician's advice play a role? How important might it be for people to question a doctor's advice before submitting to their supposed expertise?

As fraudulent surgeries become more common, what responsibilities do people have in learning about their own health? In what ways can fraudulent surgeons be held more accountable?

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