Fayette County

Lexington doctor accused of showing up to perform surgery while intoxicated

Theodore Gerstle is charged with public intoxication, according to jail records.
Theodore Gerstle is charged with public intoxication, according to jail records. WKYT

A Lexington doctor has been arrested after he allegedly showed up at a hospital to perform surgery while under the influence of alcohol, according to officials and media reports.

Plastic surgeon Theodore Gerstle, of Lexington Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, got to Baptist Health Lexington around noon to perform a surgery, but it was reported to hospital staff that he was intoxicated, hospital spokesman Ruth Ann Childers said. Per policy, the chief medical officer went to speak with Gerstle, who then walked from the facility. Hospital staff then called police to report what happened.

Gerstle was arrested a short time later on Shady Lane, which is not far from the hospital, according to WKYT, the Herald-Leader’s reporting partner. He is charged with public intoxication and being held in the Fayette County jail, according to jail records.

Gerstle is not an employee of Baptist Health Lexington, but had staff privileges and was able to perform procedures at the hospital, Childers said. Those privileges have been suspended as the hospital investigates the incident.

“Patient safety is always our number one concern, every day,” Childers said. “We take these things very seriously and it will be thoroughly investigated.”

  Comments