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Star neurosurgeon Charlie Teo back before inquiry

Controversial neurosurgeon Charlie Teo will return to a disciplinary hearing to face questions over two surgeries he did that left patients with brain damage.

March 27, 2023
By Duncan Murray
27 March 2023

Star neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo will return to the witness stand for a disciplinary hearing into two surgeries he performed that left patients with catastrophic brain injuries.

Dr Teo previously gave evidence he doesn’t regret the surgeries because he believed at the time they were the best thing for the patients.

The Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) hearing resumes in Sydney on Monday after a several week break due to scheduling.

A panel of legal and medical experts is examining Dr Teo’s conduct, including whether he adequately informed his patients of the risks involved.

Both of the female patients had terminal brain tumours and were given only weeks or months to live.

Following the surgeries they were left in essentially vegetative states and passed away soon after.

The 65-year-old has so far been defiant in the face of heavy questioning from commission counsel, Kate Richardson SC.

Last month, Dr Teo admitted it was clear from the results of the surgeries he did something wrong, but says he believed the outcomes could have been much better.

“I did the wrong thing. I obviously did the wrong thing by the patient,” Dr Teo told the inquiry.

“Did I intend to hurt her? Absolutely not.”

Both of the patients’ husbands told the inquiry they were given the impression by Dr Teo the women had a good chance of significant improvement in their conditions.

“We never got the discussion that it could go badly,” one of the husbands said.

“Charlie Teo had told my wife ... if she didn’t have the surgery by Tuesday, she would be dead by Friday.

“That was why my wife made her mind up that she wanted the operation.”

Previous hearings have drawn large crowds of supporters for Dr Teo including former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh, and boxer Anthony Mundine.

Throughout the disciplinary hearing process Dr Teo has continued to operate on patients under additional oversight imposed by the commission.

The inquiry, overseen by Judge Jennifer Boland, will run until Wednesday.

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