Report: #821024

Complaint Review: Dr . Joshua Halpern

  • Submitted: Wed, January 11, 2012
  • Updated: Thu, May 08, 2014
  • Reported By: MLT — tampa Florida United States of America
  • Dr . Joshua Halpern
    4214 N. Habana Ave
    Tampa, Florida
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Dr. Halpern and his staff were all very nice to me, but the Dr.'s work was not very professional at all. When it comes to procedures he knows, like breast augmentation, I guess he does okay. But be weary, because any unique or less common procedures he is not very good at and uses outdated techniques.

He did a procedure which left me at 20 years old with wrinkles under my eyes of a 40-year-old. I went to other doctors to get it fixed, but it is not possible. Furthermore, all of the other doctors couldn't believe that Dr. Halpern operated from the outside of the face instead of the inside....they said that doctors hardly ever do that because it is obvious to any other doctor that scarring and damaged skin are almost unavoidable.

By the way, Dr. Halpern asked me before the surgery if I want him to operate from the outside or the inside, I distinctly said the inside, but he either ignored me or chose to have selective hearing. If you go to this doctor, be sure to do your homework and find out if his operating method is an outdated one. Get second and third opinions. You don't want to prematurely age yourself like I did. Now I'm scarred for life and permanently look 20 years older thanks to Dr. Halpern. (By the way, I tried contacting him, and was very polite in my attempts, but he refused to respond to me; you are now forewarned).

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/11/2012 04:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 General Comment

Doctors make mistakes

AUTHOR: cinephile - ()

It is sad that so many people seem to want to attack the woman who made this report. Just because one surgery turns out well for one, doesn't mean the doctor is great and vice versa. It also doesn't mean the person who makes the report should be attacked.


I had surgery in 2009 by a big name cranio-facial surgeon in Miami. Yes, he had credentials out the wazoo. Yet, he botched my surgery badly. First, though I went to see him twice to make sure we were on the same page, and did my due dilience, this guy's ego was huge and he wanted so badly to do a precedure that wasn't right for me. It was contraindicated. I asked a bunch of questions and he lied outright and mislead. I had surgery wtih him in the past, so I also trusted him.

 This guy love an audience. He is a cranio-facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Wolfe, who is accustomed to all those UM medical students coming in groups to watch him in the OR and it's a big kick for him. He had no business doing a procedure on me, then CUT FROM THE OUTSIDE though he pledged everything would be done from teh inside and he puit in so much fascia -- as one other surgeon put it, Dr. Wolfe "got lost" and just kept putting in more and more fascia that he injured my motor nerve, he caused inflammation (and trenemdous pain) and it damaged my skin and stretched it out. Yes, that can happen.

I have areas of scarring that is tethered down, those scars are the MOST difficult to deal with. STill, five years later, that is the ONLY area on my face where I have creases becuase of the scarring tacks down, grabbing the facia beneath and causing creases which look like scars or wrinkles. He didn't even do both sides evenly.

His ego got in the way. He failed to fully inform me. He left me with nerve damage and scars. Sue him? You bet I tried to. But if you think getting a malpractice suit against any doctor in Florida is easy, think again. First, if they don't carry malpractice insurance, no lawyer will take it. Up until a few months ago, people were limited in how much they could sue for pain and suffering -- and sadly in cases of damage to the face, that is where most suffering is caused by, the horrible scaring and loss of nerve movement. I look bizarre when I speak because the nerves to my lower lip are damaged and those don't get better.

I don't know how Wolfe can live with himself, but he does. He conttinues to do surgery, and rationalizes it. That is what so many do, they rationalize it because if they really thought about how they've destroyed someone's life, they could not bear it. Wolfe has otherwise done wonderful work on children born with cleft palates, so yes, he's done good jobs on other surgery.

But you are naive if you don't think these people let ego get in the way, or want money bad enough they'll do a procedure they really don't know how to or can't, and know that being sued is next to impossible, so they just go on and do it. What needs to happen is more changes to make these cowboys easier to be held accountable. I contacted more than a dozen lawyers, and all said you are limited in what you can collect, and suing is expensive blah blah blah. It is true. Suing a physician no matter how egregious the malpractice, is pretty darn hard.

No lawyer takes a case unless they have a slam dunk one and will make a certain amount of money. It's all a racket and who sufffers? We patients. And no, don't go and say oh file a complaint with the board of medicine. Please. Those people do nothing. There is one man on there who has been on that board for at least 30 years -- why? They don't rock the boat. Florida is notorious for its failure to protect consumers even medical ones.

Be thankful that there are forums like this beccause though your surgery went well, it doesn't mean that if you want something that doctor should  not do, your surgery will go well. Doctors especially plastic surgeons, should be honest when a patient comes in asking if they are able to do a procedure they've never done before. These aren't cover by insurance. They will take your money, and too many won't care if you are hurt.

My God people wake up. Oh and by the way, in 2004 I had a common procedure done by this doctor Halpern, and he left small scars which were not supposed to be there he's supposed to be the doctor who does the endoscopic surgery -- no incision, no big incision -- he cut my muscles and they atrophied. They returned with much exercise but I was never the same. I wish I had access to this. For facial surgery, go elsewhere. Bottom line, go elsewhere.


