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Ozempic in Canada: Diabetes drug being used for weight loss – CTV News



Ozempic, a medication created for those with Type 2 diabetes, is being touted by celebrities and social media influencers for its weight-loss benefits – and it appears a growing number of Canadians are taking it to shift the pounds.

Nearly 100 Canadians reached out to to share their experiences with losing weight while taking the drug. Most respondents said they have lost dozens of pounds after taking Ozempic for months and, in some cases, years.

Several users reported losing about one kilogram per week soon after starting the drug.


Respondents ranged from 19 to 75 years of age and a large portion said they had been living with obesity before taking Ozempic, which was prescribed by their doctor for weight loss. The emailed responses have not all been independently verified.

By the time Lauren Miller started taking Ozempic to lose weight, she had tried just about everything else, she said.

“I was a very active person. I would run regularly, I ate very healthy … I never drank, never smoked,” the 41-year-old told in a telephone interview on Feb. 27. “But no matter what I did, I would always continue to gain weight … I was always hungry no matter what I ate.”

Although Miller was not diabetic, her endocrinologist still suggested she take Ozempic. Since she started on the drug in January 2020, Miller’s weight dropped from about 103 kilograms (228 pounds) to 81 kilograms (179 pounds). Before taking Ozempic, Miller had a BMI of 35.7 and was living with obesity. Her BMI is now 27.9 and she is considered overweight.

Lauren Miller appears in this composite photo. The image on the left was taken in February 2019 and the image on the right was taken in January 2023.

“I’m getting the energy back … and feeling comfortable in my skin again,” the Ottawa resident said. “It’s absolutely changed my life.”

Since she began taking Ozempic on Feb. 12, Melissa Sanderson-Alsbergas has lost three kilograms (seven pounds).

The 29-year-old from Kitchener, Ont. said her doctor prescribed Ozempic to help her lose weight. She does not have diabetes and is currently living with obesity, hoping to bring her weight down to 185 pounds.

Sanderson-Alsbergas suffers from postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), an autonomic nervous system disorder that affects a person’s heart rate. Her condition makes physical activity a challenge, she said.

“I live a more sedentary lifestyle because of my chronic illness [and] it makes it a lot harder to lose weight just eating healthy,” she told in a telephone interview on Feb. 28.

Aside from some nausea and light bruising around her injection site, Sanderson-Alsbergas said she has not experienced many side-effects when taking Ozempic. “So far, so good,” she said.

Melissa Sanderson-Alsbergas appears in this photo taken in July 2022.


Ozempic is an injectable medication produced by drug manufacturer Novo Nordisk and administered once a week. It contains semaglutide, which is similar to the GLP-1 hormone naturally produced in the intestines, explains Dr. Jordanna Kapeluto, an endocrinologist and clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia.

Also known as glucagon-like peptide 1, the GLP-1 hormone works with the pancreas to release insulin and balance blood glucose levels.

Semaglutide medications, such as Ozempic, can reduce food cravings and appetite by sending signals to the brain, which can result in weight loss, Kapeluto said. These medications also cause a delay in gastric emptying, which refers to the time it takes for food to move through the stomach. This can lower blood glucose levels after a meal.

“For certain individuals, their brain cannot stop sending signals [saying] that they have to eat,” Kapeluto told in a telephone interview on March 3. “When you’re on [Ozempic], it’s controlling those signals that are leading to weight gain.”


While Ozempic was approved by Health Canada in 2018 for adults with Type 2 diabetes to help patients manage their blood sugar levels, the medication has not been approved for weight loss in Canada or anywhere else in the world. Novo Nordisk Canada wrote in an email to on Feb. 22 that “Ozempic is not approved for chronic weight management.”

However, under the brand name Wegovy, Ozempic’s main active ingredient, semaglutide, was authorized by Health Canada for weight loss among those living with obesity. Wegovy is also manufactured by Novo Nordisk.

Wegovy is not currently available in Canada due to “an unprecedented demand” for the medication in the United States, according to Novo Nordisk Canada. Because of this, it is common for physicians who specialize in obesity management to prescribe Ozempic for weight loss, even though patients may not have diabetes, said Dr. Tasneem Sajwani, medical director at the Edmonton Weight Management Centre and Family Practice.

Prescribing medications for purposes not authorized by Health Canada is known as off-label drug use.

According to Health Canada, provinces and territories can use approved health products outside the scope of their label in certain cases. In an email to on March 2, the agency described this as “practice of medicine,” which takes into account a physician’s diagnosis of the patient’s symptoms when deciding which treatment would be most appropriate.

