Surgeon Charlie Teo guilty of unsatisfactory conduct

Controversial neurosurgeon Charlie Teo has been found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct while operating on two patients at a Sydney hospital.

The star surgeon will now need to get written support from another specialist before performing certain procedures after an investigation by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission.

The health watchdog looked into complaints relating to two patients diagnosed with terminal brain tumours.

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Neither patient regained consciousness after surgery undertaken in 2018 and 2019 at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Private Hospital.

During eight days of hearings earlier this year, Dr Teo faced accusations of wrongdoing by misleading patients, conducting dangerous surgeries and failing to properly inform them or their families of the risks involved.

Charlie Teo will need written support from another surgeon before performing certain procedures. Credit: AAP

The commission’s Medical Professional Standards Committee found the doctor decided to operate on two patients “where the risk of surgery outweighed any potential benefits of the surgery”.

The committee found he did not obtain informed consent from both patients prior to surgery and charged an inappropriate fee of $35,000 to one prior to the surgery as well as speaking inappropriately to the same patient’s daughter post-surgery.

It ordered that Dr Teo, who is known for taking on risky cases when other surgeons will not operate, be reprimanded and imposed conditions on his registration.

He will have to obtain a written statement from a Medical Council-approved neurosurgeon to support him performing recurrent malignant intracranial tumour and brain stem tumour surgical procedures.

“If the written statement does not support Professor Teo performing the procedure(s) he cannot perform the surgery,” the commission said in a statement on Wednesday.

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