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Vicki Belo Charged with Quack Medical Practice on Josefina Norcio's Botched Butt Job

Lu Tong Mancau is ecstatic not from ecstasy drug but what he thinks was a juicy affair of Vicki Belo of the BMG (Belo Medical Group) that turned to disappointment when he found out that it was not about Vicki Belo’s missing sex tape but about the botched butt job in using a juice like substance Hydrogel in implantation/injection procedure.
Vicki 'Quack Doctor' BeloJosefina Norcio a businesswoman who is a regular at the BMG clinic for dermatological services and where she also refers her entertainers she fields abroad thought she was dealing with highly competent cosmetic surgeons. So in 1992 contemplated to have a butt augmentation procedure upon seeing Rosanna Roces testimonial on her well endowed and perfectly shaped round butt as the work of Dr. Vicki Belo of BMG. She decided to consult with BMG clinic at Tomas Morato in Quezon City with Vicki Belo herself if she can also safely have the same procedure.

According to the documents filed with the Philippine Regulatory Board after being assured enthusiastically by the famed Dr. Vicki Belo that it was a “safe procedure” she went ahead and consented to undergo the procedure at a whopping cost of P120K not realizing or expecting this would be her worse nightmare for years to come that will almost cost her, her life. Actually the cost is not as expensive compared to how much the procedure will cost you if done by well experienced licensed specialist in the US of A. Little did Josefina Norcio knew because of the assurance she got that the implant used to augment her butt known as Hydrogel is a banned substance in the US, Europe and China. Worse the substance is not even registered with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration meaning it did not undergo any laboratory tests, research and study and therefore is illegal.

Asymmetry or the unevenness of the butt cheeks is a problem that one faces in butt augmentation procedure even on those done through a liposuction procedure performed by expert cosmetic surgeons with experience to rearrange body fat for a rounder bigger butt. In the case of Norcio the doctors who performed the procedure were not even surgeons at the time of the operation so it is no surprise that Norcio had the result of having one cheek of her butt bigger than the other. A problem where those who had the asymmetry would have wished had not undergone in the first place or would have been better off with the shape of what they had before the procedure.

She could have resigned herself to that condition but the mesmerizing giant billboards of the 2 competing beauty doctors are so surreal that gives you the feeling that you are in a world surrounded by beautiful men and women with perfect complexion, features and well endowed body perhaps even enlarge dongs unless you have not heard of Louem Martinez dinged dong. One can easily get enticed to be part of the beauty and the beast errr best crowd of good looking people especially when you read and see print and visual endorsement by famous successful celebrities. Norcio’s confidence with BMG was again bolstered and was again enticed to undergo another “corrective” procedure 3 years later and paid P120K again thinking it will solve her problem coupled with the assurance given her by Dr. Francis Decangchon. She then instructed Dr. Francis Decangchon to inject her butt 30cc on one cheek and 50cc on the other side. Instead of following the instruction Dr. Decangchon who I suspect was a math student of Garci added 30 plus 50 thus injecting each butt cheek with 80cc each. Yikes, so now they are wondering why it sagged and ballooned when she had one to many Hydrogel that her butt can take and of course the infection exacerbated her deformity.

Ross Bautista, executive officer of the NBI office of the Deputy Director for Intelligence Services (DDIS) was quoted by an Inquirer report on their initial evaluation of the evidence: revealed negligence in the use of Hydrogel. The doctors who undertook the butt augmentation failed to ascertain the source of the Hydrogel as well as assess the material. They also found out that the patient was not properly informed or was not informed of the risk involve in the procedure.

Interesting finding I should say but that is the Philippines where proper disclosure seems to be unheard of so a patient is able to make informed decisions. There is definitely a risk of infection with butt augmentation since it is near the rectum, where a patient may die as in the case of Norcio who suffered from septic shock due to massive infection. Buttock implants is a very risky procedure which is discouraged by specialist as gleaned on this site:
Infection may happen after any surgery and may rarely occur after liposculpture. The rate of infection increases with in increase with the amounts of injected fat, as the risk of Seroma formation increases; but the overall rate still remains very low due to routine use of peri-operative antibiotics. On the other hand, there has been reported a significantly increased risk of infection with the use of buttock implants, which can be as high as 25-30%. This is most likely due to the vicinity of the incision to the rectum. Because of this, I usually discourage patients to have an implant unless they are fully aware of this serious risk and are very meticulous with their post operative care. If a mild infection develops it might be treated with antibiotics. Otherwise, the implant has to be removed, and the wound has to be left open for it to close gradually, which can take several weeks. Extremely rarely, infections may be serious or life threatening such as in cases of necrotizing fasciaitis (bacteria that eat away at the tissue) or with toxic shock syndrome, a serious, sometimes fatal infection caused by a bacteria, that is associated with surgery (such as is sometime caused by the use of tampons).
Why Vicki Belo a medical practitioner enthusiastically promotes and encourages this procedure seems really odd but then again one only has to read the legal documents filed by Norcio through her legal counsels Roberto “Argee” C. Guevarra and Rose Beatrix “Trixie” Cruz-Angeles to get a clue why it was so.

Some people are asking if Vicki Belo is a snake oil panacea saleswoman or a cosmetic surgeon. Well, she is neither a snake oil panacea saleswoman because a saleswoman only sells her product and a cosmetic surgeon has to meet the strict qualification of Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS) of which she is not even listed, to quote:
1. RESPONDENT DR. BELO IS AN UNLICENSED MEDICAL PRACTIONER IN THE FIELD OF COSMETIC SURGERY. Dr. Belo did not undergo adequate training and does not meet the standards and criteria set by the Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS) to be considered a medical practitioner in the field of cosmetic or aesthetic surgery which explains why she cannot engage in the practice of cosmetic surgery and is not certified and licensed to perform any cosmetic surgery procedures or to hold herself out to patients and to the general public as an expert in the field of cosmetic surgery.

