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Home E-Weekly July 23, 2013

Orthopedic Surgeon Sued Over Fraudulent Cases

Published: July 22, 2013

A New York orthopedic surgeon at the center of at least 250 lawsuits accusing him of fraudulent, unnecessary or excessive procedures as well as medical negligence is still licensed to operate in the state, according to a recent news report.

Spyros Panos, MD, who practiced in suburban Dutchess County, N.Y., north of New York City, is said to have scheduled as many as 22 surgeries in a day, according to his former patients' attorneys. He has reportedly failed to adequately cement joint replacement components, implanted incorrect components and carried out an unneeded rotator cuff repair while ignoring a fractured clavicle.

In one publicized incident, Constance Nenni, a 76-year old woman, underwent surgery in March 2010 in a Poughkeepsie hospital to repair an arthritic knee. She died less than 24 hours after the procedure. The medical examiner determined that her death was a result of a pulmonary embolism that may have been caused by a blood pressure drop during the case. But the examiner's report also noted that, even though Dr. Panos' op notes detailed the removal of torn cartilage and soft tissue and the smoothing of rough joint surfaces, these treatments never actually took place.

"He put her under anesthesia, placed the scope in her knee and then closed her up without performing any surgery," says an attorney for Ms. Nenni's family. "The reports showed no hardware in place and, certainly, no evidence of a total knee reconstruction."

According to the news report, Dr. Panos was terminated from the Mid Hudson Medical Group, in 2011, but maintains a license to practice and does not appear in the state's database of medical misconduct and discipline. Jeffrey Feldman, an attorney for Dr. Panos, declined to comment. He noted, however, that Dr. Panos does not presently hold privileges at any hospital and is not presently seeing patients. The Mid Hudson Medical Group's chief executive officer did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

David Bernard

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