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Gynecologist Accused of Robotic Surgery Mistakes

A doctor who practices in Mission Viejo is accused of botching one surgery and missing a cyst before performing another.

A Mission Viejo doctor was accused this month of major mistakes during two robotic surgeries. The accusations could cost him his medical license.

During one surgery, Dr. Aram Bonni is accused of removing a cyst discovered while he operated on a 78-year-old woman's vaginal hernia in 2010. He did not discuss the removal with the patient or her family, according to the accusation filed on Aug. 1 by Linda K. Whitney, executive director of the Medical Board of California.

The cyst should have been discovered before the surgery, Whitney said. Failing to do so constitutes "gross negligence," she said.

Bonni should have either ended the surgery and discussed the cyst with the patient or contacted the patient's family to discuss the situation, the MBC executive director said.

Instead he is accused of abandoning the original hernia surgery to remove the cyst. This required Bonni to cut into the woman's intestine, and that incision required a colorectal surgeon to cut into the woman's abdominal wall.

This type of cyst is usually benign, according to Medscape, but the risk of cancer is higher in women after menopause.

During the other surgery, also in 2010, Bonni is accused of accidentally cutting a vein, causing a 77-year-old woman to lose four pints of blood before another surgeon stopped the bleeding.

That kind of injury to the vein is "an extremely rare complication that should have been avoided with proper surgical technique," Whitney wrote.

Bonni owns a private practice at 26012 Marguerite Parkway called Urogynecology Associates, also known as Orange County Urogynecology. Other locations are listed in Ladera Ranch, Santa Ana and Los Angeles on the company's website.

Bonni is accused of unprofessional conduct, gross negligence, dishonesty and incompetence based on the two surgeries.

A message left with Urogynecology Associates after business hours Thursday has not been returned.

sharon girulat August 17, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Is the implication here that doctors who do NOT use robotics fail less often? Cause I don't see that, or expect that to be true. Surgery is always dangerous and not to be taken lightly. Why is this an issue, here. IMHO, at age 66, or hers, if the doctor is in, and finds something, I don't want him to 'talk about it'... I want him to take care of it! Robotic or not; and whether he saw it before or not! Additional surgery / open /close is not good for anyone, let alone our age which may, or may not, have additional heart-related, etc complications. What did her signed 'approval' indicate...and where were the family members as this occurred; on site or not. If the doctor operates without a clause that acknowledges potential loss of life, when performing surgery, he should be fine for bad business process, not surgery malfeasance. And as for the erroneous vein cut; well, they happen without robotics, too. Just as death from a non-surgical lithotriopsy killed my otherwise healthy, younger neighbor. No wonder we have high medical costs; doctors doing even seemingly appropriate things get sued. I think these people should have to post a 'bond' to sue and, if settled against them, they owe the courts and doctor for defamation, legal fees and time spent defending themselves.
Peter Schelden (Editor) August 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
A few points, Sharon: 1) this article does not state that robotic surgery is any more or less dangerous than any other kind; 2) this is not a lawsuit--it is a state investigation into Dr. Bonni's medical practice--it's a professional review that is triggered when someone suspects gross negligence, dishonesty, etc. 3) undoubtedly accidents do happen during surgeries, and sometimes these are not preventable. But the complaint states that Dr. Bonni should have been able to feel the cyst he removed during a pre-operative exam that was either not conducted or conducted insufficiently.
obgyn800 August 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Peter: medical boards website says that he has not had a hearing nor has he been convicted of anything. allegations and commenting on them without knowing details are at best hear say... btw not all cysts are seen on imaging or physical exams if conducted as properly as possible... so without proper knowledge how can you suggest that this was the case?!
LeAnn Wilson August 21, 2013 at 08:55 PM
What's going on? I just got a letter dated 8-2013 from independent Medical Services inc. that said At this time ,we would like to thank Dr Aram Bonni for his friendship and Professional services during the past few years. Dr Bonni has decided to pursue other interests....he also did a botched surgery on my self in 8-2010 Not a fan of Dr Bonni

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