A surgeon from Middlesex County has had his medical license suspended temporarily after he was caught reusing disposable single-use anal catheters on dozens of patients.
Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs said in a statement that Dr. Sanjiv K. Patankar allegedly washed and reused the small, flexible catheters that are "inserted into patients' rectums during medical procedures."
Patankar is an East Brunswick-based colon and rectal surgeon. In a December 19 hearing, the state said they have documented evidence allegedly showing that although 82 procedures were performed in Patankar's office between January 1 and November 30, only five catheters were ordered.
The state Board of Medical Examiners unanimously determined that Patankar's reuse of the catheters demonstrated a lack of judgment that "placed patients in clear and imminent danger."
Porrino said, "It is appalling that a doctor would engage in such an unsanitary and dangerous practice. Through his alleged conduct, Dr. Patankar has demonstrated a reckless disregard for public safety that placed countless patients at risk of communicable diseases."
The catheters are designed to evaluate patients with constipation or other possible disorders such as fecal incontinence. Patankar will face a full hearing in the state Office of Administrative Law and his license will remain suspended until the Board of Medical Examiners takes final action.
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