NJ doctor loses license for reusing anal devices; state urges patients to seek help
EAST BRUNSWICK — State health officials are urging the patients of a renowned Central Jersey doctor who was stripped of his license to consider getting tested for infections.
Sanjiv K. Patankar had his license revoked this week after authorities found that his office reused single-use, disposable anorectal catheters on multiple patients.
Patankar had been temporarily suspended last month pending a hearing before the State Board of Medical Examiners, which "permanently" revoked his license this week as a part of an agreement in which Patankar admitted no wrongdoing. Patankar has the right to reapply for his medical license after 42 months.
Officials said Patankar instructed his staff to rinse and bleach catheters that were intended for single use because replacement catheters were on backorder.
According to the state, Patankar’s office performed 82 anorectal procedures from Jan. 1. to Nov. 30 but ordered only five catheters.
Officials said Patankar would instruct his staff to use a catheter on five or more patients before discarding it. Some of the catheters deteriorated from the bleaching, but Patankar ordered staff to continue using them anyway, officials said.
Patankar treated patients at Colon & Rectal Surgeons of Central Jersey, with offices in East Brunswick and Princeton. The Department of Health said only East Brunswick patients underwent the rectal manometry procedures.
Patankar also worked as a surgeon at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and at University Medical Center of Princeton. A spokesman for the Princeton hospital last month said that the institution had no known issues with Patankar.
Health officials said Patankar's patients should discuss with their doctors whether they should be treated for bloodborne pathogens such as HIV or hepatitis B or C.
If state health regulators decide to return Patankar's license, he will only be allowed to practice in a hospital setting.
The Board also fined Patankar $75,000, which he can pay in installments through July 2021.
His online bio describes him as an "internationally renowned colon and rectal surgeon" and as a highly sought “surgeon of surgeons."
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.