A SURGEON who botched a routine operation – resulting in a woman having her leg amputated – has been let off with a warning.
Dr Nikolaos Reissis also inserted a screw into a second patient's healthy ankle after wrongly diagnosing it as broken, the General Medical Council (GMC) heard.
But despite being found guilty of misconduct, he has been allowed to continue practicing instead of being struck off the medical register.
The leading surgeon made the blunders at Bishops Wood Hospital in Northwood in June 2006 and January 2007.
One patient had been under the knife for a routine knee replacement operation while the other had attended the hospital, in Rickmansworth Road, for an x-ray on a sore ankle.
Christopher Hamlet, representing the GMC, told the hearing 'patient A' underwent a total left knee replacement.
But during surgery in January 2007, Reissis – who now runs a private clinic in Jonathans, Northwood, and works as an NHS surgeon for Watford General Hospital – punctured an artery in the woman's leg.
He failed to alert a vascular expert and instead attempted to repair the artery himself, causing irreparable damage, the hearing was told.
The patient developed a blood clot and her leg had to be amputated above the knee.
Reissis also breached doctor-patient confidentiality by discussing details of the case with another patient, the GMC was told.
Less than a year earlier, in June 2006, Reissis –who has been a doctor for 15 years – diagnosed another woman, referred to as patient B, with a fracture of the shin bone and a possible break in her fifth metatarsal.
In fact there were no fractures at all, but the mistake was not spotted until after Reissis had fitted a screw into her ankle, the GMC heard.
The father-of-four admitted 15 charges against him on the first day of his disciplinary hearing, which started last week.
The GMC found himguilty of misconduct but ruled he was still fit to work in the profession after hearing he had taken remedial steps to rectify his failings since the incidents.
But the panel decided it was appropriate to issue a formal warning to the surgeon to mark the seriousness of the case.
Chairman Richard Kyle said: "The panel is in no doubt that you deeply regret your actions. You have acknowledged your deficiencies and have taken prompt and extensive steps to remedy them.
"Despite the fact your actions were not in the best interests of the two patients concerned, the panel finds you did all that could be reasonably expected to remediate your actions, that you have demonstrated insight and are unlikely to repeat this misconduct.
"Nevertheless, the panel has a duty to protect the public interest and has determined that, in this case, a warning is appropriate to remind you that any repetition of such conduct would be likely to result in a finding of impairment.
"A warning will also serve to highlight to the profession that such conduct is not condoned."
The warning will remain on the doctor’s record for five years.