A Kentucky plastic surgeon was arrested Monday after allegedly showing up drunk to perform a surgery.
Dr. Theodore Gerstle, of Lexington Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, was scheduled to operate around noon on Monday at the Baptist Heath Lexington, but staff at the hospital were alerted that the physician was intoxicated, hospital spokesperson Ruth Ann Childers told the Lexington Herald Leader.
Gerstle left the hospital, voluntarily and on foot, after the chief medical officer confronted him, WKYT reported. Hospital staff then reportedly called the police. He was arrested a short time later when he was located not far from the hospital.
The surgeon was scheduled for one procedure Monday and had not started operating when he was confronted about his alleged drunken state, Childers told the news station.
“Patient safety is always our number one concern, every day,” Childers said of the incident. “We take these things very seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated.”
Gerstle was charged with public intoxication and is being held at the Fayette County Jail, the Herald Leader reported, citing jail records. His staff privileges at the hospital — where he was not technically an employee — have been suspended pending the investigation.
According to the surgical practice’s website, Gerstle, from New York, is “the only Harvard-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon in Lexington,” and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy in West Point.
While it’s unclear what type of surgery Gerstle was scheduled to perform, the practice’s website states he specializes in migraine headaches, and a variety of plastic surgery treatments.