1802 S. Yakima Avenue, Suite 202
Tacoma, WA 98405
Phone: 253-572-7120
Fax: 253-572-1071

Office hours:  Monday - Thursday 
                       8 am - 4 pm

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The following are reviews from YELP


  • Sherin M.
  • Olympia, WA

All I can say is WOW! I had my spleen removed 2 weeks ago which had a tumor in it. Dr. Rifenbery & Dr. Lopez introduced themselves with professionalism and compassion. Dr. Rifenbery is a surgeon I would recommend to anyone to needs any kind of Invasive Surgery. He was able to take the spleen out laproscopically with only 3 small incisions, and 1 a little bigger. I couldn't have asked for better pre-op, and post-op care. My hospital stay was only 1 1/2 days, and Dr. Rifenbery was able to release me with instructions that I understood, and answered every single question without hesitation. I was treated with dignity and respect from the day I met him, to the day I was released from St. Josephs. His staff are caring,  wonderful people. I HIGHLY recommend him to anyone who wants a professional, kind, down to earth, and highly skilled surgeon. Yes, you may have a little wait, but he is so worth it!!  I wouldn't go to anyone else if I ever needed a surgeon in the future. He is truly an amazing man and surgeon, & Dr. Lopez is also very skilled, and very compassionate & knowledgeable. Believe me, they know what their doing! Thank you Dr. Rifenbery, Dr. Lopez & all staff involved. I am healing very well with no complications. Kudos to them!! :)

  • George W.
  • Fox Island, WA

I recently underwent an anterior spinal fusion at the lumbosacral junction, which requires both Neurosurgery and General surgery, the latter to access the spine through the lower pelvis.  I was very fortunate to have had Dr. Rifenbery perform that portion of the procedure.  Blood loss was appalling low at only about 2 ounces, thus no transfusion required.

He participates in medical education at both the post-doctoral and medical student levels.  Association with the academic environment in this way makes it highly improbable a new, innovative approach will be missed.  In my case he applied a new approach to control post-operative pain by injecting a local anesthetic under laparoscopic guidance to selectively block nerves.  I took no narcotics after surgery.

I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Rifenbery should you need general surgery.

His office is employed by him and working with them  is a very convenient user-friendly experience


Samye H.

Tacoma, WA


Dr Rifenbery did super  job of removing  a  mass on my neck.
The surgery was short and recovery so well I did not  take  any  pain medication
whatsoever.  He was  very professional  . A pleasure  to have  my surguery done by him,
His experience shows.

  • Paul S.
  • Tacoma, WA

Minimally Invasive Laparoscopic Surgery for Hernia Repair.
Wow, this went sweet!
I've had friends spend upwards of seven weeks before returning to work after traditional procedures for the same type of condition so when
Dr. Rifenbery advised in the neighborhood of a two week recovery it really got my attention.
It has now been three months to the day since my hernia operation.
I have been impressed from the git-go with the whole thing but wanted to wait a while to write this review, and I must say I don't think it could have gone any better.
Performed at St. Joe's in Tacoma, everything was thoroughly explained and all went exactly as planned. I was in at 7 in the morning, home on the couch by 1pm.  My initial concern was pain and the return to "regularity" which I worried might be a little tricky because I didn't want to "bust another gut".  I simply followed the plan, did exactly as was told to,
and guess what . . . (wait for it) . . . it all came out all right. haha!
As for the pain, I spent the first three days gingerly moving around the house with the help of ONE pain pill which I actually cut in half and took six hours apart on that first evening. After that it was basically just the irritation of the stitches and some strategically located swelling that was fairly uncomfortable but quite easily manageable with Motrin for the remainder of my recovery.  
I took it pretty easy for the first week, was golfing (gently) after two weeks  and then actually off-road motorcycle riding after three weeks.
Maybe one shouldn't be as energetic and active as this 58 year old under similar conditions, but suffice it to say I couldn't be happier with my outcome and am highly recommending this practice and procedure.
This was a great experience and I would very much like to compliment
Dr. Rifenbery and his team for a job Well Done!

