By Calvin Palmer
Two of New York’s highest paid brain surgeons have been suspended by a Long Island hospital for not operating on a patient who was waiting in an operating room.
Thomas Milhorat and Paolo Bolognese were suspended for two weeks by North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset on April 17 and are scheduled to be reinstated this week.
Milhorat,73, the hospital’s chief of neurosurgery earned $7.2 million in 2007 according to a Crain’s New York survey. His colleague Bolognese, 48, earned $2.4 million.
The suspension followed an incident on April 10 when Bolognese was scheduled to operate on a female patient. She had been prepped and was under anesthesia but Bolognese was nowhere to be found.
Milhorat was then contacted but he refused to perform the surgery because it was not his patient. No other surgeon was available and the surgery did not take place.
The hospital’s chief medical officer Lawrence G. Smith says the hospital is investigating a surgery case and will take additional steps in the future.
A state Health Department spokeswoman said the incident is under investigation.
The two surgeons, who head the Chiari Institute at the hospital, were unavailable for comment.
Last week, a Mahattan attorney filed three medical malpractice suits against Milhorat and Bolognese in federal court, allegeing they used patients with the Chiari defect as guinea pigs for research and financial gain.
One suit accuses the doctors of telling the parent of a 12-year-old girl from Louisiana that the surgery would be “a walk in the park”. The suit claims the girl’s condition has only worsened.