Southern Ill. VA to Resume Some Operations

MARION, Ill. (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs says it is resuming surgeries it considers minimally invasive at a southern Illinois medical center where such procedures were halted since 2007 after a spike in patient deaths.

The VA says the Marion site again will begin offering what the department calls “standard-level surgeries” that carry low complication risks. Those procedures include appendectomies, hernia repair and other procedures.

The facility had been under intense scrutiny since August 2007, when a surgeon resigned after a patient bled to death following gall bladder surgery. All inpatient surgeries were suspended within a month.

Investigators later found at least nine deaths between October 2006 and March 2007 resulted from substandard care.

The medical center serves veterans in portions of Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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