Doctor accused of reusing anal catheters on dozens of patients

Middlesex County surgeon has had his medical license temporarily suspended for allegedly reusing disposable one-use anal catheters on multiple patients, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced in a statement.

Dr. Sanjiv K. Patankar, an East Brunswick-based colon and rectal surgeon, allegedly washed and reused the small, flexible catheters that are “inserted into patients’ rectums during medical procedures,” the statement said.

During a Dec. 19 hearing, the state says documented evidence allegedly showed that although 82 procedures were performed in Patankar’s office between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, only five catheters were ordered in that period.

After reviewing evidence and hearing testimony last week, the state Board of Medical Examiners unanimously found that Patankar’s reuse of the catheters demonstrated a lack of judgment, and “placed patients in clear and imminent danger.”

“It is appalling that a doctor would engage in such an unsanitary and dangerous practice,” Porrino said in the statement. “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 used to evaluate patients with constipation, fecal incontinence or other possible disorders, according to officials.

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Patankar’s license will remain temporarily suspended pending a full hearing in the state Office of Administrative Law, and until the Board of Medical Examiners takes final action based further findings.

Patients who suspect they were treated by a licensed health care professional in an improper way can submit an online complaint with the state Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting NJConsumerAffairs.gov or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.

Spencer Kent may be reached at skent@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerMKent. Find the Find NJ.com on Facebook.