  • Jonathan W.
  • Tacoma, WA

I recently had an outpatient surgery with Dr. Rifenbery and the experience was outstanding. From the pre-op to post-op Dr. Rifenbery explained the procedure and the outcome beyond my expectation. I really appreciated the follow up phone calls to check on my recovery and to let me know they were available if I needed anything. I would strongly recommend Dr. Rifenbery who is a leader in his field of surgery.

Cheryl H.

Maricopa, AZ


Dr. Rifenbery was just the doctor I needed at just the right time.  I was scheduled at another hospital for a full surgical procedure from stem to stern on a ruptured diaphragm and to have a tube put into my collapsed lung.  The doctor there said no one in the Tacoma area would do laparoscopic surgery on a diaphragm (which was listed as the preferred procedure on-line) and my stay in the hospital would be at least seven days.  My sister and husband were upset about the doctors lack of concern for my length of stay, possible infections, etc.  Dr. Rifenbery had done a great job on my gall bladder 17 years prior, so my sister gave his office a call.  His office said not to have the surgery and Dr. Rifenbery would call her as soon as he got out of surgery.  He not only called right after noon, his office took care of all the details to get me into St. Joseph's for surgery later than afternoon. I could not believe how smoothly everything went.  He was very professional and informed me of why to do laparoscopic on the diaphragm.  If it weren't for the tube in my lung I would have been able to go home by the next day. Thank you, Dr. Rifenbery and staff, your care and the speed of which you had things done are greatly appreciated.

Russell D.

Tacoma, WA

My surgical repairs, yes plural, have exceeded all my expectations.  It has been some 74 days since my procedures took place under Dr. Rifenbery's very capable and caring hands and I am thrilled with the results and personal care I received both before and after surgery.  I am self-employed (31 years now) and work physically hard most every day of the week.  I needed to get back to work ASAP and hoped Dr. Rifenbery would be able to repair all my hernias in one surgery.  Well, he accessed the four hernias I knew I had and also determined I had some sort of muscle wall defect from birth and yes, all could be repaired in one surgical visit.

He had figured he would need a fairly short amount of time for my repairs.  However, once inside, he found things pretty "messed up" as I had been struggling with these hernias for over ten years.  The surgery stretched into almost FIVE hours.  Yet, Dr. Rifenbery still took the time to repair the muscle wall defect even though my insurance company considers the repair "elective" and would not pay him for the procedure!  I offered him gratitude, pizza and beer but he graciously just said thank you but no, he was happy to do it...  He visited me in the recovery room as well.  Very kind and caring man.

Oh, yes, I am very glad I came to his office for my hernia repairs!
  • Vicki Y.
  • Lakewood, WA


I have had not one but TWO inguinal hernias repaired by Dr Rifenbery in the past two years. All went well as he is an excellent surgeon. I would completely trust him if I ever need him again in the future.

  • Dan M.
  • Tacoma, WA

Dr. Rifenbery was highly recommended to me, he did not disappoint. He is a true expert in this field, very informative, polite, and I will recommend to others. Now, his staff, they are the most polite team ever. I have been to several doctors offices, this team is so nice to talk with, I wish all my others docs had staff like this.

Thank you all!

  • Mark B.
  • Bellevue, WA

I went to see Dr. Rifenbery for abdomen pain. He was able to get me in right away and quickly diagnosed me with a hernia and scheduled me for surgery within a week. Since the operation was on a Friday, he personally followed up with me over the weekend to ensure that I was doing well and comfortable. He and his office staff were great to work with and would highly recommend him for any surgery you may need.


  • Abbie F.
  • Olympia, WA

I have had the pleasure of learning from Dr. Rifenbery for the past month. He is incredibly knowledgeable and is anxious to share his knowledge and talent with others. Both his skills as a general surgeon and his concern for patient welfare are qualities to be admired and respected. Dr. Rifenbery is a gifted surgeon and I would highly recommend him to any of my friends or family.

