Christine Patterson Arrested for Practicing Medicine without a License

6:30 AM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
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Sarasota, Florida -- The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office has arrested a woman for performing a medical procedure without a license.

Christine Patterson is employed as a medical biller and an office manager at Sarasota Surgical Arts. She is employed by Dr. Sessa, who also happens to be her brother. 

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.

"Not only did she diagnose her facial swelling with a hematoma, she put in a drain to drain the excess fluid," said Wendy Rose, a spokesperson for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

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."

Other doctors who were in the office on the same day say the patient's face was "swollen like a pumpkin."

Patterson remains in the Sarasota County Jail pending a first appearance before a judge.

Her husband told us his wife does not have a medical background besides medical billing and does not believe the allegations made against her.

"My wife never went to medical school," said John Patterson. "She won't even know how to attempt to do something like that."

The investigation confirmed Patterson conducted the surgical procedure in order to treat the patient's condition without a license to practice medicine. 

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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