SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento surgeon has been reprimanded by the state medical board for suggesting a patient try oral sex to improve her gag reflex.

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The unnamed patient was hesitant to undergo an upper-gastrointestinal endoscopy. The procedure would require a scope going from someone’s mouth into their intestinal tract.

She told Sacramento Dr. J. Peter Zegarra that she “gags at the dentist” and didn’t want the procedure.

That’s when the doctor suggested in front of her husband, “She should be practicing twice a week on her husband by giving him (oral sex) to address her gagging reflex.”

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“This constituted unprofessional conduct, and so this is a message that this probably wasn’t appropriate,” said Cassandra Hockenson, with the California Medical Board. “A more appropriate response should have come with regards to dealing with her gag reflex issues.”

Even if it was a playful suggestion, the medical board says that’s no defense.

We stopped by Dr. Zegarra’s Sacramento-area office for comment and was told he was in surgery. He never got back to us.

But the agency that oversees complaints against doctors is glad the patient reached out to them after hearing the shocking suggestion.

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“We encourage people to come forward, and I applaud her for coming forward and saying something,” Hockenson said.