  • J.B. B.
  • Olympia, WA

I am a previous patient of Dr. Rifenbery and he was very professional as well as his staff who went out of their way to make sure that I was well taken care of. I would recommend him to anybody.

  • C. K.
  • Tacoma, WA

As a medical student, I worked with Dr. Rifenbery for four weeks this spring.  I was able to see first-hand how well his patients were treated from the time of their initial appointment scheduling through their post-op visits. He is a brilliant and extremely skilled surgeon, and he employs equally skilled professional staff who work together to maintain a very high level of professional, compassionate, and confidential treatment of all his patients.  He and his staff are warm and friendly to all patients - as you would expect from a surgeon of his caliber.

If you are in the Tacoma area and your physician has recommended surgery for you, I highly suggest you ask for a referral to see Dr. Rifenbery.  I also suggest that you disregard strong emotional reviews calling him a butcher, or suggesting his license be revoked.  Such negative reviews without facts are not reliable, and could potentially have a negative impact even on your own health.  

If you're worried about post-surgical pain, keep in mind that pain is to be expected after surgery, and everyone's response to surgical procedures is different. Pain level and length of recovery can vary greatly from one person to the next. Dr. Rifenbery pays special attention to pain control, and employs special intra-operative anesthetic techniques such as long-lasting nerve blocks for abdominal surgery to further decrease post-op pain, and aid in faster recovery for these patients.  At no time would Dr. Rifenbery ever allow you to be in disabling pain, either immediately post-surgery or in the days or weeks following your procedure.

If you want an appointment with him, you must understand that a referral is most likely necessary from your physician, and that your physician must send your medical records directly to Dr. Rifenbery's office. This is done to guarantee that your records and health concerns are legitimately communicated from physician to physician, and to protect your privacy.

Hope this helps you in deciding on Dr. Rifenbery as your surgeon.

  • Daniel C.
  • Bremerton, WA

I've had the pleasure of shadowing Dr.Rifenbery over a month and understand first-hand the level of professionalism and skill he offers as a minimally invasive general surgeon. Without a doubt, there is no question that if I were to have any abdominal complaints he would be the first surgeon that I would consult. I can recall several complicated cases that were passed over by other surgeons and patients that flew in from other states just to have his service with great outcomes.

  • Gary G.
  • Tacoma, WA

I have had surgery with Dr. Rifenbery, a Hernia repair and had exceptional service, quality care and I was back to work in a week. Don't understand why others think different. I have recommended him to others and they have been pleased as well.


I've had the pleasure of rotating with Dr. Rifenbery for nearly a month and have seen with my own eyes, the skills he has honed to not only be an effective and successful surgeon, but a preceptor and educator who wishes to train to his best ability, the next generation of physician. I can recall situations where he has went above and beyond, and have done the absolute right things for patients, without a thought of any personal, financial, or professional gain. If you're wanting a surgeon with integrity, Dr. Rifenbery is the one for you.

In addition, Dr. Rifenbery is very much up to date on the advances in medicine, and can provide refreshing insight in surgical options, despite the chaos of the healthcare industry. He is undoubtedly patient-centric, and seeks the best outcomes for his patients.


Dr. James D Rifenbery MD

j. r. Male, General Surgery Specialist Working in Tacoma, WA. Tacoma's One of the most reputed General Surgery specialist Dr. Rifenbery has an outstanding 38 year experience in its subject. He is working as a Doctor of General Surgery in Tacoma, WA. He is now working with Center For Minimally Invasive Surgery Pllc in a group of other 1 Doctors. Dr. James obtained its degree in General Surgery from University Of Washington School Of Medicine in the year 1980 with top-notch grades. He is currently practicing at 1802 Yakima Ave in Tacoma. Doctor has been awarded more than 9 times for top-notch work in General Surgery field. He is an affiliated MD in St Joseph Medical Center and many other Hospitals. He accepts patients and appointments in the office under Center For Minimally Invasive Surgery Pllc Health organization.