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#2 Author of original report

More detail

AUTHOR: MariaLT - ()

For the comment below that asked for more information, I will tell you that the surgery was selective (facial implants). The doctor had two options: he could have inserted the implants through the inside of the mouth (to avoid scars) or through incisions just below the eyes, which would cause external scars. I chose the former. However, after the surgery I found out that my request was not followed. This left me with scarred tissue under the eyes that stretched and caused deep, unnatural wrinkles. Yes, it's not the end of the world, I know, still, had I known that I would have these scars under my eyes; I would not have opted for the surgery at all. And yes, I contacted the doctor about it. In his defense, he advised me that if I was so unhappy with the results after 12 months, he would remove the implants free of charge. However, I learned that the scars under my eyes and the subsequent wrinkles caused by stretched skin would never go away. I attempted to contact the doctor again two years later, still concerned about the scars. He told me that the wrinkles were something natural that come with age, even for a 22-year-old and he could do another procedure for that, I would have to pay, of course (even though other doctors agreed that the deep, unnatural wrinkles were a direct result of the stretched skin from the scars not my age). After that, any other letters I wrote to the doctor requesting for some kind of a solution were simply ignored.

I could not have sued because I signed a waiver. Furthermore, he did not do anything illegal. The doctor just did a sloppy job and used a process for the surgery that I found out most other doctors have abandoned. I asked other doctors if they would testify if I was to file charges. They advised me that the issue was not extremely serious, the procedure was legal even if outdated, and that most plastic surgeons do not testify against each other, even if in secret they disagree with their colleague. This is exactly what I was told.

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#3 Author of original report

One more thing

AUTHOR: MariaLT - ()

For the comment below that asked for more information, I will tell you that the surgery was selective (facial implants). And yes, I contacted the doctor about it. In his defense, he advised me that if I was unhappy with the results after 12 months, he would remove the implants free of charge. However, I learned that the scars under my eyes and the subsequent wrinkles caused by the stretched skin from the scarred tissue would never go away, even with the implants removed. I attempted to contact the doctor again two years later, still concerned about the scars/wrinkles. He told me that the wrinkles under my eyes were something natural at my age (22) and he could do another procedure to reduce/eliminate them (for a fee, of course). However, in an attempt to get the truth about the cause of these deep unnatural wrinkles under my eyes, I went to see other specialists for their opinions. To the other doctors, it was crystal clear that the wrinkles were a direct result of the scarred and stretched tissue under my eyes. Any other letters that I wrote to Dr. Joshua Halpern's office after that were simply ignored.

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#4 Author of original report

Detail update

AUTHOR: MariaLT - ()

When I say the doctor gave me wrinkles under my eyes, perhaps that is an understatement. The truth is that he made scars under my eyes (he put stiches there, something that all the other doctors I consulted said they would never have done), and because of the scars, the skin stretched and now looks ridiculous (it has nothing to do with good genes or eating right, as one of the comments suggests below). Apparently, most doctors nowadays never operate from the outside of the face unless there is no other option. In my case, the doctor could have operated from inside the mouth, but he chose not to. That was an option that was given to me, but when I opted for it, apparently, I was ignored. And the reason that I can’t press charges is because I signed a waiver. Furthermore, technically speaking, the doctor did not do anything illegal. He did the procedure I asked for, but just a very sloppy job of it, that’s all. Like I said before, if you are going for the typical breast augmentation surgery or something that is a very common procedure, I am sure that this doctor will do a fine job. But any procedures out of the ordinary, I recommend that you do your homework and make sure that your doctor has performed that unique procedure many times before in his career before the surgery is performed on you. This is where I went wrong.

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#5 Author of original report

more detail

AUTHOR: ptc - ()

the proceedure

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#6 General Comment

Think loooong and hard

AUTHOR: Why can't people just act normal on here? - ()

To the post regarding Dr Halpern.... I've never met the poster or the physician... I'm simply pointing out some important details. Again, I know neither party. 

I read the posters complaint and there seems to be a lack of detail. I am in no way stating that this didn't happen exactly the way SHE believes/described it. Remember, this is THE POSTERS REALITY-right or wrong.

But if this was so bad why haven't you filed suit? I ask that in all seriousness; your consent form must've... by law... have the procedure on it-in detail-and it's your job to review this document prior to the procedure and the procedure cannot be performed without you written consent. (Unless it's an unusual situation in which verbal consent was provided (and subsequently witnessed by 2 or more registered nurses-or more). 

You mention other physicians, if in fact they were as disgusted as you claim they were, I imagine they would probably help you in what clearly is a lawsuit.... especially if the consent form had the 'inside' procedure listed on it, in print. 

Please provide more details... ie, what exactly you had done (and why, given your young age), was this an aesthetic procedure or reparative, say from an accident or genetic anomaly? Also, please state whether you've discussed the issues you have with Dr Halpern, himself? If so, what was his response? 

I look forward to your response. You see, I am in search of a good mastopexy surgeon AND hand surgeon and I am very interested in learning more about Dr Halpern. 

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#7 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Stacey - (U.S.A.)

What does a 20 year old need wrinkle surgery for?? And where do you get the money for said surgery?? I am in my 40s and have no wrinkles period - called good genes, exercise and plenty of water.
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#8 Consumer Comment

Hard to believe

AUTHOR: anonymus - (United States of America)

I find the complaint below hard to believe. I had surgery with Dr Halpern back in February  (breast augmentation) He addressed every concern and questions I had. He did an amazing job and I had no bruising at all. Everything he told me to expect was correct. I had my surgery done on a Friday and was up walking around that night and back to work on Wednesday. I only took pain medicine for one to two days. He does everything possible ahead of time to prevent nausea and any discomfort. I didn't ever go to any other consults with any other doctors because as soon as I met him, I knew he would be the one doing my surgery. I would highly recommend Dr Halpern without any hesitation.
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