A Tampa doctor did surgery on the wrong testicle, state board finds

Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo was fined $2,500 and must pay case costs, undergo further education or hearings, and lecture on wrong-site surgeries.
The Florida Board of Medicine fined a Tampa urologist in an order filed Thursday.
The Florida Board of Medicine fined a Tampa urologist in an order filed Thursday. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE | Times ]
Published June 22, 2021|Updated June 22, 2021

A Tampa urologist marked a patient’s right testicle for removal of enlarged veins and did the procedure on that testicle. But the September 2019 procedure was supposed to be done on the left testicle.

Dr. Raul Fernandez-Crespo has been fined $2,500 by the State of Florida Board of Medicine. The board also has issued a letter of concern.

The board’s final order concerning the matter was filed Thursday.

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

The administrative complaint filed by the Department of Health says Fernandez-Crespo’s patient showed up on Sept. 10, 2019, 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, which also says this is usually an outpatient surgery taking about 30 minutes per testicle.

The complaint says, “Prior to the procedure, while in conversation with Patient C.F., [Fernandez-Crespo] marked the right testicle (the incorrect testicle) for the procedure.”

And, Fernandez-Crespo, following his erroneous mark, did a varicocelectomy on the right testicle.

“During the procedure, [Fernandez-Crespo] realized that Patient C.F. had consented to a left testicle varicocelectomy,” the complaint said. “[Fernandez-Crespo] then performed a left testicle varicocelectomy.”

In addition to the aforementioned letter of concern and $2,500 administrative fine, Fernandez-Crespo must pay $2,045.56 reimbursement of Department of Health costs in dealing with this case; either take a five-hour continuing medical education course in risk management or sit through eight hours of Board of Medicine disciplinary hearings; and give a one-hour lecture on wrong-site surgeries at a medical facility approved by the board.

- David J. Neal