Baltimore Laser Eye Surgeon Dr. John Kiely Faces Lawsuit Over Unnecessary Procedures

Donald Saiontz

By Donald Saiontz
Posted March 17, 2011


Dr. John A. Kiely, a Baltimore laser eye surgeon, faces a federal fraud lawsuit for allegedly performing eye surgery on patients who did not need it. As a result of the unnecessary procedures, at least on patient reportedly went blind in one eye, when she should have been referred to another doctor for a different procedure.

According to a report by The Baltimore Sun, Dr. Kiely performed hundreds of inappropriate laser eye surgery procedures at an outpatient clinic run by Bon Secours Hospital between October 29, 2002 and April 14, 2009. In a five-count lawsuit filed on March 11 by the U.S. government, it is alleged that Dr. Kiely billed Medicare and Medicaid for hundreds of medically unnecessary eye procedures.

The government says that Kiely performed Argon Laser Trabesculoplasty (ALT) and Lysis of Adhesions (LOA) surgeries on a group of about three dozen patients.

Argon Laser Trabesculoplasty (ALT) is used to correct vision problems caused by open-angle glaucoma. It is usually not performed more than twice on a patient and usually only on one eye. The lawsuit claims Kiely performed the operation more than two times on each eye of some of his patients, and in some cases performed it on patients who did not even need the first procedure.

Lysis of Adhesions (LOA) is used to treat a rare complication from cataract surgery. Kiely performed the laser surgery procedure 1,140 times over the last five years; 18 times more than any other doctor in the state of Maryland. He also performed it on both eyes and more than twice per eye per patient, according to the lawsuit.

All of the charges stem from Kiely’s work at the outpatient clinic for Bon Secours, where he worked as an independent contractor. Kiely’s primary ophthalmology practice was located at Mercy Medical Center, but the charges brought by the U.S. government only focus on laser eye surgery procedures performed at Bon Secours.

The charges come at a time when another Maryland doctor is also under investigation for performing unnecessary medical procedures. Dr. Mark Midei is at the center of an ongoing coronary heart stent scandal at St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Maryland, which removed Midei after an investigation revealed that he may have implanted nearly 600 unneeded stents in patients from 2007 through mid-2009.


The medical malpractice lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent a number of individuals who are pursuing a St. Joseph stent lawsuit as a result of the unnecessary heart procedures performed by Dr. Mark Midei.

The potential for lawsuits against Dr. Kiely and Bon Secours are also being evaluated for individuals who have experienced serious problems as a result of an unnecessary eye surgery. To review a potential claim, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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