GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A doctor from Sterling Heights who had his license suspended on accusations of performing inappropriate vaginal treatments on girls for conditions they didn’t have continued to practice after that suspension, authorities said.
Husam Thamin Abed, M.D., 52, of Sterling Heights, practices out of a clinic in Grand Rapids, Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
He is accused of negligence, incompetence, and lack of good moral character. The specific allegations are outlined in an administrative complaint filed May 17.
Officials said a 12-year-old girl sought treatment from Abed on Sept. 10, 2020, due to urinary incontinence, constipation, and mild back pain.
He told the girl that her condition was likely due to pelvic organ prolapse and advised a few treatment options, according to authorities. Abed is accused of telling her that using a pessary device could be a future option.
A pessary device is inserted into the vagina to provide support in the area of a prolapse, according to the complaint.
At a follow-up appointment in April 2021, Abed diagnosed the girl, then 13 years old, with stage 2 pelvic organ prolapse, “despite her young age and no history of childbirth,” the complaint reads.
Officials said further investigation suggested the girl’s symptoms were likely caused by other conditions that should have been treated through more conservative options.
“During the April 2021 appointment, (Abed) inserted a pessary device into (the girl’s) vagina despite no accepted standard of care in which the use of pessary devices in minor patients is an appropriate or accepted treatment option,” the administrative complaint says.
Abed treated the girl about every two weeks from April 2021 to July 2021, officials said. During that time period, he increased the size of the pessary devices even though the girl had no symptoms to indicate that was necessary, authorities said.
A 15-year-old girl sought care from Abed on Dec. 17, 2018, because she had mixed urinary incontinence, the complaint says.
He diagnosed her with stage 2 pelvic organ prolapse and inserted a pessary device, “despite no history of trauma, childbirth, or pregnancy, and no history of prolapse from previous gynecological appointments,” according to the complaint.
Abed is accused of treating the 15-year-old every two weeks from January 2019 to April 2019. During the visits, he would increase the size of the pessary device even though there were no symptoms to suggest that was necessary, officials said.
A third patient’s age was not specified, but the administrative complaint designates her as a “minor female.” She went to Abed on July 27, 2021, due to mixed urinary incontinence and a history of pelvic pain and defecatory dysfunction, authorities said.
During that appointment, Abed told her that her previously diagnosed conditions of interstitial cystitis and endometriosis didn’t exist, the complaint alleges.
The patient requested a chaperone before her pelvic exam, but Abed didn’t provide one, instead continuing with the examination, according to officials.
He fitted her with the smallest pessary device and told her to return in two weeks to increase the size, the complaint says. During a follow-up appointment on Aug. 12, he removed the device and there was pain and bleeding, according to authorities.
Abed encouraged her to increase the size of the device despite those issues, and she refused, the complaint says.
Abed replied that the only other option at that time was surgery to include a hysterectomy, sacrocolpopexy, and a midurethral sling, officials said.
Despite the patient’s young age, Abed performed hysterectomy, sacrocolpopexy, and midurethral sling surgeries on her on Sept. 7, the complaint says.
Officials said there was no indication that hysterectomy or sacrocolpopexy surgeries were necessary. They said the patient had never had children, and Abed didn’t first recommend more conservative treatment options that could have addressed her symptoms.
The patient experienced severe pain after the surgery, and Abed couldn’t help relieve it, authorities said.
“(The patient) has experienced an increase in complications following the surgery and required revisional surgery to address her complications,” the complaint reads.
Abed told staff members at Spectrum Health in October 2021 that he had been using pessary devices in patients as young as 13, officials said. Spectrum Health immediately revoked his hospital privileges and reported his conduct to the Grand Rapids Police Department, according to authorities.
When they learned of his practices during the Grand Rapids police investigation, Metro Health Hospital and Saint Mary’s Hospital both revoked Abed’s hospital privileges.
“A review of (Abed’s) patient records revealed that (he) performed treatments on minors that fell below the standard of care, as well as performed a surgery that was not indicated,” the administrative complaint says.
It was determined that Abed posed an “immediate threat to the public’s health, safety, and welfare,” officials said.
“It is ordered that (Abed’s) license to practice medicine in the state of Michigan shall be summarily suspended, commencing on the date this order is served,” the May 17 document states.
The complaint concludes that Abed’s actions constitute “a violation of general duty, consisting of negligence or failure to exercise due care, including negligent delegation to, or supervision of employees or other individuals, whether or not injury results, or any conduct, practice, or condition that impairs, or may impair, the ability to safely and skillfully engage in the practice of the health profession.”
His conduct also represented a departure from the minimum standards required to practice health, according to authorities.
“(Abed’s) conduct as described above demonstrates a lack of good moral character,” the complaint reads.
Practicing with suspended license
Nessel said Abed is facing a felony charge after he continued to practice despite the summary suspension order against him.
After the administrative complaint was filed May 17, LARA issued a summary suspension of his license to practice medicine on May 23, officials said. That suspension was served the following day, according to authorities.
Nessel’s office and LARA continued to investigate Abed, and learned he had treated a patient at his clinic on May 28, they said.
“A physician who knowingly violates the inherent trust patients place in their doctors does irreparable damage,” Nessel said. “I encourage anyone with concerns about the conduct and practices of this physician to report their concerns to my department.”
Abed was charged with one count of unauthorized practice of a health profession at 61st District Court in Kent County. Unauthorized practice of a health profession is a four-year felony, Nessel said.
Abed was arraigned Tuesday and given a $1,000 cash bond.
A probable cause conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. July 12.
Former patients of Abed can contact the Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division Hotline at 1-800-24-ABUSE.