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Celebrity doctor Charlie Teo says he might QUIT neurosurgery as his enemies try to ruin his career


Famed neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo is considering ending his career for good after medical restrictions were imposed on his work, claiming his critics are fighting hard to bring him down.

Temporary restrictions have been placed upon the renowned Sydney doctor’s medical licence by the NSW Medical Council after complaints were made about his work, including allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

In Dr Teo’s eyes it means his enemies are finally ‘going in for the kill’, telling The Saturday Telegraph one attacker who he labels ‘The Mole’ has been working for years to destroy his reputation.

One patient said she received surgery from Dr Teo in 2003 but claims later she discovered the surgeon had failed to remove the tumour and had operated on the wrong side of her brain. 

In the wake of the outcry the neurosurgeon has decided to take three months off work to weigh up whether a career spanning 35 years is worth continuing.

Famed neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo is considering leaving his career behind after having medical restrictions imposed on his work

Famed neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo is considering leaving his career behind after having medical restrictions imposed on his work

‘Well-intentioned colleagues have warned me over the years to be less outspoken and to stop giving contrary second opinions because if the day ever came that I would be facing a medical council tribunal, there would not be a single surgeon to support me. I naively ignored those warnings.’ Dr Teo told the publication.

He credits his ‘big personality’ and the fact he trained in the US as the reasons his colleagues were quick to dismiss him.

The high-profile doctor is well known for performing ‘last chance’ brain surgery on patients after other neurosurgeons have deemed their condition inoperable. 

But he has been criticised by some who allege he overcharges patients and has acted inappropriately in the operating theatre.

Dr Teo said ‘The Mole’ was determined to paint him as a ‘money-hungry sexual predator’.

An allegation surfaced in September 2019 that Dr Teo had told a nurse ‘while you’re down there…’ as she bent down to pick something up.

The neurosurgeon admitted he made the ‘bad joke’ but said it had been taken out of context and the nurse in question had been with him for 12 years, was like a ‘sister’ and the pair always joked around together.

The nurse told the publication it was taken as a joke and she was not offended in any way.

Temporary restrictions have been placed upon the renowned Sydney doctor's medical licence by the NSW Medical Council after complaints were made about his work including allegations of inappropriate behaviour

Temporary restrictions have been placed upon the renowned Sydney doctor’s medical licence by the NSW Medical Council after complaints were made about his work including allegations of inappropriate behaviour

Other complaints being fired against him by disgruntled peers include the notion he overcharges patients for his own financial gain – an allegation Dr Teo says offends him the most.

He argued if the claims were true he wouldn’t spend months out of the year conducting charity work overseas or fund a hospital in India out of his own pocket.

He described his house and suburb as modest and admits he wears his clothes until they’re ready to be thrown out.

When controversy surrounded a surgery that cost $120,000, Dr Teo said $80,000 was for hospital costs while the rest was split between providers.

‘For the last 20 years I have offered to operate on public patients in the public system, in their hometown for free. This would require their local neurosurgeon to invite me to operate there and in 20 years I have only twice been invited,’ he said. 

Former patient, Michelle Smith, from Sydney’s west, underwent surgery at the hands of Dr Teo more than a decade ago.

When doctors later reviewed her MRI scans they suspected a craniotomy had been carried out on the left side of her brain despite her tumour being on the right, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Ms Smith said she was forced to leave school in Year 10 because she was suffering epileptic seizures.

At the age of 19 she underwent a $46,000 surgery by Dr Teo and was sent home the next day, but the seizures persisted for years after.

She went on to see other specialists who said the MRI scans indicated no evidence of surgery being carried out on the tumour but scar tissue instead suggested Dr Teo may have operated on the other side of her brain.

In 2016 she received another surgery free of charge from a different neurosurgeon who removed the tumour.

Ms Smith took legal action against Dr Teo in 2019 and the matter was settled out of court.

Dr Teo credits his 'big personality' and the fact he trained in the US as the reasons his colleagues were quick to dismiss him

Dr Teo credits his ‘big personality’ and the fact he trained in the US as the reasons his colleagues were quick to dismiss him

The neurosurgeon said he was justified in performing the surgery in the way he did.

He described the operation as ‘Dura [outer layer of tissue] opened and reflected. Right mesial posterior parietal [position in brain] tumour approached from left-sided craniotomy. Falxciotomy performed for access to right side of brain’, the publication reported. 

Dr Teo said out of 11,000 patients he’d operated on over 35 years he’d been sued twice.   

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Dr Teo for further comment. 

The NSW Medical Council has ordered Dr Teo to provide proof that he’s explained the financial costs and risks to patients before operating.

He is also not permitted to perform certain operations until he obtains written approval from a fellow neurosurgeon. 

The restrictions follow the Medical Council of NSW calling on Dr Teo to attend an ‘immediate action panel’ last week.

The neurosurgeon (pictured with partner) has decided to take three months off to weigh up whether a 35-year career is worth the toll put on him and his family

The neurosurgeon (pictured with partner) has decided to take three months off to weigh up whether a 35-year career is worth the toll put on him and his family

The neurosurgeon accepted the directions and said he has always consulted with a colleague, often from a leading medical school.

He will retrospectively review outcomes of surgeries with a colleague as part of the directives.

Dr Teo said he felt ’emotionally spent’ having not only been forced to battle with the medical council but also bitter colleagues ‘jealous of his success’.

He’s now concerned his method of operating may be clouded by his ‘own professional survival’ and what has been enforced by the council instead of the method he normally takes: treating every patient as if they’re a member of his family.

‘I don’t want to be one of the doctors who I never wanted to be. I’ve never wanted to be one of those surgeons who’ve put their own interests before their patients’ interests,’ he said.

Since the restrictions were imposed hundreds of patients and their families have shared testimonies defending and praising Dr Teo for his work.

Australian model Cheyenne Tozzi defended Dr Teo who operated on her mother after she was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours in 2013

Australian model Cheyenne Tozzi defended Dr Teo who operated on her mother after she was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours in 2013

Radio host Ben Fordham labelled the decision to restrict his work as ‘disgraceful’. 

‘I think this is one of the most disgraceful decisions we’ve seen in a long, long time,’ Fordham said on his 2GB breakfast program on Wednesday.

‘I know people who are alive now who would not be here if it wasn’t for Dr Charlie Teo.’ 

Leading the messages of support was Australian model and singer Cheyenne Tozzi, who regards Dr Teo as a good friend.

The neurosurgeon operated on and saved the life of Tozzi’s mum Yvonne after she was diagnosed with multiple brain tumours in 2013. 

Yvonne was given the all clear 12 months later after undergoing the surgery.

Tozzi posted a picture by her mum’s bedside in hospital in 2013, along with photos of herself and Yvonne with Dr Teo.

‘A lot is being said of Dr Charlie Teo,’ Tozzi posted.

‘I think he is a wonderful man and an incredibly talented doctor and neurosurgeon. He has the mind of a gifted fighter and a heart of gold.

‘He also saved my mother’s life, and his wicked sense of humour put her at ease during many scary moments.’ 

Dr Teo, who has four daughters, said his children cried at the news he may be leaving his career behind for good.

He said he wanted the world to know he loved his patients and always wanted to treat them with respect.

Dr Teo who is a father to four daughters said his children cried at the news he may be leaving his career behind for good

Dr Teo who is a father to four daughters said his children cried at the news he may be leaving his career behind for good 



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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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