Dr Antonio Vega Vega was stood down last week.
Dr Antonio Vega Vega was stood down last week.

Celebrated Rockhampton surgeon facing malpractice claims

A CELEBRATED surgeon has been stood down as he is investigated for allegedly botching four surgeries.

While Dr Antonio Vega Vega's surgeries have led to investigations by three separate bodies, the Opposition warns there could be more claims of bungled surgeries.

Rockhampton Hospital suspended Dr Vega Vega, it is believed on full pay, on April 29.

It was revealed that the urologist removed the wrong kidney of a patient in January.

Just last week, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service organised for a different patient of Dr Vega Vega's to be transported to Brisbane for specialist treatment.

CQHHS chair Charles Ware said Dr Vega Vega nicked the man's artery during surgery, but did not realise it.

The man was re-hospitalized after losing three litres of blood.

Dr Vega Vega is also being investigated for misdiagnosing a twisted testicle, leading to its removal, and inserting a stent in the wrong place.

Mr Ware yesterday said Dr Vega Vega would never work at Rockhampton Hospital again.

The botched surgeries have led to the dismissal of a senior medical administrator and the hospital's head surgeon.

Mr Ware said as the head clinicians of the hospital they were also responsible.

Dr Vega Vega was praised in 2012 for performing a radical prostatectomy at Rockhampton Hospital.

Berserker father Darryl Kerr was the first patient who underwent the surgery at the hospital.

He told The Morning Bulletin in 2012 he was grateful for Dr Vega Vega's "persistence, care and skill".

Dr Vega Vega urged locals to seek surgical help from Rockhampton Hospital, telling The Morning Bulletin it had made the surgery more convenient and safer.

The surgeon, who received his schooling in Guatemala, is also listed as a specialist as at the Mater Rockhampton and a monthly consultant at the Gladstone Mater Hospital.

Dr Vega Vega's Queensland medical registration has not been revoked.

But it is believed he has stepped down from his role at the Mater Hospital and as visiting medical officer at Hillcrest Rockhampton Private Hospital.

Mater Hospital executive officer Peter Comerford reportedly said Dr Vega Vega had treated more than 800 patients. But he said the cases reviewed had not revealed anything concerning.

Dr Vega Vega's glowing specialist profile for the Mater Hospital states he worked in urology in the public and private sector for more than 13 years.

He has also worked at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital and in Nambour General Hospital.

The profile goes on to say he received an annual award for best publication and has presented at international conferences.

Dr Vega Vega graduated from the University of Salamanca in Spain in 1988 and completed his training in urology in Spain in 1996.

Dr Vega Vega attained his Australian Fellowship with the College of Surgeons in 2011.

The incidents have been reported to the Crime and Misconduct Commission as well as to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.


November 2011: inserting a stent in the wrong place

January 2014: removal of wrong kidney

February 2014: misdiagnosis of a twisted testicle, leading to its removal

April 2014: post-surgery arterial bleed


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