SOURCE: Skull Base Institute

Skull Base Institute

May 25, 2011 19:14 ET

Hospital Ordered to Pay Surgeon Hrayr Shahinian, M.D. More Than $6 Million

The Court Is Upholding Its Multi-Million-Dollar Verdict Against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a Success for Whistleblower Hrayr Shahinian, M.D. and Reputable Medical Doctors Everywhere

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - May 25, 2011) - The California Court of Appeals has upheld a world-renowned surgeon's multi-million dollar judgment against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, stemming from the hospital's negligence in maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments -- measures that had put patients' lives at stake. The Court also reaffirmed the original ruling that Cedars and much of its executive staff engaged in retaliatory measures against Hrayr Shahinian, M.D., which damaged his practice and reputation, resulting in a loss of revenue.

"Once again, the Court has bravely ruled against one of the most powerful medical institutions in the country in favor of patient care and the ability of one surgeon to continue helping patients facing uncertain futures," said Shahinian. "Justice has prevailed."

Dr. Hrayr Shahinian was recently honored by NASA for his role in developing technology that allows surgeons to see 3D high-def images of the brain and scientists to capture 3D images of planetary surfaces. "For several years now my time, resources and attention have been split between advancing science, caring for my patients and deflecting the seemingly countless salvos that are part and parcel of wrangling with Cedars-Sinai."

Shahinian is referring to a malpractice suit he is currently appealing, in which he says a Cedars staff member falsely testified against him. "The chief witness against me in that trial is a staff member at Cedars-Sinai who is the very person who replaced me when I broke ties with the hospital over this whistle-blowing incident," he said. "To detail every incident in which Cedars has attempted to destroy my career would fill a book."

"Cedars-Sinai is using its vast resources to drown Dr. Shahinian in litigation," added attorney Robert C. Baker, who represented Shahinian. "They have been using the legal system to kill his career."

These are a few of the disturbing revelations that Shahinian brought to light in the original case:

  • In numerous instances, bioburden (brain matter) was found on surgical instruments supposedly sterilized by Cedars-Sinai. Had they been used, patients would have been vulnerable to a host of infections including one resembling "mad cow" disease.

  • Shahinian was pressured to extend overnight stays long beyond what was medically necessary to increase revenue for the hospital.

  • Shahinian was "encouraged" to refer patients to Cedars staff physicians even when they were not qualified in order to increase revenue for the hospital.

  • Cedars regularly engaged in the practice of flash sterilization instead of proper procedure. (This should only be used in rare instances such as when an instrument is dropped during surgery and it is necessary to complete the procedure. Proper sterilization is an overnight process and much safer for patients.)

  • Cedars-Sinai withheld key information from the investigators during the original investigation in 2006.

  • Shahinian's refusal to "buckle" under pressure from the hospital made him the target of a campaign designed to harm his practice and reputation.

For more information on Dr. Shahinian and his revolutionary surgical techniques, visit

About Hrayr Shahinian, M.D.:

Dr. Shahinian has earned international attention for his groundbreaking minimally invasive approach to the surgical procedure to remove brain and skull base tumors and treat other related abnormalities. His revolutionary techniques have helped more than 4,500 patients who benefited from fewer complications, shortened hospital stays and decreased recovery times. To date, Shahinian has treated patients from all 50 states as well as Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Armenia, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Egypt and Israel. The efficacy of Shahinian's minimally invasive techniques over the open craniotomy and other traditional methods have been documented in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, medical books and, most recently, a textbook authored by Shahinian entitled "Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery."