Famous brain surgeon Charlie Teo is performing operations in Spain and South Africa because of restrictions on his work in Australia – with one mother raising $120,000 to fly her daughter overseas to remove a tumour
- ‘Last chance’ brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo is operating on Aussies overseas
- In 2021 restrictions were placed on his registration by the NSW Medical Council
- He has been involved in ‘life saving’ surgeries in Spain and South Africa in 2022
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.
Celebrated but now-restricted brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo operated on a young Sydney woman, Monica Lopresti in Madrid, Spain (Pictured Christina Lopresti with her daughter, Monica Lopresti)
Dr Teo operated on a tumour in the back of a young Melbourne man, Billy Baldwin, from whom he removed a brain tumour when the man was a boy, in July in Madrid (Pictured, Dr Teo, left, with Billy Baldwin)
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.
The celebrated but controversial surgeon operated on a young Sydney woman and a young Melbourne man in Madrid, Spain (Pictured, Dr Teo, left, during a brain operation in Spain this year)
Famous ‘last chance’ brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo is performing operations on Australians in overseas hospitals after being restricted in this country
‘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.
Christina Lopresti, who described herself as a ‘widowed mum’, raised $120,760 to fund brain surgery for her daughter, Monica (Pictured above, Ms Lopresti’s fundraising page)
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.
Hospital Quiron de Torrevieja (pictured above), near Alicante in Spain, is one of the hospitals at which Dr Teo has been performing 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.
Spanish neurosurgeon Marcelo Galarza, who said he had performed two surgeries with Dr Teo, said the Australian doctor was ‘the first surgeon’ in the operations
Spanish neurosurgeon Marcelo Galarza, who said he had performed two surgeries with Dr Teo at Hospital Quiron de Torrevieja near Alicante, 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.’
Dr Charlie Teo could be set to marry his model partner and former patient, Traci Griffiths, who has been leaving subtle hints on her Instagram page the pair are engaged
The pair have been frequently spotted attending public events together, working out and wearing outrageously funny costumes for fancy-dress parties
The world renowned surgeon was rumoured to be engaged to his model girlfriend Traci Griffiths 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’.
Daily Mail Australia approached Christina Lopresti for comment.