Dr Christopher Chee – Unsatisfactory professional conduct

12 Jan 2018

The Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a urologist, Dr Christopher Chee, before a Medical Professional Standards Committee in relation to his conduct during laparoscopic surgery.

The patient was diagnosed with a tumour in her left kidney and had surgery to remove it. During the surgery, Dr Chee incorrectly clipped the right renal artery, instead of the left. The patient then had no kidney function and is on permanent dialysis. The Complaint alleged that Dr Chee failed to properly identify the left renal artery, failed to call a vascular surgeon to come into the operating theatre to address the extensive bleeding, failed to expose the aorta and failed to contemplate that he had clipped the wrong artery.

Decision

On 4 December 2017, the Professional Standards Committee published its findings that Dr Chee did not do an appropriate anatomical dissection to identify the correct artery, should have ascertained whether a vascular surgeon could attend, failed to appropriately check the vascular anatomy and failed to recognise the damage he had caused to the right renal artery.

The Committee found Dr Chee guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and imposed a formal reprimand, mentoring conditions and a requirement that he only perform laparoscopic nephrectomy surgery under supervision.

Further Information

A copy of the Professional Standards Committee’s decision can be found here

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.