Tuesday, March 30, 2010




Here is an update on Dr. Joffe, previously from Canada an now back in Mexico.  Be careful in choosing your doctors, please.


A weight-loss surgeon whose Ontario medical licence was revoked for sexually abusing four female patients has been recruiting new patients from Fort McMurray to his institute in Mexico.
An Edmonton clinical ethicist said the "egregious" behaviour of Mexican surgeon Dr. Jacobo "Jacob" Joffe while practising in Ontario highlights the potential risks of "medical tourism."
"Would I be worried as a patient? Absolutely," said Brendan Leier, an assistant clinical professor with the University of Alberta's John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre.
"Unfortunately there is no mechanism, when you travel across a border, to protect Canadian patients and it sounds like the Mexican licensing bodies see the issue differently in terms of having a second chance to treat," Leier said.
A CBC News investigation found that over the last 15 years, at least 250 doctors have been disciplined across the country for a litany of patient boundary offences. Two-thirds were allowed to continue practising, and of those who lost their licences, CBC News discovered three, including Joffe, who moved to other countries to practise medicine.
Joffe is a general surgeon who specializes in weight-loss operations like gastric sleeve and gastric bypass surgery. He practised in Scarborough until December 2008 when the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons revoked his medical licence for sexual abusing four female patients over a period of several years.
Joffe did not contest the findings of the college's internal investigation, but those findings only apply to that specific hearing.
The committee found: he hugged and kissed some patients on their lips and told them how sexually attractive they were; had sex with patients regularly at his office, in the hospital and at their homes; and induced one woman to obtain illicit drugs, which he then used with the patient and another female patient.
Brendan Leier
Clinical ethicist Brendan Leier says patients considering “medical tourism” should first thoroughly research their potential doctors. (ualberta.ca)
The college also found Joffe engaged in sexual threesomes with two of his female patients while using drugs.
The college said Joffe knew his behaviour was unprofessional because he actively encouraged the women to conceal their relationships.
"The (disciplinary) committee had particular regard for the poignant description of the effects experienced by patients noted in their respective victim impact statements, which included humiliation, distortion of normal social relationships, fear of hospitals and physicians, destruction of family relationships, depression, psychological problems and employment problems."
The college levied a fine of $40,000 against Joffe to be used for the women's counselling.
The hospital in Scarborough, and Joffe, later settled a $12-million lawsuit with the patients.

"Preyed" upon patients

At his public reprimand hearing in 2013, as reported by The Toronto Star, a committee member excoriated Joffe.
"Your actions were utterly self-serving," Dr. Marc Gabel said. "You preyed upon the vulnerabilities of these patients and misused the trust that they had in you."
Joffe did not respond to interview requests from CBC Edmonton but in a previous discussion with a CBC Manitoba producer he expressed no remorse for his previous behaviour. Instead, he appealed to the producer's sense of humanity while asking that he not be named in a story.
"It has taken me a long time to get over the disaster in how this played in my life, and how much damage, mentally and physically, this had to do with me and in my life," Joffe said. "It has taken me so long. I mean, it is already seven years and it is not easy, okay?"
After the Ontario college revoked his licence in 2008, Joffe moved to Mexico, where he is a citizen and had received his medical degree, and opened the Advanced Metabolic and Bariatric Institute in Guadalajara.
A spokeswoman for the Ontario college said it notified the Mexican regulatory authority of Joffe's licence revocation, including the disciplinary committee's findings.
His website references a recruitment seminar in Fort McMurray in April 2012 and the institute's Facebook site featured a photo of Joffe with more than a dozen patients from there.
The website features many "success stories" of past patients, which praise Dr. Joffe and his care. Eleven of the 22 testimonials are by patients from from Fort McMurray who paid up to $15,000 for surgery, which includes airfare and accommodation costs. There are also video testimonials from Fort McMurray patients posted on YouTube.

Patients praise surgeon

CBC Edmonton contacted seven patients from Fort McMurray; only one responded.
Kelly Eby
Kelly Eby of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta says the college has no specific rules governing patient referrals to specialists.
In an email, Ria Ryan said she was "fully aware of Dr. Joffe's situation in Ontario before I booked an appointment with him for my surgery.
"He came highly recommended from a friend," Ryan said. "I received excellent care in Mexico and I came away respecting Dr. Joffe as a surgeon and a person."
In one testimonial, a Fort McMurray man said he was referred to Joffe by his local doctor. He did not respond to interview requests.
Kelly Eby of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta said she could not comment on a specific case, but she said the college has no specific rules governing the referral of patients to specialists.
"Any time a family physician refers a patient to a specialist, we have an expectation that that family physician knows that the physician they are referring to has a good quality of practice, they will treat the patients well," she said.


