Middlesex County News

East Brunswick Doctor Suspended for Unsanitary and Dangerous Use of Anal Catheters

c912d03aa41f6052f3c0_catheter.jpg
Pressure monitoring balloon anal catheter Credits: medicalexpo.com
c912d03aa41f6052f3c0_catheter.jpg

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ –  A doctor specializing in colo-rectal diagnoses and surgeries with an office on Cranbury Road in East Brunswick and Stanhope Street in Princeton has had his license temporarily suspended for unsanitary and dangerous use of medical equipment.

Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that a Committee of the State Board of Medical Examiners  has temporarily suspended the license of a Middlesex surgeon amid allegations he jeopardized his patients’ health and safety by reusing single-use catheters on multiple patients during anorectal diagnostic testing.

Dr. Sanjiv K. Patankar, an East Brunswick practitioner, allegedly washed and reused the small, flexible catheters inserted into patients’ rectums during medical procedures, according to a Verified Complaint filed by the State.

Sign Up for E-News

The catheters are meant to be thrown away after a single use, but Patankar used them on at least five patients before discarding them because supplies for replacement catheters were on backorder, the State alleges.

After taking testimony and reviewing evidence during a hearing last week, the Committee unanimously found that Patankar demonstrated a fundamental lack of judgment and placed patients in clear and imminent danger by reusing the catheters. 


“It is appalling that a doctor would engage in such an unsanitary and dangerous practice,” said Attorney General Porrino. “Through his alleged conduct, Dr. Patankar has demonstrated a reckless disregard for public safety that placed countless patients at risk of communicable diseases.”

“Dr. Patankar’s alleged conduct not only violates professional standards, it reveals an alarming lack of judgment that calls into question his fitness to practice,” said Sharon Joyce, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “By temporarily suspending his license, the Board fulfilled its duty to protect the public from this practitioner while these very disturbing allegations are pending.”

During the hearing on Tuesday, the state argued that even though the packaging on the catheters specifically states “do not reuse,” Patankar reused them on multiple patients because the anorectal manometry testing equipment in his office is outdated and replacement catheters from the manufacturer are on backorder.

Patankar allegedly instructed his medical assistants to wash the used catheters in soap and water, soak them in bleach solution for 30 minutes, and then rinse and let air dry. Once the catheters were dry, they were put back in their original packaging so they could be reused. Even when a catheter began breaking down from over-bleaching, Patankar ordered his medical assistant to continue using it, the State alleges.

During the hearing on December 19, the Committee heard conflicting testimony from Patankar’s medical assistants about the reuse of catheters. However, the Committee resolved the discrepancies in favor of the State; finding that documentary evidence showed that although 82 anorectal procedures were performed in Patankar’s office between January 1 and November 30, 2017, there were only 5 catheters ordered during that period of time.

Under the Committee’s order, Patankar’s license will remain temporarily suspended pending a full hearing in the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) on the allegations against him, and until the Board takes final action based on the OAL’s findings.


Patankar was given a 30-day wind-down period during which he can only practice in a hospital setting, and during which he must provide documentation to the Board that he is transferring his care to other physicians.

The Committee further ordered that Patankar must provide the Board with a list of patients who underwent anal manometry testing from January 1, 2011 to the present. 
The Committee gave Patankar the opportunity for reconsideration of its decision at the January 10, 2018 Board meeting. However, this opportunity can only be invoked if he has documentary evidence supporting that he in fact ordered catheters that would account for all of the 82 procedures that he performed from January 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017.

East Brunswick patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey) or 973-504- 6200.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Milltown/Spotswood

Saint Peter's Fights Against Fatal Cardiac Arrests on the Playing Field

February 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - On a particular Tuesday evening, Jim Fisher stood in front of a group of coaches and doctors at the newly ​-​ renovated, start-of-the-art simulation center at Saint Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick.

Jim’s son, Sean, died in Aug ​just​ 2008, as a result of an undetected heart defect. He was just about to turn 13. The two and their family are ...

Big Little Railroad Shop in Somerville Runs Out of Steam; Store Closing

February 18, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Big Little Railroad Shop, an iconic retail store for 27 years and a fixture on Main Street most of those years has run out of steam.

The hobby shop for serious model railroaders, which first opened in 1991, is selling out its inventory at reduced prices, and will close its doors at 63 W. Main St. for the final time on Sunday, Feb. 25.

Owner Jen Lush and her ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Hot Latin Nights With The Mambo Kings

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Brunswick

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: Hot Latin Nights ...

Mon, February 19

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Arts & Entertainment

Author Donates Portion Of Sales To Equestrian Aid Foundation

February 18, 2018

WELLINGTON, Fla. — Author Shane Ledyard will donate a portion of the paperback sales of his latest book, “Sycamore Whispers,” to the Equestrian Aid Foundation through February.

Equestrian Aid Foundation provides financial assistance to horse people from all corners of the U.S. equestrian world who are facing catastrophic injury or illness.

Purchase “Sycamore ...

Travels Spotlight - Coast Guard Ends Search for Fishermen Lost at Sea, Fund Established to Help Family

February 18, 2018

TAPintoTravels is here to promote travel whether it is for work or pleasure.  Most of our reporting is fun and helpful.  However on rare occasions, we do have to report on heart breaking stories.  It is always hardest when it involves men with families that have been lost at sea.  Please consider assisting this family in need and keep them in your thoughts or ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...