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Calif. surgeon disciplined for removing wrong kidney from inmate

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A California surgeon has been disciplined for removing a prison inmate's healthy kidney and leaving the diseased one intact.

The Orange County Register reported Tuesday that Dr. Charles Coonan Streit was placed on probation for three years by the state Medical Board.

The board said Streit, a urologist who has had his license for 41 years, relied on memory to decide which kidney to remove because he didn't have access to the patient's complete medical records.

The 2012 operation at Fullerton's St. Jude Medical Center involved a 59-year-old federal inmate. The hospital was fined $100,000 because CT scans were left in an office on the day of the surgery.

The inmate underwent a second procedure to have the tumor-laden kidney removed.

An attorney representing Streit did not reply to a message seeking comment.

Kidney mix-ups in the U.S. are not unprecedented. Earlier this year, a Texas man sued after he said surgeons mistakenly removed his healthy kidney instead of his cancerous one. Last year, a 76-year-old man had the wrong kidney removed by a surgeon at a prominent New York City hospital.