Investigation reopened into scandal-hit surgeon Paolo Macchiarini

UPDATED: A preliminary investigation into scandal-hit celebrity surgeon Paolo Macchiarini has been reopened, a senior prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Investigation reopened into scandal-hit surgeon Paolo Macchiarini
The entrance to Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital, where three of Macchairini's transplants were carried out. Photo: Christine Olsson / TT

Surgeon Paolo Macchiarini is suspected of two cases of causing aggravated bodily injury in relation to trachea transplants.

“It is only a first step, but it is very pleasing,” the lawyer representing relatives of both patients told the TT newswire.

Prosecutors dropped an earlier probe into the surgeon in October 2017 despite concluding that there had been a degree of negligence, but announced that they would re-examine some of the charges two months later. 

Only some parts of the preliminary investigation are being reopened, relating to two patients, an Icelandic man and a Turkish girl.

Investigations relating into a Swede and an American will not be reopened, the prosecutor confirmed. In the case of the American patient, the reason was that the medical basis was not strong enough, while in the case of the Swede, who underwent a different kind of operation to the other three, the prosecutor said there was nothing to suggest the operation was not carried out “according to science and proven experience”.

Surgeon and researcher Macchiarini attained world fame after completing the first synthetic trachea transplant using stem cells in 2011, and carried out four trachea operations on three patients at the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.

However, all three patients later died, one five years after the surgery, as well as four others who were operated on outside Sweden. 


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