PHOENIX — A surgeon at the Mayo Clinic Hospital faces a disciplinary hearing and a possible lawsuit after he snapped a photo of a patient’s genitals during surgery.
Hospital administrators confirmed that Dr. Adam Hansen, chief resident of general surgery at the Phoenix hospital, admitted taking the photo during a Dec. 11 gallbladder surgery.
The patient is Phoenix strip club owner Sean Dubowik, whose penis bears the tattooed slogan “Hot Rod.” Hansen apparently showed the photo to other surgeons at the hospital.
A member of the surgical staff made an anonymous call about the incident to The Arizona Republic Monday.
Dubowik, 37, also learned about the photo Monday when the Mayo Clinic called.
“I got a strange call after my surgery from a doctor who said there was a problem. He said Hansen was on the phone and would explain,” Dubowik said. When the surgeon got on the phone, he told him that he used his cell phone to take the picture while inserting a catheter into his penis.
“He told me he didn’t want me to read about it in the newspaper first,” Dubowik said. Hansen told Dubowik he erased the image almost immediately.
The Mayo Clinic has been investigating since last week. Hansen wasn’t available for comment Tuesday and has been placed on administrative leave.
A disciplinary hearing is set for Wednesday, said Dr. Joseph Sirven, education director for Mayo Clinic Arizona, the hospital’s parent organization based in Scottsdale.
“The options range from probation to termination,” said Sirven, who is involved because Hansen is still in the hospital’s surgical training program.
“Patient privacy is a serious matter, and photographing someone in this manner without a good reason is something we will investigate down to the last detail,” Sirven said.
Dubowik said he’d gotten the tattoo on a $1,000 bet.
“It was the most horrible thing I ever went though in my life,” Dubowik said. He said he chose Mayo Clinic for treatment because his mother had five surgeries there.
“They were supposedly the best of the best. I have no complaints about the medical care I was given,” he said. “But now I feel violated, betrayed and disgusted.”
Dubowik said he was terrified before surgery but formed a “bond” with Hansen, who helped him stay calm.
Dubowik said he planned to contact an attorney.
“The longer I sit here the angrier I get,” he said.