The former chairman of the state doctors’ union is facing negligence charges over the death of a patient he had operated on while working at the Nicosia general hospital in 2010.
Stavros Stavrou, who has since retired from the public sector, is accused of botching an operation that eventually led to the death of Ioannis Georgiades, 61, in September 2010.
According to daily newspaper Alithia, which published the story on Monday, the first hearing of the case has been scheduled for January 25.
The decision to indict Stavrou for causing death through negligence was taken following an inquest conducted by district court judge Nadia Mathikoloni.
According to the findings, Georgiades had been scheduled to undergo laparoscopic biopsy to a lymph node located behind the peritoneum – the membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Laparoscopy is described as a low-risk minimally invasive procedure using a thin, lighted tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the abdominal organs with the help of a camera.
In this case however, the procedure became open surgery, which resulted in removal of parts of the pancreas, the pylorus – the muscle that allows food to pass through the stomach into the intestine, and the duodenum, the first and shortest segment of the small intestine.
As part of the procedure, Stavrou performed gastric resection and anastomosis, a process that restores communication between the two portions of the intestine after removal of the problem affecting the area.
Georgiades was treated for 29 days in hospital following the procedure during which he developed ulcers at the anastomosis, which went undiagnosed.
The anastomosis was gradually perforated causing Georgiades to vomit blood and eventually asphyxiation as the blood flow increased and filled his lungs.
Two pathologists, Eleni Antoniou, for the state, and Panicos Stavrianos who was hired by the family, told the inquest that the procedure could have been carried out by accessing a different lymph node whose partial or complete removal would not bring about such complications.
Antoniou also said that Stavrou could have accessed the area from behind without the risk of damaging other organs.
Going through the front was not recommended because of the risks, Antoniou said.