I realize I usually post about doctors in this section but now I have to write about Netrition.com.

I can no longer suggest your using their services. I had no idea how underhanded and lowly these people are. They own a low carb message board and don't tell you they own it, edit posts to suit their needs without telling the poster, and overall are just THE most unprofessional company I do believe I have ever purchased from. I tried calling and was hung up on. I called back to find out the name of the person that hung up on me so I could write a proper letter of complaint and was told by Frank, the office manager for customer service that I don't need that information.

Be very careful of working with such unprofessional people.


More updates on 1800 GET THIN & 1800 GET SLIM

www.ripoffreport.com/weightloss-programs/1800-get-thin/1800- get-thin-1-800-get-thin-8c886.htm

articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/03/business/la-fi-lap-band-201 10203


latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/12/michael-hiltzik-a- death-and-1-800-get-thin.html


Please be aware that Thomas Umbach, MD in Las Vegas, NV sells collagen protein tablets to prevent excess skin and cellulite. This does not work, there is no known peer reviewed journal article that supports this. Excess skin is damaged skin, it's like taking these same tablets to fix damaged hair. Once it is damaged, it is damaged. It is stretched, it has lost elasticity, and the only true fix is removing the excess skin if you really don't want it. Please don't waste your money. It is bad enough that stores sell us snake oil, it is unfortunate when a bariatric surgeon does the same thing.

Collagen is great for injecting under the skin to fill small folds, but tablet versions will not work! It will not do a thing for your thighs or stomach but it will do a great deal for his wallet.

Here is one of Dr. Umbach's patients, read carefully and do your research!



Please note that Dr. Ariel Ortiz in Tijuana, MX is claiming to have been doing sleeves for over a year, he claims over 300 sleeves. Considering he just went to my surgeon a couple of months ago to start his training in sleeves and as of six months ago he was refusing to do sleeves saying it was nothing more than stomach mutilation, it's highly unlikely he was 'mutilating' stomachs a year ago. I'd venture a guess he has less than 10 sleeves. Be careful, use common sense, find those 300 sleeve patients, heck... find 20! If he's doing almost one a day they should be posting like crazy on the boards. Do you know any? I don't. Doctors will claim any stats because if they tell you the truth that they have zippo sleeve/staple line experience, would YOU go to them? They know this so many doctors inflate their stats. RESEARCH! It's critical to your health.

If you call his office his staff will tell you I am dishonest, a troll, and use multiple IDs. Read my posts for yourself, I am not a troll. I have changed my ID from MidwesternGirl on OH to my usual, WASaBubbleButt. It's right in my sig on every single post I write, "Previously MidwesternGirl." How is that trolling? They also claim I work for my doctor, that is a flat out lie. It's just a con job, they try to discredit me instead of being honest about his stats. They are trying to sell you surgery, I sell nothing. Look for yourself, am I selling anything on this blog? In my posts? No, I am not. What do I have to gain by your believing me over someone trying to sell you a very expensive surgery type?

Just do your research.


1 800 GET THIN and 1 800 GET SLIM - WARNING:

From the news article:

Brooks had surgery to implant a lap-band -- a silicone ring fitted around the upper stomach to suppress appetite -- last June 5 at a surgical facility in Beverly Hills operated by Top Surgeons, the sponsor of those 1-800-GET-THIN and 1-800-GET-SLIM billboards that have become as inescapable on Southern California freeways as smog in summer. He was sent home to Perris with a prescription for oxycodone painkiller and instructions to return in a week.

Three days later, Brooks was dead. At the autopsy, a Riverside County coroner found stomach contents leaking around the edges of the lap-band and more than a liter of pus in his abdomen. On her report she listed the cause of death as "peritonitis due to lap-band procedure due to obesity."