In recent months, Elon Musk, Chelsea Handler and other prominent figures have spoken about using Wegovy and Ozempic for weight loss. Videos with the hashtag #ozempic have amassed nearly 627 million views on TikTok, with countless users sharing their experiences with using Ozempic to lose weight. Earlier this year, Australia’s drug regulator launched an investigation on social media influencers promoting the drug as a weight-loss solution, which it describes as “unlawful advertising.”

In December, supply shortages were reported among Ozempic in the U.S. due to a “demand increase for the drug.” But as of Feb. 23, there has been limited availability of the medication in certain dosages, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Meanwhile, Wegovy continues to be available in the U.S., and no semaglutide shortages are currently being reported in Canada.


According to Ozempic’s website, common side-effects of the medication include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and constipation. These were many of the side-effects experienced by those who wrote to as well. Ozempic can also cause more serious side-effects, such as pancreatitis and kidney failure.

For Denise Melanson, the side-effects of nausea and vomiting were so bad that she stopped taking Ozempic after about five weeks.

The 68-year-old started taking the drug in July last year. Shortly after, Melanson said she was vomiting in the middle of the night and experiencing severe acid reflux, along with diarrhea and bloating.

“I had friends that were taking Ozempic [who were] a little nauseated just at the very beginning,” she told in a telephone interview on Feb. 28. “It seemed to me like I’m the only one that can’t take this.”

Denise Melanson appears in this photo taken in February.

The Windsor, Ont. resident is not diabetic and had a BMI of 27 when she began taking Ozempic. She also has high cholesterol, she said. After nearly a week of experiencing the acid reflux and vomiting at night, she stopped taking Ozempic and is now experimenting with activities such as swimming to stay active.

While on Ozempic, a number of users also said they noticed a change in how they thought about food, spending less time worrying about what they eat or counting calories. This can be attributed to the drug, Kapeluto said.

“Some individuals are constantly bombarded with signals of hunger or thoughts of, ‘Where am I going to get my next meal?’” Kapeluto said. “Ozempic can dampen down those signals and it can really lead to them just being able to have better quality of life [and] better mental health.”

This was the case for Rae Munoz, who began taking Ozempic in early 2020. At the time, she weighed about 91 kilograms (200 pounds) and was considered overweight with a BMI of 29, she said. Although not diabetic herself, Munoz is at high risk of developing the disease, since many of her relatives have diabetes.

Her doctor suggested Ozempic to help manage her weight and stabilize her blood sugar. The Edmonton resident exercises regularly and constantly watches what she eats in addition to taking Ozempic, she said.

Rae Munoz appears in this composite photo. The image on the left was taken in June 2013 and the image on the right was taken in April 2022.

Now, at 75 kilograms (165 pounds), Munoz’s BMI is 24. Since starting Ozempic, she said her relationship with food and weight loss has also changed for the better.

“I’m not quite as obsessed as I used to be [with losing weight], I don’t have the appetite that I used to,” the 44-year-old told in a telephone interview on Feb. 27. “I used to get really stressed out about eating too much [and] gaining the weight back … Now, I don’t worry so I can have a life.”


A series of trials funded by Novo Nordisk have been launched in recent years to assess how effective semaglutide is at promoting weight loss, regardless of whether patients have Type 2 diabetes. The first trial, published in 2021, involved nearly 2,000 adults who did not have diabetes and were overweight or living with obesity. Authors of the study were based in countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.

Those who received weekly doses of semaglutide up to 2.4 mg saw their body weight drop by an average of about 15 per cent after 68 weeks. Meanwhile, participants who took a placebo saw an average decrease of 2.4 per cent in body weight over the same amount of time. Authors concluded that participants saw a “clinically relevant” decrease in body weight.

A second trial, published in October 2022, looked at the durability of weight loss with weekly doses of semaglutide. The study involved 304 participants who were overweight or living with obesity, none of which had diabetes. Results showed an average drop of 15.2 per cent in body weight after two years of using semaglutide.

However, research also shows the potential for those who use semaglutide to regain some of the weight they lost once they stop using the drug. One study published the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism journal in April last year shows that one year after discontinuing use of semaglutide, participants regained two-thirds of the weight they lost while using the drug. The study was also funded by Novo Nordisk and involved 327 participants.

“If you take away this medication, all of those hormones, all of those chemicals will surge back and it can lead to regain of weight,” Kapeluto said.


