A doctor who cut off a woman's infected nipples was reprimanded yesterday after the move led to 'shocking' deformity. General practitioner Dr John Wan Chun-ming, 46, was found guilty of professional misconduct by the Medical Council after a woman complained he had excised almost all of her nipples. Dr Wan denied he had failed to consider the psychological impact of the surgery, explain the procedure or provide proper care. He suggested the operation after the woman sought treatment for a recurring and painful infection on December 11, 1995. The procedure was carried out under local anaesthetic in his clinic five days later. Prosecutor Jenny Fung Mei-fung said the patient was shocked by the outcome of the surgery which reduced her nipples to stumps. She said Dr Wan did not discuss alternative treatment, reconstruction or whether the operation was urgent. Ms Fung said he did not make a thorough assessment before deciding on surgery. 'He neglected his professional duties as the excision was inappropriate,' she said. Professor Walter King Wing-keung, breast unit chief of the Prince of Wales Hospital, told the council that nipples were only usually removed when cancerous. 'If I was treating this patient I would have repeated the treatments again before any surgical intervention,' he said. 'Should surgery be required that causes deformity to part of the anatomy of a single young woman it can cause great distress and psychological advice should be considered.' Medical Council chairman Professor Felice Lieh-Mak said although the misconduct was 'not on the worst end of the scale', the case involved sensitive areas of the human anatomy which could cause psychological wounds. 'The defendant did not give due consideration to the psychological impact [on] the patient,' she said. She said the reprimand would be published in the Government Gazette.