Sheriff: Office manager performed medical procedure

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013 8:34 pm | Updated: 9:52 pm, Fri Apr 26, 2013.

SARASOTA, Fla. - A woman employed as an office manager at a Sarasota plastic surgeon's office has been arrested after investigators say she was practicing medicine without a license.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office arrested 44-year-old Christine Patterson of Sarasota for Practicing Medicine without a License after a patient complained that she performed a post-operative procedure on her following cosmetic surgery.

According to sheriff's investigators, in April 2011, a patient went to Sarasota Surgical Arts to see Dr. Sessa for a follow-up visit the day after surgery. Patterson examined the victim, re-wrapped the bandages and sent the patient home. The following day the patient returned to Dr. Sessa’s office due to swelling that occurred. Patterson contacted Dr. Sessa, who was out of town, and decided to insert a drain to remove excess fluid. The patient said the pain was excruciating.

A witness working in the office the day of the incident told investigators she asked Patterson if performing a procedure was a good idea, and Patterson responded that she had seen the procedure done “plenty of times.”

The investigation confirmed Patterson conducted the surgical procedure in order to treat the patient’s condition without a license to practice medicine. Detectives also determined that Dr. Sessa, who is Patterson’s brother, employed her as a medical biller and an office manager and that she is not a nurse or doctor.

Patterson is being held without bond until first appearance and is prohibited from having contact with any patients of Dr. Sessa or Sarasota Surgical Arts.

Anyone with concerns about similar incidents should contact Criminal Investigations at 941-861-4935.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • In The Know posted at 6:19 pm on Sat, Jun 29, 2013.

    In The Know Posts: 1

    Yes, I am sure he is an excellent surgeon and all, but who told the sister to put the drain in? She did contact him about the patient. If he was so worried about the patient why didn't he arrange for another physician to see the patient instead of instructing his sister to put a drain in. Just because he was "OUT OF TOWN" does not mean he was not "STILL RESPOSIBLE FOR THE PATIENT".

  • Tersart posted at 7:32 pm on Fri, Apr 26, 2013.

    Tersart Posts: 1

    About 4-5 years ago. My husband and I researched surgeon's for our daughter's surgery. Dr. Sessa was the surgeon we selected. "Excellent surgeon". We can't say enough about this doctor... "we would highly recommend him". I'm sure he was not aware .. since he was "OUT OF TOWN". So please do not "judge him" for his sister's "mistakes". He did nothing wrong! But... his sister was absolutely wrong ... and was NOT qualified to preform any type of procedure! Just remember... Dr. Sessa's an excellent surgeon!!!!


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