By portraying Ozempic as a short-term solution for those hoping to “lose a few pounds,” obesity experts such as Sajwani say this delegitimizes the use of this medication for those who truly need it.

“It perpetuates that stigma … that people who want to lose weight are losing it because of vanity reasons,” Sajwani told in a telephone interview on March 3. “It takes away from those patients that carry extra weight [and] are struggling with complications of obesity.”

“It paints everyone with the same brush,” Sajwani added.

There is also a chance these medications may not work as effectively in people who aren’t living with obesity, Kapeluto said, and viewing them as a “quick fix” makes it harder to recognize that obesity is a serious medical condition.

“With the popularity of this medication on social media … it’s kind of framing a medication that has a true medical benefit for obesity as more of a cosmetic thing,” Kapeluto said. “[But] for many individuals, this is not cosmetic. It’s a treatment that’s important to both their physical and mental health.”

Kapeluto said she and her colleagues continue to fight for obesity to be viewed as a serious medical condition by the public, one that can be treated with medication. But some patients still struggle with accessing drugs such as Ozempic for weight loss due to a lack of insurance coverage.

Many private insurance plans and some provincial drug benefit programs offer coverage for Ozempic when prescribed for those with Type 2 diabetes. However, the same coverage may not exist when the medication is prescribed for other reasons such as weight loss, Kapeluto said. At its full dose, a one-month supply of Ozempic can cost patients between $250 and $420 without insurance coverage, Sajwani and Kapeluto said.

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Healthy Kids, Adolescents May Not Need Covid Shots, WHO Says – BNN Bloomberg



(Bloomberg) — Healthy children and adolescents may no longer need Covid shots, the World Health Organization said, updating its guidance on vaccines as the world adjusts to living permanently with the virus. 

Older people and higher-risk groups — including those with underlying conditions — should get Covid boosters between six and 12 months after their last injections, the WHO said in a statement announcing a revised vaccine road map for the new stage of the pandemic. 

“Countries should consider their specific context in deciding whether to continue vaccinating low-risk groups, like healthy children and adolescents, while not compromising the routine vaccines that are so crucial for the health and well-being of this age group,” said Hanna Nohynek, chair of the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.


The Geneva-based organization’s latest advice comes as booster rates fall in countries from China to the US, with just 16% of Americans lining up for the latest round of shots targeting the omicron variant, Bloomberg reported earlier this month. 

The dropoff won’t just have financial consequences for vaccine makers — including Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. — but is also sparking concerns among public health experts who say updated vaccinations are the best way to protect against Covid. 

Read more: Covid Boosters Sour for Pfizer, Moderna With Uptake Rate at 16%

Healthy children between the ages of 6 months and 17 years are a low-priority group for vaccination, the WHO said, and primary and booster doses are safe and effective for them. They have typically experienced less severe reactions to Covid than adults. 

The WHO said context mattered in deciding whether to inoculate younger people given the lower burden of disease. 

The organization “urges countries considering vaccination of this age group to base their decisions on contextual factors, such as the disease burden, cost effectiveness, and other health or programmatic priorities and opportunity costs,” the statement said. 

–With assistance from Tanaz Meghjani.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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Reasons Why The Keto Diet And Crossfit Training Are Growing Trends Across Georgia



Keto Diet And Crossfit Training

The ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet, is a high-fat, low-carb diet that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. The diet aims to induce a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. This can result in weight loss and improved blood sugar control, among other benefits.

Crossfit training is a high-intensity, functional fitness program that combines elements of weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio. It is designed to improve overall fitness and performance in a variety of physical activities.

When coupled, the ketogenic diet and CrossFit exercise have the potential to be an effective strategy for both weight reduction and an increase in overall physical capability. The ketogenic diet supplies the body with a consistent supply of energy, which may assist in the improvement of endurance while doing Crossfit activities. Moreover, it may assist in the healing of muscles and decrease inflammation.

Nevertheless, it is essential to keep in mind that the ketogenic diet may not be appropriate for everyone, particularly those who are dealing with certain health concerns. Before beginning any new eating plan or workout routine, it is essential to discuss the changes with a qualified medical practitioner.


Those who are wanting to enhance their physical fitness and general health may find that combining Crossfit exercise with the ketogenic diet is a combination that is advantageous to their goals. You may read the reasons why the keto diet and crossfit workout are becoming more popular throughout Georgia in the following paragraph.

