AGE: 43
PROCEDURE: Tummy Tuck and Thigh Liposuction

As told to Liz Bruckner

*Patient name has been changed

ELEVATE: What prompted you to have these procedures done?

Michelle: I have three kids, the last of which was born when I was 38. My body didn't bounce back the way it had with my first two children and even with regular dieting and exercise, my stomach continued to droop. I'd resigned myself to live with it, but when my grandmother passed away last year and left me money in her will, she made a specific mention that I should spend it on myself. I'm not the type of person who is into self-pampering — I've never even had a pedicure — and she knew that, so despite the fact that I normally put extra money towards my kids or house, that's when I seriously began considering surgery.

ELEVATE: What made you choose Dr. Sproule as your surgeon?

Michelle: My research, mostly, though I did have someone recommend him to me a few years ago, about a year after I'd had my last child and was complaining about my sagging stomach. I kept the card she gave me but thought nothing of it until I interviewed three other doctors and still wasn't satisfied. When I did meet with Dr. Sproule, I felt immediately at ease. He's incredibly warm, kind and the fact that he travels to third world countries to offer his services for free says a lot about his character. Had I met him first, I wouldn't have wasted my time meeting with anyone else.

ELEVATE: What was the recovery like?

Michelle: Other than a bit of bruising and stiffness at the liposuction sites, I felt next to nothing. The pain was incredibly minimal.

ELEVATE: Did you get the results you hoped for?

Michelle: Absolutely. I look better now than I did before having kids. There's muscle definition, my stomach is tighter, my thighs are smaller and despite being cautious about having plastic surgery initially, I'm so happy I went through with it.

Ask the Doctor

Dr. Tim Sproule, MD, FRCSC,
Evolution Laser and Rejuvenation Centre

ELEVATE: How did you come up with a plan to treat Michelle's concerns?

Dr. Sproule: When there is a redundancy of the abdomen, often there is excess fat in other areas, so it's important to look at the patient holistically to give them the best overall outcome for the entire body. Along with a tummy tuck and liposuction of the abdomen, Michelle had two other liposuction procedures done. To achieve the best possible final outcome, she wanted liposuction to her thighs and then all around her flank. I did these surgeries in stages — not all at once — for many reasons, but specifically because the desired result was important to her.

ELEVATE: Did you have any concerns regarding her surgery?

Dr. Sproule: There were no concerns because she's a young, healthy, intelligent woman who wanted an esthetic improvement and understood the procedures, the risks and any complications that could occur. She had a positive attitude and realistic expectations.

ELEVATE: Is there an ideal candidate for this procedure?

Dr. Sproule: A patient who has lost weight, is very fit, exercises regularly, follows a good diet but even after weight loss can't achieve the desired look and is left with residual deposits of fat that won't respond to health changes is ideal.

ELEVATE: How long should some expect their recovery period to last following surgery?

Dr. Sproule: Primary recovery after liposuction alone is 1-2 weeks for normal activities. Residual or full recovery takes approximately 1 year as it takes that long for tightening of the skin, residual edema (swelling caused by a collection of fluid) and skin colouring of scars to normalize.

ELEVATE: What's the average cost of this type of procedure?

Dr. Sproule: In general, the cost is typically $4,000 for each site/area of the body.

*Patient name has been changed.