NORFOLK, Va. - A nurse who has worked in operating rooms in the Tidewater region for more than 33 years - 12 of them with Dr. Javaid Perwaiz - called his chaotic and stressful surgeries on Fridays a "Perwaiz-a-thon."
Jean Kennedy testified on day five of the federal trial for Perwaiz, who's facing 61 federal charges.
The gynecologist is accused of performing dozens of unnecessary hysterectomies and removing ovaries and Fallopian tubes over a nine-year period in Suffolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake.
Perwaiz is also accused of falsifying sterilization consent forms and inducing early labor. He faces more than 60 federal charges after his arrest in November 2019.
They include 26 counts of health care fraud, 33 counts of making false statements relating to healthcare matters and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
Kennedy was the first witness for the United States on Monday morning. Kennedy also testified she was witness to Dr. Perwaiz doing more than a dozen surgeries at Bon Secours Harborview on Friday afternoons. She said he would spend three to four hours bouncing back and forth between rooms.
Kennedy also testified she witnessed Perwaiz making post-operative notes or findings on patients before they were even rolled into the operating room.
Kennedy also said on the stand that over a decade of working alongside him, he never used a camera to see inside patients during hysterectomies or laparoscopies and said that many of his patients would come to the surgery center not knowing why they needed an operation.
Kennedy told the jury that she complained for years to supervisors about safety concerns or risk of errors but stated nothing was done.
The defense asked Kennedy if she ever heard of any complications with surgeries, and she replied no.
The second witness on the stand was a 42-year-old patient who came to see Dr. Perwaiz in 2012 because of an abnormal pap smear.
Perwaiz told the woman she needed to have a hysterectomy because she would likely get cancer. The patient told Perwaiz she would be OK with a vaginal hysterectomy and said to him, "I do not want to be cut." The patient told the jury she woke up to find she had an incision across her stomach and that her ovaries had been removed abdominally.
The patient testified days later she went into sepsis and found her bladder was severed in six places. Medical records shown to her in court revealed that Dr. Perwaiz said she agreed to the abdominal incision.
The defense countered and said Perwaiz would not make more money doing an vaginal hysterectomy versus an abdominal one. The patient also testified that when questioned by the FBI in this federal case, she asked if she could be compensated.
The trial is expected to last four more weeks.