Improved endurance during workouts

One of the primary reasons why the ketogenic diet and Crossfit training are becoming more popular in Georgia is that they both lead to improvements in exercise endurance. The ketogenic diet encourages fat burning inside the body, which, in comparison to the breakdown of carbs for fuel, results in a more consistent and sustained supply of energy. Because of this, people are able to keep up their energy levels even throughout lengthy and strenuous CrossFit sessions, which ultimately leads to increased endurance.

Training in CrossFit, on the other hand, is intended to increase not just general physical fitness but also performance in other aspects of the body, including endurance. Workouts at CrossFit are known for their high levels of intensity, which provide a challenge to the body and force people to test the boundaries of their capabilities. As a consequence, over time, individuals see improvements in their endurance.

Since the keto diet provides the body with a consistent supply of energy that it can utilize throughout exercises and Crossfit training pushes the body to develop its endurance capacities, the combination of the two may be especially helpful in increasing endurance. Because of this, a significant number of people in Georgia are turning to this potent combination in order to boost their physical fitness and overall performance.

Increased weight loss

Both the ketogenic diet and Crossfit exercise have become more popular in Georgia for a number of reasons, one of the most important of which is weight reduction. The ketogenic diet is designed to guide individuals into a metabolic state known as ketosis, in which the body uses fat for fuel rather than carbs. This may result in considerable weight reduction, particularly when paired with regular Crossfit activities, which help burn calories and build muscle at the same time.

Georgia residents who are interested in this powerful combination can find resources and support through local gyms and fitness centers that offer Crossfit training and nutrition coaching. In addition, Georgia real estate listings often include properties with home gyms, making it easier than ever for individuals to incorporate regular workouts into their daily routines. Overall, the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia due to their proven effectiveness in improving physical fitness, performance, and weight loss. With the right resources and support, anyone in Georgia can benefit from this powerful combination and achieve their health and fitness goals.

Better blood sugar control

Another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit workouts are becoming more popular throughout the state of Georgia is that they help better regulate blood sugar levels. By limiting the consumption of carbs, which are known to produce rises in blood sugar levels, the ketogenic diet is thought to be beneficial for helping to control blood sugar levels. Those who have diabetes or other diseases connected to high blood sugar may benefit from this in a particularly significant way.

Crossfit training, on the other hand, can also help improve blood sugar control by increasing insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake by the muscles. This means that the body is better able to process and utilize glucose, resulting in more stable blood sugar levels.

Overall, the combination of the keto diet and Crossfit training can be a powerful tool for better blood sugar control, leading to improved overall health and well-being. Georgia residents who are interested in this approach can find support through local gyms and fitness centers that offer Crossfit training and nutrition coaching.

Improved muscle recovery

Improved muscle recovery is another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. The keto diet provides the body with a steady source of energy, which can aid in muscle recovery after Crossfit workouts. Additionally, the diet is high in protein, which is essential for repairing and building muscle tissue.

Crossfit training itself can also help improve muscle recovery by increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery to the muscles. This can help reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery time between workouts.

The combination of the keto diet and Crossfit training can be particularly effective in improving muscle recovery, as the diet provides the necessary nutrients and energy for muscle repair and growth, while Crossfit training challenges the muscles and promotes blood flow.

Overall, the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia due to their ability to improve physical fitness, performance, and muscle recovery.

Reduced inflammation

Reduced inflammation is another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to a variety of health problems.

By limiting the consumption of items that are known to cause inflammation, such as sugar and processed carbohydrates, the ketogenic diet has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. This may assist in reducing inflammation throughout the body, which may ultimately contribute to improvements in general health.

Crossfit training may also help decrease inflammation since it increases blood flow and nutrition supply to the muscles, both of which can assist in healing and reduce inflammation. Crossfit training is also known as functional fitness.

The combination of the keto diet and Crossfit training can be particularly effective in reducing inflammation, as the diet provides the necessary nutrients and energy for muscle repair and growth, while Crossfit training challenges the muscles and promotes blood flow.

Improved physical performance

Improved physical performance is one of the primary reasons why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. The keto diet provides the body with a steady source of energy, which can improve physical performance during Crossfit workouts. The diet’s high-fat content can also aid in muscle recovery and reduce inflammation, leading to improved overall physical performance.

Crossfit training is designed to improve overall physical fitness and performance, including strength, endurance, and agility. The high-intensity nature of Crossfit workouts challenges the body and pushes individuals to their limits, resulting in improved physical performance over time.

