An obstetrician-gynecologist in Chesapeake, Virginia, was ordered held without bond on Thursday in federal court after allegations that he performed dozens of unnecessary surgeries, including hysterectomies and tubal ligations, often without patients' knowledge, the Associated Press reports.
The charges against Javaid Perwaiz, MD, which were detailed in the detention hearing in US District Court in Norfolk, include submitting fraudulent claims to payers, including Medicaid, according to news reports. Perwaiz, whose age has been reported as both 67 and 69, was arrested last Friday, reportedly still wearing scrubs.
According to the AP, a prosecutor in the hearing said 173 women have come forward since Perwaiz's arrest reporting similar experiences, including repeated surgeries that they never asked for.
According to ABC News, citing the arrest affidavit, Perwaiz engaged in a pattern of persuading Medicaid recipients to have surgeries they didn't need.
ABC reported that from January 2014 to August 2018, Perwaiz allegedly performed surgery on 40% of his Medicaid beneficiaries (510 patients).
ABC writes that, according to the affidavit, the last surgery listed in the court document occurred on October 19 of this year, and Perwaiz "allegedly performed an abdominal supracervical hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, and lysis of adhesions on a patient who later told investigators that she 'never made complaints' regarding pelvic pain, pelvic pressure or constant cramping, despite what was written in her medical chart on Sept. 30.
"The patient also stated that she told the doctor she did not want a hysterectomy, but he allegedly told her it was the 'best option' and did not discuss other treatment options or the risk of surgery," ABC reported.
ABC quotes the affidavit as saying Perwaiz's practice submitted three claims to Blue Cross/Blue Shield for that patient on October 28 and later was reimbursed $942.22 for the partial hysterectomy.
In another case, the AP reports, Perwaiz is accused of "performing annual surgeries on a woman who had diagnosed herself with endometriosis. When she went to see a fertility specialist in 2014, she learned that 'both fallopian tubes were burnt down to nubs,' " erasing the chance of natural conception.
The AP quoted FBI agent Desiree Maxwell as writing in the affidavit, "Perwaiz had removed J.L.'s fallopian tubes without her knowledge or consent."
News reports say Maxwell also wrote in the affidavit that witnesses told investigators that Perwaiz routinely gave cancer predictions to scare patients into having surgeries.
Perwaiz's attorney, Lawrence H. Woodward Jr., declined Medscape's request for comment.
However, the Associated Press reported that Woodward said, "[Perwaiz's] life has been his work."
AP reports that Woodward urged Magistrate Judge Robert Krask to allow Perwaiz to be released on bond while awaiting trial. Woodward said Perwaiz is shutting down his two medical offices in Chesapeake and will not be performing surgery.
The judge rejected that request, calling the allegations "deeply disturbing."
Perwaiz's website states he has practiced in the Chesapeake region for more than 30 years. According to Healthgrades, he graduated from Nishtar Medical College, University of Health Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1974.
The AP reports that according to the arrest affidavit, the FBI investigation into Perwaiz began in September 2018 on a tip from a hospital employee that he "was performing unnecessary surgeries on unsuspecting patients" and that patients were told they were there for their "annual clean outs."
The AP report adds that Perwaiz has been the subject of at least eight malpractice lawsuits. Court documents say "plaintiffs allege that he falsified patient records to justify a medical procedure, failed to use less invasive techniques, performed as many as 30 surgeries in one day and provided substandard care that led to permanent injuries and life-threatening injuries."
The AP reports that, in 1982, Perwaiz lost privileges at Maryview Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, because of "poor clinical judgment" and for performing unnecessary surgeries.
AP also reports the affidavit states he had been investigated by the Virginia Board of Medicine for performing surgeries "without appropriate medical indications and contrary to sound medical judgment." He was only censured for poor record-keeping, the document reportedly states.
In 1996, Perwaiz pleaded guilty to tax evasion, according to the AP, adding that his medical license was temporarily revoked but reinstated in 1998.
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Cite this: Virginia Ob-Gyn Accused of 'Deeply Disturbing' Unneeded Surgeries - Medscape - Nov 15, 2019.