CALGARY ? Aisling Gamble, a 4-foot-10 woman, stood just 11 inches taller
than what she measured around her pregnant belly, when she was about to give
birth to triplets.
The fold of sagging skin around Gambles stomach remained since the birth of
her sons five years ago.
Gamble, a Calgary
communications professional believes exercise won?t cut it. It may bring it
down, but it would never totally disappear.
For her, decreasing it or making it smaller or less obtrusive ? is
enough. "Nobody sees it so it's completely on me. But there's a daily
reminder there ? there's this thing I really don't want to have anymore,"
Tummy tuck suddenly became an option for the 37-year-old mother to
surgically remove the excess skin.
Before deciding to go through with the procedure, Gamble, has considered
with whether it?s beneficial to go through an operation that's not medically necessary,
just like other potential plastic surgery patient. It's a controversial issue
brought out lately by a provincial inquiry investigating the death of a young Calgary mother, Ashish
Toews, from a complication after liposuction and a tummy tuck.
The fatality inquiry has aroused new questions around the dangers of plastic
surgery. It's also motivated a closer look at why so many Canadians prefer to go
through cosmetic procedures every year.
In 2009, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic
Surgery, 108,758 cosmetic procedures, including non-invasive treatments, were
performed across Canada.
Plastic surgery expert Dr. Nick Carr, says it is the doctors? responsibility
to make known to possible patients about the dangers and benefits of the
process, and whether they're healthy enough to go through surgery.
On the other hand, deciding whether to go ahead with cosmetic treatment is a
decision each candidate must make on their own, he says.
"The patient has to be sufficiently motivated to accept the cost, the
downtime, the economics of it, and the risk, relative to what they stand to
gain," says Carr, head of the University
of British Columbia's
division of plastic surgery. "That's something that's very individual, but
it's an important part of the process."
Toews the mother from Calgary
had done her reconstructive surgery homework.
According to her husband she was a small lady who?s also a fitness fanatic,
but after having two children her stomach skin got stretched.
The 33-year-old teacher scheduled a consultation with a plastic surgeon to
discuss a tummy tuck in 2008.
Abdominoplasty, a kind of plastic
surgery, is a challenging procedure that requires slicing off loose skin,
stitching of muscle fabric together, and making a new belly button. It leaves
patients with a large scar and may demand months of recuperation time.
The most common complications, in cosmetic surgery, such as infection, are
minor, according to experts. More life-threatening dangers, such as a blood
clot, are uncommon.
Toews was consistent but dazed after the procedure at Surgical Centres Inc.,
a private clinic in northwest Calgary.
She was sick during the night, and the next morning, headaches hit. She started
out crying in pain.
Her husband called up for an ambulance and Toews was sped to the emergency
room. In the waiting area, she was given a shot of morphine. She went into convulsions
and stopped breathing.
She was transferred to ICU where she stayed in a chemically induced coma, on
The young mother died from "presumed fat embolism syndrome" on
account of a small quantity of liposuction that went with her abdominoplasty,
on July 31, just 13 days after her surgery,
According to Carr, such complications are exceedingly rare in reconstructive