The combination of the keto diet and Crossfit training can be particularly effective in improving physical performance, as the diet provides the necessary nutrients and energy for muscle repair and growth, while Crossfit training challenges the muscles and promotes overall physical fitness.

Increased energy levels

Increased energy levels are another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. The keto diet helps the body enter a state of ketosis, where it burns fat instead of carbohydrates for fuel. This leads to a more sustained and stable energy level throughout the day, reducing fatigue and increasing overall energy levels.

Moreover, improved energy levels are promoted by Crossfit exercise since it forces the body to make better use of the energy resources it already has. The high degree of intensity that characterizes Crossfit exercises may produce an endorphin surge, which not only increases energy levels but also improves mood.

Since the keto diet supplies the body with a consistent stream of energy that it may utilize throughout workouts and Crossfit exercise pushes the body to improve its general energy efficiency, the combination of the two can be especially helpful in improving levels of energy.

As a whole, the keto diet and Crossfit exercise are becoming more popular across the state of Georgia due to their capacity to raise levels of energy and enhance overall physical fitness and performance.

Improved mental clarity

Improved mental clarity is another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. The keto diet provides a steady source of energy for the brain, which can improve mental clarity and focus. This is because the brain requires a stable supply of energy to function optimally.

In addition to this, regular Crossfit workouts have been shown to boost mental acuity by increasing blood flow and nutrition supply to the brain. It has been shown that engaging in physical activity may enhance cognitive function and lower the risk of cognitive decline.

Because the keto diet supplies the necessary nutrients and energy for brain function while Crossfit training challenges the body and increases blood flow to the brain, the combination of the two can be particularly effective in improving mental clarity. This is due to the fact that the diet provides the necessary nutrients and energy for brain function.

Reduced appetite

Reduced appetite is another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. The keto diet is known to reduce appetite by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing cravings, which can lead to reduced calorie intake and weight loss. This is because the high fat content of the diet promotes satiety and reduces the need for frequent snacking.

Increasing your metabolic rate and the number of calories you burn via CrossFit may also help you feel less hungry. This indicates that those who participate in regular Crossfit exercises may see a natural reduction in their levels of hunger throughout the day.

Because the keto diet supplies the body with a consistent source of energy and Crossfit training challenges the body and speeds up the metabolic rate, the combination of the two can be particularly effective in suppressing appetite and fostering weight loss. This is due to the fact that the diet helps the body maintain a constant source of energy while also promoting weight loss.

Improved insulin sensitivity

Improved insulin sensitivity is another reason why the keto diet and Crossfit training are growing trends across Georgia. The keto diet can help improve insulin sensitivity by reducing the intake of carbohydrates, which are known to cause spikes in blood sugar and decrease insulin sensitivity over time. This means that the body is better able to respond to insulin and process glucose more efficiently.

Crossfit training can also improve insulin sensitivity by promoting muscle growth and glucose uptake by the muscles. This means that the body is better able to utilize glucose for energy, leading to improved insulin sensitivity.

The combination of the keto diet and Crossfit training can be particularly effective in improving insulin sensitivity, as the diet provides a stable source of energy for the body and reduces the intake of inflammatory foods, while Crossfit training challenges the muscles and promotes glucose uptake.

Both the ketogenic diet and Crossfit exercise are becoming more popular throughout the state of Georgia as a result of their capacity to enhance insulin sensitivity, mental clarity, physical fitness, and weight reduction while simultaneously reducing inflammation and hunger. Local gyms and fitness facilities in Georgia that also provide nutrition coaching are great places for locals to go for help.

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MUHC opens Quebec’s first multidisciplinary referral centre for endometriosis



Montreal, March 28, 2023 – The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is proud to launch Quebec’s first multidisciplinary referral centre for multisystem endometriosis. EndoCARES, or the Endometriosis Centre for the Advancement of REsearch and Surgery, aims to provide patients suffering from pain and infertility due to endometriosis with timely access to specialized diagnostic imaging, followed by multidisciplinary care based on individual needs.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where endometrial-like tissue (similar to the inner lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus. Affecting about 1 in 10 women of reproductive age, it commonly causes infertility and debilitating pelvic pain, often severe enough to limit a woman’ s ability to carry out normal daily activities.

“While half of women with infertility and up to 70 per cent of those with chronic pelvic pain have endometriosis, studies show an average delay of seven years from the start of symptoms to diagnosis,” explains Dr. Togas Tulandi, chief of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the MUHC. “EndoCARES aims to significantly reduce this delay by uniting a team of gynecologic surgeons specialized in minimally invasive surgery – more specifically, in the removal of endometriosis lesions – along with other specialists, such as bowel surgeons, urologists, radiologists and fertility specialists, in a single patient-centered clinic.”

