Aesthetic Surgical Images
M. Kirk Moore, MD
Thomas E. Geraghty

Home > Article Categories > Plastic Surgery Information > Fatality Inquiry Has Raised New Questions on Perils of Plastic Surgery

Fatality Inquiry Has Raised New Questions on Perils of Plastic Surgery

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," she continues.

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 life support.

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 surgery.

Plastic Surgery Information at

Permission is granted to reproduce this article as long as the above resource paragraph is left in tact with active links.


Find a Plastic Surgeon

Buckhead Plastic Surgery
Specialists in Plastic Surgery North Carolina
Tom Haas, M.D.