Hospital suspends brain surgeons for not operating on patient waiting in OR

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.

[Based on reports by the New York Daily News and newsday.com.]

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Hospital suspends brain surgeons for not operating on patient waiting in OR

  1. dren

    My personal experience with Dr. B and Dr. M is simple. I would be dead without them. When all other doctors gave up on me and could not help me. TCI saved my life. I am thankful and grateful for the research and dedication of these men in Chiari, Syringomelia, and Tethered Cords. Both of my children also suffer from these terrible diseases and TCI has helped them as well. I have had several surgeries and was well prepared by Dr. B as too the pain I would suffer and the reality of improvement. Dr. B always went the extra mile to help me and my children. I thank God for these men and I hope that more of the people they helped speak up for them. Without TCI and their research, I would not be here.
    To the individual left in the OR, I am so sorry for your situation. It must have been horrible, but please consider all the people who have been helped by these men and all the people yet to receive help. Please do not let this one situation stop all the good.
    TCI is a blessing and needs support to help all the others who are suffering.

  2. My daughter and I went for a walk around our local walking track today. Big deal, well my daughter was operated on by Dr. M and Dr. B. two years ago, she has some problems from time to time, but she can walk. Before the surgery her legs would come and go. Sometimes she would fall and hit her head on objects. She had headaches out of this world. She would choke for no reason. We also went on a walk at a beach in Long Island on May 6, big deal right. One week earlier, I had fusion surgery on my back at North Shore by Dr. Levine. I went to 22 doctors over 19 years that has cost my wife and I in lost wages and out of pocket expense around 2 million dollars. Factor in my daughters problems that took 6 years to find someone who would treat her, our life has been wreck. I feel for everyone involved in these cases against Dr. B and Dr M., I do not know their side of the stories only mine and my daughters. We have been blessed, our prayers where answered. I do not care how much the doctors, who gave my daughter back to me make. I don’t care how much money the hospital that has turn my life around brings in. Dr M, told me he would fix my daughter and that is what he did. I had surgery while this was going on, and never heard a word about it. Gossip and destroying peoples reputation is not a priority at this place of healing. One of the surgeon’s nurse practitioner, who attends to patients while in the hospital. Came by on her time and spent a couple minutes with me to see how my daughter and I where doing. I do not have the words to say how special the people at North Shore are and the care unbelievable care We received

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