Ms. Norcio was led to believe – through advertising -- that Dr. Belo was competent to advice her on the hyrdogel implantation procedure. Dr. Belo’s exhortations for her to undertake the procedure bore the weight of expertise to a layman like Ms. Norcio. Thus, Ms. Norcio confidently underwent the implantation procedure after hearing its virtues from Dr. Belo.

2. RESPONDENT DR. BELO IS A CHARLATAN. Not having been the one to perform the Hydrogel Butt Augmentation Procedure on Complainant Josefina Norcio, Respondent Dr. Belo engages in the unethical practice of “ghost doctoring” whereby a doctor purports to a patient that he/she will perform the surgical procedure only for the patient to find out that another doctor or a substitute doctor will be the one to actually perform the said procedure.3. RESPONDENT DR. BELO IS A QUACK DOCTOR. A quack doctor in medical parlance is described as a person who “makes fraudulent and false representation of a substance, device or a therapeutic system as being beneficial in treating a medical condition.” In this instance, Dr. Belo has represented the hydrogel butt augmentation procedure as being safe and permanent in producing a round full butt. The reality is dangerously different. Hydrogel nearly did kill complainant Josefina Norcio. It has left her with two open wounds, and a permanently disfigured butt.

Dr. Belo relied on the services of other doctors who were equally incompetent. She was aware that Drs. Ronaldo Cayetano and Francis Decangchon are not surgeons or were not surgeons at the time the procedures were conducted on Ms. Norcio. They operated on Ms. Norcio despite their lack of expertise or training to do so. Dr. Belo was well aware that given their lack of expertise, these doctors would be unable and incompetent to recognize their own mistakes. Dr. Belo also allowed these doctors to in turn allow complainant Ms. Norcio to believe that Drs. Cayetano and Decangchon had the competence and training to conduct surgery on her.

As it turns out, Dr. Belo’s tolerance of the malpractice of her doctors in the Belo Medical Group, particularly the fatal mistakes committed by the doctors of implanting so much hydrogel into Ms. Norcio make her liable directly for the results of those practices.

Finally, instead of reporting the lack of competence and quackery of Drs. Decangchon and Cayetano, Dr. Belo instead tolerated and encouraged their continuing deception on patients who relied on Dr. Belo’s assurance that the other doctors operating under the Belo Medical Group, have the training and expertise to practice on their bodies.
This is a very scary proposition especially for those contemplating to undergo cosmetic surgery procedure in the Philippines because it is cheap. The likelihood of getting what you paid for and the risk of falling into the hands of quack doctors is very real. What makes it worse as others whose operation was botched as in the case of Louem Martinez is it will be next to impossible to seek damages since Philippine doctors does not have medical malpractice insurance. Victims of Quack doctors has a hard time filling a case to seek redress because of the social stigma attached to it and worse are subjected to further indignities by the other side’s legal counsel uncalled for sarcasm. This is exactly what Adel Tamano is trying to do paint a negative picture on the victim asking for P200M that Trixie Cruz-Angeles posted at Facebook regarding said matter. I would ask for more if I was in Norcio’s shoes and I believe it was cruel, callous and insensitive in my response to Trixie’s posting to which she responds below:
The victim here is still not healed. It will take two years. She is permanently disfigured. Doctors can attempt to reconstruct only after two years, and reconstructive surgery is likely still experimental.

Can you imagine that she was in so much pain, she actually asked to die? And she nearly did. Can Adel Tamano pay for that much pain? How much does he think she is worth?

You're right. Cruel, callous, insensitive, snide, malicious, irresponsible...

Patients in the Philippines especially those who suffered through criminal negligence, incompetence and fraud are on the losing end. They are treated like a commodity or in this case as if her butt augmentation was a case of fixing a car part installation that can be pulled out of the shop for them to correct their stupid mistake. Norcio went broke selling most of her properties to pay for life threatening medical emergency that was caused by the botched butt augmentation.

Since she is deep in debt and could not pay for her medical bills at St. Luke’s Hospital she instructed her fiancée Jun Calle to appeal for financial assistance from BMG. As if it was a simple case of a car repair Dr. Filipino Bunag Medical Director of BMG stated that they can only help Norcio if she drops her attending physician Dr. Lawrence Loh and check out at the St. Luke’s Hospital so she can be treated at the BMG clinic. Mr. Calle then urge BMG to send a competent representative to asses her condition if that is even possible to which the representative Dr. Alcantara after several text message finally arrived late saw that she was immobile and in a prone position and observed she should not or could not be moved out of St. Luke’s without endangering her life. Since it was not in their guidelines, Norcio did not get any financial assistance form BMG.

Patients in the Philippines are the most abused and at the mercy of practitioners who are not even qualified to do the job they claimed was their expertise. Looking at Norcio’s experience it is just so pathetic that it was the patient responsibility through their representatives who follows up to plead and get their medical records to hand over to the attending emergency physician is just preposterous. Who in his right mind will go through that kind of hellish life and death experience when medical records should be automatically released to the attending physicians? Unless the medical associations steps in to cleanse their ranks medical tourism in the Philippines will die of quackery and surely validate the fiction of the dialogue of the Desperate Housewife that elicited so much furor over the internet.

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