February 7, 1996 in Nation/World

Board Tries To Stop Penis Surgeon

Associated Press
 

One of the nation’s busiest practitioners of penis enlargement surgery has agreed to stop doing the operations pending a hearing on whether he may keep his doctor’s license.

Dr. Melvyn Rosenstein was accused by the Medical Board of California of being “an immediate danger to the public health, safety and welfare.”

The urologist has been named in more than 30 malpractice suits.

“Many of the patients are suffering not only complications but also irreversible damage,” Ron Joseph, the medical board’s executive director, said in a petition to force Rosenstein to stop performing surgery.

Without admitting fault, the doctor agreed Jan. 26 to suspend the surgeries, though the agreement leaves him free to continue practicing medicine.

A hearing is set for Thursday on the board’s petition.

Rosenstein said through a statement from his lawyer Tuesday that he has filed a detailed rebuttal of the board’s allegations, along with declarations of support from seven doctors, 12 patients and seven staff members who say his operations exceed state care standards and are not experimental.

A statement from Tom Becker accused the board of wanting “to whip up public hysteria” and of basing its decision on Rosenstein’s competitors and a disgruntled former employee.

The doctor said in 1994 that he did 150 penile enlargement surgeries a month. The $6,000 operation involves fat injections and the cutting of a ligament.

The suspension petition includes case histories of three men who said their operations left them with intense pain, scars and loss of feeling.

The medical board said the fat injections often cause lumpiness and ugly scarring. Sometimes, the surgeries actually lead to a decrease in size, the board said.

Attorney Keith Schulner represents 12 men who have filed malpractice suits against Rosenstein. He said he knows of 37 cases and believes there may be many more injured patients who refuse to get involved because they are embarrassed.

His clients, ranging in age from their 20s to their 60s, “are all very upset,” he said.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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