Surgeon struck off over needless hip surgeries

Surgeon struck off over needless hip surgeries

A vet who performed unnecessary hip surgery on dogs for financial gain has been struck off by the RCVS Disciplinary Committee.

Orthopaedic specialist Dr Marthinus Ryk Botes operated on three animals without consulting their owners about other treatments.

Dr Botes, who has been a senior partner at the Medivet practice in Grays, Kent, subjected a cocker spaniel, a Staffordshire bull terrier and a West Highland terrier and akita cross to needless total hip replacement procedures (THRs) in 2016 and 2017.

In total Dr Botes faced nine charges relating to inappropriate total hip replacements on five dogs without adequate investigation and without getting informed consent from the owners.

He denied charges 1 and 2, which related to a Labrador Retriever, but admitted charges 3 to 9 and that these charges amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.

The Committee took into account that the THRs in question were a source of financial gain, that Dr Botes’ conduct was repeated over a considerable period of time and that he was in an increased position of trust and responsibility because of perceived expertise in small animal orthopaedics and its education.

Speakimg following the decision to strike Dr Botes from the register, Committee chair Ian Arundale said: “In light of the gravity of the conduct, and all of the factors taken into account, any lesser sanction would lack a deterrent effect and would undermine public confidence in the profession and the regulatory process. Removal was the only appropriate and proportionate sanction.”

Dr Botes has 28 days from being notified of his removal from the Register to lodge an appeal with the Privy Council.

The Committee’s full findings can be viewed at