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High-profile surgeon accused of hundreds of malpractice counts - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

High-profile surgeon accused of hundreds of malpractice counts

Posted: Updated:
SHREVEPORT, La. -

It's one of the most high-profile medical situations of the year.
 
Dr. Ravish Patwardhan, a prominent Shreveport neurosurgeon, is accused by attorneys of hundreds of counts of malpractice.
 
Is there real evidence to support any of these claims? And is he still in business as a surgeon?

Dr. Patwardhan appeared on our very own Healthwatch 3 multiple times through the years.
 
According to some of his colleagues, Patwardhan was known for performing a high volume of surgeries.
 
Enter his name on Youtube, and you'll find dozens of positive testimonials from his patients.

But, there is a darker side to this story.
 
After just a few years of practice in northwest Louisiana, Patwardhan racked up what attorney John Hammons said could eventually be 240 malpractice lawsuits.

Health reporter Jessica Crandall attended an appeal in January for what may be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to court cases.

"This is the first one. We have five more set this year. One in February, March, April, September and October," said Hammons.
 
According to Hammons, each case has been filed due to substandard care in relation to spinal surgeries.
 
"There are a few that have to do with brain surgery, but the majority are spine surgery cases," said Hammons.

Patwardhan was on staff at Willis-Knighton Pierremont. Three years ago his medical license was restricted from performing surgeries.
 
Court records show that, during his time at Willis-Knighton, Patwardhan was not board certified and he is no longer eligible to become board certified. 

Here is an excerpt from a letter to Patwardhan from the American Board of Neurological Surgery, dated on Jan. 20, 2011:
 
"Even if your medical license had not been restricted, the ABNS had concerns about your practice that would have independently prevented you from sitting for the [board's] oral examination ... Consequently, you are no longer in the certification process, nor may you hold yourself as 'board eligible' or 'tracking toward certification'."

"These are things that Dr. Patwardhan concealed for months if not years during the course of our discovery that led to some of the recent problems that he's had when he was held in contempt of court for not fully disclosing relevant material information," said Hammons.

In November, Judge Roy Brun sent Patwardhan to jail overnight until he complied with numerous requests for information. He was ordered to pay $25,000 to the plaintiff's attorney.

But where is he now?

He didn't attend the January court appeal hearing that Crandall attended.

Crandall did a search for Dr. Ravish Patwardhan online.

Patwardhan's address is still listed as 8001 Youree drive. That's the same location as Willis-Knighton Pierremont.

An office there lists Dr. Ravish Patwardhan as a neurosurgeon with a wall directory of staff names. 

Crandall also found a working office telephone number, which she called. Here's an excerpt:
 
"What kind of doctor is Dr. Patwardhan?," asked Crandall. 

"He's a neurosurgeon," said the office worker who answered. 

Crandall dug further asking if Pawardhan performs surgery.
 
"He does not perform surgery. If his patients need that, he refers them out," said the office worker. 

KTBS 3 spoke with Patwardhan's defense attorney Lawrence Pettiete prior to running this story. He declined to be interviewed on camera.
We also requested a statement from Willis-Knighton Health System about what services Patwardhan is providing at their Pierremont location. They have yet to respond about his status.

In the meantime, if this story has you wary of going under the knife, we have some suggestions.
 
Here's what you can do to make sure your surgeon is qualified to operate on you:

Ask them if they are board certified.
Find out if they will be the one to actually perform the procedure. 
Ask them if they have ever performed the procedure before.
Find out what the outcomes were of those other procedures. 

If you still have questions, go to this link to order a full report on any Louisiana physician's credentials.

 

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