The authorities have charged a Virginia obstetrician and gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary hysterectomies and removing one patient’s fallopian tubes without her knowledge.
The doctor, Javaid Perwaiz, 69, was arrested on Friday and charged with one count of health care fraud and making false statements relating to health care matters, according to court documents filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Dr. Perwaiz was listed as an inmate at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Virginia, as of Monday. He appeared on Friday in Federal District Court in Norfolk wearing green scrubs, according to The Virginian-Pilot, and has a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday, according to the court documents. His lawyer, Lawrence H. Woodward Jr., did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Dr. Perwaiz, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology, has two offices in Chesapeake, Va., according to his website.
The investigation into Dr. Perwaiz began in September 2018 after the F.B.I. received a tip from a hospital employee who suspected that he “was performing unnecessary surgeries on unsuspecting patients,” according to the arrest affidavit. The tipster told investigators that Dr. Perwaiz’s patients advised hospital staff that they were there for their “annual clean outs.” Hospital staff also had a difficult time keeping up with the doctor “as he ran from procedure to procedure.”
The patients were not aware of the procedures they were undergoing, according to court documents. The patients cited in the affidavit were identified by initials, not by name.
In one case, Dr. Perwaiz, who had treated a patient for an ectopic pregnancy in 2011, had routinely asked her whether she was going to have another baby, court documents say. Three years later, she sought treatment from a fertility specialist who told her that both her fallopian tubes “were burnt down to nubs.” Dr. Perwaiz had removed her fallopian tubes without her consent or knowledge.
In another case, the doctor advised a patient that “onset of cancer was imminent” and that she needed a hysterectomy, which she objected to, the investigators stated. She opted to have her ovaries removed.
When she came to in recovery, she was “shocked to discover Perwaiz performed a total abdominal hysterectomy,” according to the documents. During the procedure, the doctor perforated her bladder. She developed sepsis and was hospitalized for six days, according to investigators. After she obtained her medical files, she told investigators that it did not mention any precancerous cells.
Witnesses also told investigators that Dr. Perwaiz “routinely used the ‘C’-word (cancer) to scare patients into having surgery.”
Dr. Perwaiz attended medical school in Pakistan and he completed a residency at Charleston Area Medical Center, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
He practiced in the Chesapeake region for more than 30 years, according to his website, which also described him as “dedicated to the promotion of health care to women from adolescence to menopause and beyond.”
He was also affiliated with Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center, in Portsmouth, Va., and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, in Chesapeake, Va., according to The Virginian-Pilot.
In an email on Monday, a spokeswoman for Bon Secours stated that “Dr. Perwaiz is not employed by Bon Secours or Bon Secours Medical Group. Like many independent physicians, he has held privileges at different hospitals/health systems.” A representative for Chesapeake Regional Medical Center did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Assistant United States Attorneys V. Kathleen Dougherty and Elizabeth Yusi did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.
Dr. Perwaiz has had other legal troubles.
In 1982, Dr. Perwaiz lost hospital privileges at Maryview Hospital, which was later acquired by Bon Secours, “due to poor clinical judgment and for performing unnecessary surgeries,” according to court documents. He had also been investigated by Virginia’s board of medicine for performing unnecessary surgeries, mostly hysterectomies, “without appropriate medical indications.” In 1996, he pleaded guilty to tax evasion. His medical license was revoked but then reinstated in 1998.
Dr. 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.