Local News

State Board Pulls Fayetteville Surgeon's License

Posted October 17, 2007 7:43 a.m. EDT
Updated October 17, 2007 9:17 p.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville plastic surgeon accused of unprofessional conduct and sloppy operations will have his medical license suspended indefinitely, the North Carolina Medical Board decided Wednesday.

The suspension is effective Dec. 1. Dr. James E. Lowe Jr. can reapply for his license three months after that.

"It will be up to the board to determine when, and if, he could come back to practice," said the medical board's attorney, Todd Brosius. "And I think, ultimately, the board did its job to protect patients throughout North Carolina."

Lowe faced a 27-page list of complaints about the manner in which he diagnosed patients and performed medical procedures on them. Some contended he performed unnecessary carpal tunnel surgeries.

He denied the allegations Wednesday and said his only error was in how he maintained his medical records, saying they did not support the procedures he performed. Lowe agreed to the medical board's decision to suspend his license, however, and also agreed to take classes on billing patients and maintaining records.

"The patients that were treated by Dr. Lowe actually improved," Lowe's attorney Jonathan Charleston said. "There were no bad outcomes, and it was really a documentation issue."

Lowe also agreed to have a third party review medical records of his patients if the board deemed it necessary.

Twelve years ago, New York authorities revoked his medical license on charges of fraud, failing to keep proper records, and being "guilty of moral unfitness in the practice of medicine."

Nearly two years later, North Carolina granted him a license with several conditions, including that he practice only plastic surgery. In 2000, the medical board granted Lowe a full license.