Sometimes wanting to look good comes at
a high price. In the case of a Calgary mother, getting a tummy tuck
ends up in tragedy. According to her husband, Ashish Toews
preferred to get a tummy tuck after burning off some weight due to
pregnancy. She chose it against liposuction when researching
cosmetic surgery because she opted to work off the extra pounds
Jason Toews, husband of the victim, testified that the day after
the 30-year-old biology teacher's plastic surgery procedure at a
private Calgary facility. Ashish was rushed to the hospital, crying
out due to excruciating pain.
Jason, in tears, told the inquiry that Ashish went through a
seizure while waiting in an emergency room that night. She never
Toews tearfully narrated, "She seized, she grasped for her
throat. She tensed up."
Ashish died on July 31, 2008. It was 13 days after being subjected
to abdominoplasty ? generally known as a tummy tuck ? with
liposuction, at a Surgical Centres Inc. Clinic.
Jason Toews told provincial court Judge John Bascom that Ashis
was a "fitness fanatic." She stood five foot two and
weighed 158 pounds, she worked out regularly and was "meticulous
about eating properly."
Jason revealed her wife just wanted to eliminate the skin folds
around her abdomen after baring two kids.
The mother of two started researching about plastic surgery
options. After thrashing out probable dangers of the cosmetic
procedure, she decided to get a tummy tuck at the private Calgary
clinic in May 2008.
Because she was confident she could work out and get rid the
weight on her own, Jason said his wife "declined liposuction"
-- a process that melts and sucks out fat from various parts of the
Toews testified that he learned about his wife went through
liposuction procedure only two weeks after Ashish died.
In July 18, Jason dropped off his wife for the procedure. Later
that day he got a call from the clinic saying after the surgery his
wife's oxygen levels had dropped and they were watching her closely.
He went to the clinic to pick her up approximately 5:30 p.m.
Throughout the night she was nauseous and had splitting headaches.
She was in extreme pain the following evening.
"At one point, she was literally groaning and moaning,
starting to yell, 'This is unbearable,' " Toews said. "That's
when she asked me to call an ambulance."
According to a medical examiner, Dr. Sam Andrews, Ashish died
from -- a rare complication in which fatty tissues enter the
bloodstream known as "presumed fat embolism syndrome due to
The doctor said his findings was based on medical reports from the
ICU physicians who treated Mrs. Toews, an otherwise healthy person
before going through the procedure, however couldn't be certain due
to the amount of time that went by between the surgery and her death.
According to a clinic staff who testified, some amount of
liposuction was generally performed.
Clinic staff testified Wednesday that some amount of liposuction
was usually performed side-by-side tummy tucks even though it wasn't
included on the consent form -- a practice that has since changed.
Operating room nurse, Carol Gwozd, told the inquiry, "At the
time, when we had abdominoplasties, it was implied."
Gwozd testified, "We have added 'plus liposuction,' to make
sure it's on the consent form."
Laurie Irwin,a licensed practical nurse, told the inquiry that
Toews' surgeon explained the liposuction with Ashish as she was
preparing for the surgery in the operating room.
Irwin claimed the plastic surgery was clear-cut. However as the
operating staff took out her tube following the procedure, the
breathing levels of Toew's slipped. Irwin explained she had to be
reintubated and given aid breathing before her levels go back to
Gwozd testified , the surgery started at 8:15 a.m. And ended by
10:15, although Toews was held in the recovery room the rest of the
day, which is quite an "unusual" length of time.
Jason Toews testified, under questioning from provincial lawyer
Nancy McCurdy, that patients having problems after surgery shouldn't
be release to the care of their significant other. "They should
go directly to hospital," he said.