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Nova Scotia doctor rebuked for mishandled surgery, work to be audited

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TRURO, N.S. - A Nova Scotia doctor is being formally reprimanded for a surgery that preceded a patient's death.

The Nova Scotia College of Physicians and Surgeons is lifting many previously imposed restrictions on Martin Dzierzanowski while ordering six months of audits on his surgical cases.

The remaining conditions on Dzierzanowski require that a second doctor supervise certain procedures, including colon resections and all minimally invasive or keyhole surgeries.

In February 2012, the college says in a statement that the Truro-based surgeon performed a biopsy on a patient's pancreas during what was supposed to be gall bladder surgery.

It says the patient underwent further treatment in Halifax after his condition deteriorated, but he later died.

The college's investigation summary says Dzierzanowski did not demonstrate appropriate knowledge, skill and judgment during the procedure, and that he fell short in communicating with the patient's family.

The surgeon's licence was curtailed immediately following the incident, but most restrictions were gradually lifted as audits of his surgical work over the past two years revealed no continuing problems with his practice.

Dzierzanowski declined comment on the college's summary.

The college says Dzierzanowski returned to limited practice last December under a period of direct supervision by another surgeon to provide an ongoing assessment.

"The supervisor provided reports to the college, indicating he found no deficiencies in Dr. Dzierzanowski’s approach to patients, his preparation for surgery, or his technical skill," the college says in its summary.

The college says upon completion of the six month audit period, the restrictions and conditions on the surgeon's licence will be lifted.

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