World-Famous Brain Surgeon Charlie Teo Is Forced to Perform Life-Saving Operations in Africa Due to Restrictions on His Work in Australia
World-famous brain surgeon Charlie Teo is forced to perform life-saving operations in Africa due to restrictions on his work in Australia – with one mum raising $120k to fly her daughter overseas to remove a tumour.
World-famous brain surgeon Charlie Teo is forced to perform life-saving operations in Africa due to restrictions on his work in Australia – with one mum raising $120k to fly her daughter overseas to remove a tumour
Famous ‘last chance’ brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo is performing operations on Australians in overseas hospitals after being restricted in this country.
Dr Teo, who was placed under temporary restrictions a year ago after complaints over his work, has operated at least four times in Spain and South Africa where he has gained a permit to conduct surgery.
He is also believed to have operated in Johannesburg and in Switzerland.
Since then it is understood the Medical Council of NSW has enquired into Dr Teo’s overseas surgeries and is poised to alert Spanish authorities of its concerns.
Temporary restrictions were been placed on Dr Teo’s medical licence by the NSW Medical Council after complaints were made about his work, including allegations of inappropriate behaviour.
In July this year, Dr Teo, 64, attempted to ‘save the life’ of young Monica Lopresti in Madrid, after an MRI scan returned a shock diagnosis of a benign cystic tumour in her brain.
‘No-one else was good enough to touch my child but Charlie,’ wrote her mother Christina Lopresti in an emotional social media post praising Dr Teo.
‘After meeting him I was in total awe of his kind caring nature. Charlie agreed to operate and save my child’s life.’
Ms Lopresti said the family had previously lost ‘a young husband’ to GBM, which is Glioblastoma, a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumour.
Sydney mum Christina Lopresti’s emotional post over Dr Teo’s help for her stricken daughter.
‘The only problem was he couldn’t operate [on Monica] in Australia. He wasn’t allowed to,’ Ms Lopresti said.
‘Thanks to so many of you, many strangers who helped us raise money to get Monica to Madrid. Yes you heard right. Madrid.
‘Spain love him and adore him. They see the brilliance in him.’
Christina Lopresti, who described herself as a ‘widowed mum’, raised $120,760 to fund brain surgery for her daughter, whom she described as ‘my best friend’.
The condition of Monica Lopresti is not known.
In another case Dr Teo operated on a tumour in the back of a young Melbourne man in July.
His father, Alistair Baldwin, paid Dr Teo and other neurosurgeons at Hospital Universitario Fundacion Jimenez Diaz $70,000 to operate on his son, BIlly, The Age reported.
‘It’s the last thing you worry about,’ Mr Baldwin said of the cost.
It is understood Dr Teo removed an aggressive brain tumour from Billy Baldwin when he was a child.
At the time the family was advised to seek palliative care options for Billy due to his anaplastic ependymoma.
He was left deaf in one ear but is now 20.
The Medical Council of NSW contacted Dr Teo’s medical indemnity insurer after it was alerted Dr Teo was working overseas.
It is also understood to be considering alerting Spanish health authorities to the restrictions on Dr Teo’s medical registration.
The NSW Medical Council ruled last August that Dr Teo must now obtain written support from an approved neurosurgeon before performing certain types of brain tumour surgery.
‘If the written statement does not support the practitioner performing the procedure(s) the practitioner cannot recommend or perform the surgery,’ the statement on his registration states.
The career setback came after he separated from his wife of 30 year, Genevieve. The couple have four children.
In an exclusive statement to Daily Mail Australia in 2020, Professor Teo said the couple ‘separated over two years ago but remain great friends.’
Spanish neurosurgeon Marcelo Galarza said he had performed two surgeries with Dr Teo at Hospital Quiron de Torrevieja near Alicante last month.
He confirmed the Australian doctor had gained a temporary permit in Spain.
‘Generally, he is the first surgeon, and I am usually the assistant,’ Galarza said. ‘The patients are Charlie’s [Teo].’
Dr Teo is also understood to have operated on Italian and American patients in Spain.
In another case, Dr Teo operated on a man in South Africa in 2022.
A woman from Pretoria said he removed a dangerous brain tumour from her husband.
‘Dr Charlie came to South Africa to remove my husband’s brainstem glioblastoma together with Dr Chris Profyris,’ she wrote.
‘They did what no other surgeon was willing to do and we’ll be forever grateful to these two surgeons. The best with such good hearts.’
Among the complaints made about Dr Teo were that from a woman who received surgery from him in 2003 but claimed later he had failed to remove the tumour and had operated on the wrong side of her brain.
Dr Teo has previously said an enemy he labelled ‘The Mole’ was determined to paint him as a ‘money-hungry sexual predator’ and sabotage his career.
An allegation surfaced in September 2019 that Dr Teo had told a nurse ‘while you’re down there…’ as she bent down to pick something up.
The neurosurgeon admitted he made the ‘bad joke’ but said it had been taken out of context and the nurse in question had been with him for 12 years, was like a ‘sister’ and the pair always joked around together.
Following the split from his wife in 2018, Dr Teo found love again with a former patient, Traci Griffiths, 47, a model and vegan advocate.
The world renowned surgeon was rumoured to be engaged to Ms Griffiths, whom he treated in 2011, after she was spotted with a ring on her finger last year.
Dr Teo denied the speculation insisting the pair had made no plans on marrying.
Ms Griffiths has indicated otherwise by uploading photos of herself alongside her brain surgeon boyfriend with the tags ‘#ilovemyfiance’ and ‘#myfiance’.