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Lap-Band Patient Says M.D. Padded Weight

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (CN) - A Tennessee surgeon has been accused of performing an unnecessary lap-band surgery on a woman after qualifying her for the procedure by having her hold books during the weighing process to inflate her weight.

As a result, patient Lynita Hetzel had to be hospitalized for post-operation complications, including infection, according to a lawsuit in Hamilton County Court. Hertzel says she never would have undergone the procedure had Dr. Walter Rose not encouraged her to do it and fudged her weight so that she would meet the body-mass index criteria.

"Defendant Rose was motivated by certain financial incentives," she claims. Laparoscopic band surgery "was a new procedure which Dr. Rose had not been performing for very long," Hetzel claims, "but which he found to be financially lucrative."

She is also suing Memorial Health Care System, and is represented by Michael Richardson with Thornbury, Morgan & Richardson.

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