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New York’s Highest Paid Surgeons Suspended after a No Show for Brain Surgery – Patient Was Prepped and Out Cold Already

Posted May 13 2009 10:47pm

This occurred at North Shore University Hospital where the 2 top surgeons left a patient ready for surgery, head shaved, under anesthesia, etc.  One image surgeon was not able to operate and the other refused as he said she was not his patient when called.  

Dr. Milhorat had refused to cover for  Dr.Bolognese.  After the suspension, Dr. Milhorat retired from the position of chief of neurosurgery.  He is 73 years old.  There are a number of lawsuits from patients all over the country who state they were guinea pigs for the surgeon’s procedures.  At over 7 million a year, that’s compensation. 

The comments that have rolled in were mixed, some good some bad from patients, which the condition of each patient prior to surgery of course has to be considered as with any case.  The report says though that Dr. Bolognese was not board certified for Neurosurgery though and that could be a big problem if he had been performing that type of procedure.  BD 

Her blue eyes filling with tears, the woman abandoned in the operating room by two of New York's highest-paid surgeons said Monday she felt image betrayed and humiliated by the doctors who were supposed to ease her pain.

Speaking out for the first time since her shocking story was revealed, Ronca said she is angry with herself for buying Dr. Paolo Bolognese's story that he had to postpone her surgery because of a family emergency.

"I was infuriated by the hospital that nobody saw a problem with this, that nobody thought I needed to be notified," she said. "I found that appalling."

Bolognese, 48, and Milhorat, 73, were suspended before the story broke. The state Health Department has launched an investigation into the April 10 incident.

Two days after the story broke, Milhorat stepped down as chief of neurosurgery.

Read more: "Woman abandoned in operating room by brain docs felt betrayed, humiliated" -

The chief of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital - the highest paid surgeon in New York - abruptly stepped down Friday after a two-week suspension.

The institute is world renowned for treating people with a rare defect called a Chiari malformation. The anomaly occurs at the base of the brain and can cause debilitating headaches, visual disturbances and other problems.

Milhorat had refused to cover for a colleague who never showed for a scheduled operation. The patient, who was left lying in the OR, had been anesthetized and her head shaved as preparation for having a brain shunt inserted.

Bolognese, who records show is not board-certified in neurosurgery or any specialty, earned $2.4million.

"These doctors did whatever they wanted, and North Shore did nothing about it - nothing but encourage their behavior because they brought so much money into the hospital," said one source familiar with the situation. "It's a wonder they were never exposed earlier."

Woman abandoned in operating room by brain docs felt betrayed, humiliated

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