Read more here:


***EDIT*** 2/18/11 A FORTH Lap Band patient has died as a result of this clinic. Yes, folks... that is FOUR people, dead, due to the actions of these doctors. Please read the following article:



Dr. Christine Ren of NYU has admitted altering medical records to hide the fact that she and her husband, Dr. George Fielding, were using unlicensed physicians in the operating room and for follow up care of WLS patients. It is thought that this is one reason one of her patients passed away (her Med Malpractice paid out $973,000 to the estate of the patient). Dr. Neelu Pal, the doctor that was the whistle blower is currently suing because Drs. Ren and Fielding were able to get her fired for telling what she knew.

See more here:



Please be aware that Dr. Jacob Joffe, previously a licensed surgeon in Canada, has moved to Mexico and is practicing there. He has a long history of sexually assaulting his bariatric patients.



Don't be a victim!

Please be aware of a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico (MISTER Betancourt) that has been harming people left and right. As of this writing in the last six months they have had over 50 infections, over 10 staple line leaks, perforated stomachs, spleens, and livers. These are more complications than most surgeons have in an entire career.

They claim to be a licensed hospital. They are an unlicensed clinic. They recently "purchased" a license from the Mexican government, as Mr. Betancourt boasts.

They claim the owner is a Medical Doctor, he has yet to even finish Jr. high school.

They claim the surgeon, Almanza, is board certified in surgery, he is NOT board certified in surgery.

There are fantastic surgeons in every country and there are butchers in every country. The US is no different and you are not assured of having a safe surgery merely by staying in the US. I do not care if you have your surgery in the US, Mexico, India, or in outer space - research is key. Do not ignore the bad because the price is right. This is your life and you owe it to your family to go to an experienced, skilled surgeon that has earned a positive reputation.

Sandy Johnston is a big promoter of Hospital Jerusalem, aka Mr. Betancourt, aka Betancourt Medical, aka Mt. Zion aka Emmanuel. She will try to talk you into surgery with a dangerous surgeon. She makes around $1500 off your surgery if you go to Almanza. She has posted a fake medical license for Mr. Betancourt, she has claimed that Dr. Almanza is board certified in surgery (he is not), she has claimed that in Mexico things are done differently, if you want to be board certified you pay a website and you are board certified. This is not accurate. To be board certified in Mexico you do it exactly like in the US, you pay a fee to take a test, if you pass the test you are board certified.

She attempts to discredit my push to do your research by claiming I am a coordinator and that I only push my doctor on various weight loss boards. If you will see my posts I don't recall ever starting a thread about my doctor, the only time I discuss my doctor is when specifically asked, and when asked who is good I offer three names of doctors I would personally be willing to go to in Mexico, not one.

For the past few months she has claimed to many people via PM and phone calls that she and I are in federal court in litigation. This is flat out - a lie. I live in Mexico, if we were in federal court wouldn't she be somewhat aware that I don't even live in the United States? She was unaware I was living in Mexico when she was making these bogus claims. It was another attempt to discredit me for pushing YOU to do your research before having major surgery in any country.

My question for Sandy would be this, why does Sandy try so very hard to discredit someone encouraging that you research your surgeon instead of just trusting any coordinator to tell you what you need to know? A coordinator's job is to sell surgery. Period. (Think 'used car' salesman.) If you do not have surgery through the doctor they are pushing, they do not make money. If the surgeon they work for is so great, why the push to discredit someone encouraging research?

I do not push any one surgeon, I do push research, it is pretty much my mantra.

Sandy Johnston is not honest about Dr. Almanza, Mr. Betancourt, or me. I have let this go for far too long, now I am speaking out.

Do your research.


Russell said...

Jerusalem/Emmanuel right?

WASaBubbleButt said...


The name of the month club. :o(

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Razzamatoot said...

Please tell me its not Dr. Verboonen...?

WASaBubbleButt said...

No, to be honest Dr. Verboonen has finished his prison time in the US prison system.


Anonymous said...

Who is the surgeon? I'm very worried because I'm looking for a surgeon. If he is that bad I want to avoid him. Can you share the name so I won't choose this one?

Lisa said...

Good info. Thanks for sharing!

Amy said...

Hey, just found your blog - and read all your posts. I've got a VSG scheduled on May 25th in Vienna, Austria. Naturally all the other people here who have been having them done are German speakers - I'm an American. I've read all the forums too but your blog ties things together so well, with info-packed pages I can bookmark (better than 30-page forum threads by far!) And your approach to life sounds like mine, no BS all the way.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!! I'll be back!

WASaBubbleButt said...


Thanks for the great comments!

Good luck with your sleeve~