Tampa doctor performed surgery on wrong testicle, Florida board says

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida urologist has been fined for performing surgery on the wrong testicle two years ago, according to health officials.

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Raul Fernandez-Crespo was fined $2,500 by the Florida Board of Medicine, the Miami Herald reported. The board has issued a letter of concern in the board’s final order, which was filed on June 17, the newspaper reported.

According to the board, Fernandez-Crespo had marked the patient’s right testicle to remove enlarged veins during the Sept. 10, 2019, procedure, the Herald reported. However, the surgery was supposed to be done on the patient’s left testicle, the newspaper reported.

According to Florida Department of Health online records, Fernandez-Crespo has been a licensed medical doctor in the state since April 1, 2019. He has no previous board discipline history, according to the online records.

The patient had come to Fernandez-Crespo for a varicocelectomy, a surgery to remove enlarged veins.

“Varicoceles, enlarged scrotal veins, can be a source of male infertility, pain, and may even impair testosterone production,” according to the Men’s Clinic at UCLA.

According to UCLA, the procedure should take about 30 minutes.

After realizing his mistake, Fernandez-Crespo performed a varicocelectomy on the correct testicle, the Herald reported.

In addition to the fine and the letter of concern, Fernandez-Crespo must pay $2,045.56 to reimburse Department of Health expenses in dealing with the case, the newspaper reported. He also must take either a five-hour continuing medical education in risk management, or attend eight hours of Board of Medicine disciplinary hearings.

The urologist must also give a one-hour lecture on wrong-site surgeries at a medical facility approved by the state board, the Herald reported.

According to his profile on the Florida Sex Health website, Fernandez-Crespo is affiliated with several hospitals, including Tampa General Hospital, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, and Advent Health. He completed his fellowship in Sexual Medicine and Andrology at the University of South Florida.

A native of Puerto Rico, Fernandez-Crespo completed his urology residency and medical studies at the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus, and Ponce School of Medicine, respectively, according to the website. He also serves as an assistant professor in the department of urology at the University of South Florida in Tampa.