Top row, left to right: Dr. Dong Bach Nguyen; Marie-Josée Bourassa, nurse coordinator, Women’s Health Mission; Pierina Fusco, assistant nurse manager, OB-GYN clinics; Dr. Fady Williamson Mansour, and Dr. Andrew Zakhari.

Bottom row, left to right: Dr. Togas Tulandi; Karine Rousseau, operating room nurse; Dr. Jessica Papillon-Smith, and Dr. Srinivasan Krishnamurthy.  

EndoCARES specialists come together regularly to discuss complex surgical cases and devise the best treatment strategies to offer patients. Meanwhile, a dedicated nursing staff provides continuity of care for the patients by facilitating the coordination of care between specialists and monitoring post-operative recovery following complex surgeries.


A centre of excellence

Drs. Dong Bach Nguyen and Andrew Zakhari, co-directors of the centre, both pursued additional training at renowned endometriosis hubs in Europe after completing minimally invasive surgery fellowships in Ottawa and Toronto respectively. As a result, patients treated at EndoCARES now benefit from innovative surgeries specific to endometriosis not previously offered in Quebec. “In Europe, several countries have established centres of excellence to provide specialized care to patients affected by endometriosis. Training in these centres allowed us to bring back not only new surgical techniques, but also the foundations to build an endometriosis referral centre for women with multi-organ endometriosis in Quebec,” explains Dr. Nguyen.

Co-directors EndoCARES
Co-directors, Dr. Dong Bach Nguyen and Dr. Andrew Zakhari

“The primary objective of this centre is to provide women with severe endometriosis affecting other organs like the bladder,bowel or diaphragm, with dedicated surgical and radiological expertise,” says Dr. Zakhari. Along with Drs. Srinivasan Krishnamurthy, Fady Mansour, Jessica Papillon-Smith and Togas Tulandi, this team of surgical gynecologists is committed to improving the care of Quebec women suffering from endometriosis.

Many questions remain unanswered

“Today, we still do not understand the exact cause of endometriosis, nor do we have a cure,” explains Dr. Tulandi, who is also an associate investigator at the Child Health and Human Development Program at the Research Institute of the MUHC.

Moving forward, EndoCARES aims to enhance basic, epidemiological and clinical research in endometriosis with the establishment of a patient registry that will function as a database for future research. Additionally, the program will facilitate international networking, collaborative research and the standardization of clinical practice through the exchange of ideas and experiences.

EndoCARES’ state-of-the-art clinical care and forthcoming research are made possible in part by generous donations made to the MUHC Foundation, which has pledged to raise $700,000 in support of personnel and equipment for the EndoCARES program.

“Endometriosis is very common and yet, so many women endure years of pain before receiving a diagnosis. This is completely unacceptable. The MUHC Foundation is proud to support the EndoCARES program, because it will change women’s health care for the better and reduce the pain and uncertainty so many women endure,” says Julie Quenneville, president and CEO of the MUHC Foundation.

Someone to reach out to

It took five long years before Anisa Gjoka was referred to Dr. Andrew Zakhari and diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis at 25 years old. “On February 8, 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, I finally had my surgery,” recounts Anisa. “After a four-hour surgery, and with only four small incisions, they were able to carefully remove the endometriosis lesions, leaving all of my organs intact!”

Anis Gjoka
Anisa Gjoka, patient of Dr. Andrew Zakhari

Today, at 28 years old, Anisa maintains a pain-free lifestyle, something that seemed unimaginable before entering under the expert care of Dr. Zakhari. “It gives me great peace of mind to know that EndoCARES exists – that there is finally someone for me to reach out to whenever I’m in need, and that the young women experiencing their first symptoms will be spared years of suffering and will be cared for by a multidisciplinary team of experts, all in one place.”


About the McGill University Health Centre

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is one of the world’s foremost academic health facilities. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of its founding hospitals, the MUHC provides exceptional multidisciplinary patient-centric care in French and in English. Affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of McGill University, the MUHC continues to shape the course of adult and pediatric medicine by attracting clinical and research expertise from around the world, assessing the latest in medical technology, and training the next generation of medical professionals. In collaboration with our network partners, we are building a better future for our patients and their families; for our employees, professionals, researchers and students; for our community and above all, for life.

Media contact:

Rebecca Burns
McGill University Health Centre
[email protected]


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