December 11, 2011

GMC strikes off Gynaecologist for botching vaginal surgery and dishonesty

A gynaecologist who botched four vaginal laser operations and an abortion and forged a professional indemnity certificate has been struck off by the General Medical Council.

Phanuel Dartey, who specialised in vaginal laser cosmetic surgery, significantly over-reduced the patients’ labia minora in two cases. One woman was left in continuing pain, and the other had visible scarring and asymmetry and had to undergo revision surgery (BMJ 2011;343:d7442, 16 Nov, doi:10.1136/bmj.d7442).

In two other cases he performed “inappropriate” laser surgery for urinary incontinence, leaving one woman with worse incontinence than before.

Dr Dartey, who originally came from Ghana and qualified in the former Soviet Union, had practising privileges at the private Queen Anne Street Medical Centre near London’s Harley Street and at the Marie Stopes International Clinic in South Ealing, west London.

Robin Knill-Jones, who chaired the GMC’s fitness to practise panel, said, “In the panel’s judgment there is a continuing risk to patients from the way Dr Dartey conducts his practice. His dishonest actions in relation to professional indemnity were a serious abuse of the trust that his patients and those with whom he worked were entitled to place in him.

“The panel considers that the extent and seriousness of Dr Dartey’s clinical misconduct, the gravity of his dishonesty, and his subsequent lack of insight evidence a harmful attitudinal problem.”

When Dr Dartey carried out the termination in 2006 on a woman who had travelled from Ireland, he perforated her uterus and failed to remove the fetal thorax. When she returned home she became extremely ill and was in hospital for two months, the panel heard.

Dr Dartey’s membership of the Medical Protection Society had lapsed in 2002, and he had no indemnity cover when he performed the abortion. The panel found that a membership certificate he sent to Marie Stopes International purporting to cover 2005-6 was a forgery.

Dr Knill-Jones said, “Each of the five patients with which this inquiry has been concerned has suffered from the events in question. In his written communications to the GMC Dr Dartey has shown little remorse or acknowledgment of, or insight into, his failures.

“He has rather adopted a derogatory attitude towards his patients, accusing one of racism, another of blackmail, a third of causing her own problems by failing to follow his advice, and another of reporting him to the GMC because she wanted free corrective surgery for an unrelated problem. The panel has found no substance in any of these complaints and regards Dr Dartey’s lack of insight as a matter of serious concern.” BMJ 2011;343:d7947

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