Which Areas Are Improved During an Upper Body Lift?

Loose, sagging skin often occurs due to aging, pregnancy, liposuction, or massive weight loss. It sometimes appears on the lateral chest, upper arms, middle part of the back, and the breasts after you've shed lots of pounds (usually 100 lbs or more). Unfortunately, skin that has lost its elasticity won't firm up on its own; the only real way to eliminate it is with an upper body lift. Our Vancouver area team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid can use an upper body lift to give you smoother skin, helping you feel more confident and fit better in clothes.

When you lose a large amount of weight quickly it's common to have a lot of loose skin because the skin doesn't have enough time to gradually retract and spring back into place. Adding to that, gaining weight often causes the skin to stretch permanently so that even after weight loss, it can't snap back. Many patients find this skin unflattering or don't like how it gets in the way of their everyday activities.

Others might feel like their physical appearance doesn't match the way the feel inwardly or that they don't look like someone who works out even after all the efforts and commitments they've made. As well as making you feel self-conscious, this unwanted skin may often lead to rashes, chafing, and infections.

A complete upper body lift usually involves combining an upper body lift for back rolls with an arm lift or breast lift, depending on what your goals are. The following are some of the most common areas targeted:

  • Back
  • Upper Arms
  • Breasts
  • Lateral Chest

Liposuction is used to suction away excess fat from the back and arms that contributes to the problem while loose skin is removed, and the area is tightened up with sutures. When you have a breast lift as part of the procedure, some skin will be removed, and the tissues will be tightened and reshaped to raise the breasts.

If sagging rolls of extra skin have been dragging you down after weight loss and you have been thinking about having an upper body lift in the Vancouver area, be sure to discuss your goals with Dr. Owen Reid. Contact our practice by calling 604-343-9309 to request a consultation or fill out a contact form to get started.

Who is an Ideal Tummy Tuck Candidate?

It can be frustrating when your body always seems to be fuller around the midsection, no matter how many workouts you put in. The belly area is one of the most challenging areas for many patients to tone up. Worse still, the sagging skin and fat can get in the way of your daily activities, making it difficult for you to exercise or find clothes that fit well. Even if they're slim, hormones, genetics, weight fluctuations, their natural body type, or the effects of pregnancy can leave some patients with some unwanted fat and skin - and even protruding stomach muscles. Patients who are bothered by these concerns could benefit from a tummy tuck from the Vancouver area cosmetic practice of Dr. Owen Reid.

This surgery creates a dramatic improvement and leaves you with flatter, firmer stomach to make it easier for you to sculpt your abs. Here's what patients should consider if they're curious about whether they'd make a good candidate for a tummy tuck.

State of Health

Plastic surgeons prefer patients to be in excellent physical and mental health before having an operation. If you have serious health concerns that might make surgery unsafe for you, the plastic surgeon will not perform or may choose to delay the tummy tuck. The doctor will go over your medical history beforehand and you may have to do a physical test. Chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, or mental health issues like depression make surgery riskier.

Lifestyle Factors

If you're a smoker this can delay the healing process or put you at risk of complications. Taking blood thinners in the weeks prior to surgery is also ill-advised.


A tummy tuck won't allow you to lose a significant amount of weight or improve your overall health, so it isn't a solution for overweight or obesity. In fact, doctors usually prefer to perform this surgery on patients who are already at a stable, ideal weight. Patients who have a high BMI (Body Mass Index) have a higher risk of complications.

If you're unhappy about the appearance of your stomach because of sagging skin or excess, resistant fat, contact Dr. Owen Reid by calling 604-343-9309 to request a consultation or fill out a contact form to learn more about what's involved before and after a tummy tuck in the Vancouver area.

How Long Do the Results from a Breast Lift Last?

It's normal and natural for women to experience some breast sagging and there's no definite age when this may occur; some begin to notice it in their teen years while for others, sagging may occur anywhere from their 20s to 40s or later in life. There are several possible causes for this such as genetic factors, the effects of aging, gravity, hormonal changes, weight fluctuations, pregnancy, smoking, and having larger breasts. As time goes on, the skin produces less collagen to keep it strong and may become permanently stretched. The tissues and ligaments may also be strained by pregnancy or weight gain. A breast lift from our Vancouver area practice is a procedure used to elevate the breasts and give them a perkier, rounder, more visually pleasing shape. Patients are often curious about the longevity of this treatment.

During a breast lift, which is also referred to as a mastopexy, the surgeon takes off excess skin and reshapes the breast contours without changing their size in a significant way. This can make patients feel less self-conscious, more confident about their appearance and the way they look in clothes, and can even decrease back and neck pain.

However, there's no guarantee that the results of a breast lift will be permanent and your breasts won't change in the future years. While the results can generally last for a decade or more, the lifespan of a breast lift depends on several factors including age, genetics, physical health, skin condition, lifestyle, dietary habits, pregnancy, and body weight.

Your skin naturally loses elasticity and becomes thinner with age. Smoking is said to be one of the leading causes of breast sagging and accelerated aging. Sun damage can also cause wrinkles and skin laxity on the chest area, and pregnancy or significant weight gain could also change your breasts in unwanted ways.

To maintain firm breasts, you can incorporate exercises to strengthen your back and chest, wear a bra that fits properly, be sure to take good care of your skin, and maintain a stable weight.

Interested in learning more about what's involved in a breast lift in the Vancouver area? Get in touch with our team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid by calling 604-343-9309 to request a consultation or fill out a contact form to start planning your procedure.

Lower Body Lift Recovery: What to Expect

Even after losing weight or maintaining a stable weight for most of your life, it can be difficult to firm up and reposition resistant areas of the body to attain the body shape you want. This is especially true for those who have lost a significant amount of weight and are left with excess sagging fat, uneven or dimpled areas, and heavy folds of skin. Pregnancy, natural aging, and sun damage also take a toll on our skin and tissues. Having a lower body lift in the Vancouver area from plastic surgeon Dr. Owen Reid will help you tone up and reshape your physique by removing this redundant skin and fat to leave you with firmer, shapelier contours.

This can improve mobility and may make patients feel more motivated to keep active. However, as surgery is involved, it does require a recovery and healing period

The lower body lift consists of a combination of different procedures for enhancing the abdomen, lateral thighs, and butt. Recovery can take at least two weeks, by which time it may be safe to return to a sedentary desk job, but your activity will be restricted for around six to eight weeks in total.

The length can vary depending on the patient and what types of treatments are performed. It also depends on how extensive the surgery is and how much skin or tissue is removed. The recovery phase for a lower body lift is comparable to that of a standard tummy tuck

Some level of discomfort is normal during the first few weeks, but this gradually lessens. Your surgeon will also advise you on taking oral medications for pain management and to accelerate healing. Patients are asked to wear compression garments as they help to decrease pain and swelling, improve circulation, and maintain the shape of the skin and tissues in the right position so that you can achieve the most aesthetically pleasing results.After eight weeks have passed it will usually be safe for you to resume exercise

Interested in learning more about what's involved in a lower body lift in the Vancouver area? Get in touch withour team at the office of Dr. Owen Reid by calling 604-343-9309 to request a consultation or fill out a contact form to start planning your procedure

Tummy Tuck vs. Liposuction: Which is the Better Choice for Me?

Ab flab is a common insecurity that in many cases isn’t primarily caused by weight gain. Genetics, aging, hormonal changes, pregnancy, and your natural body shape may contribute to a paunchy stomach. Tummy tuck and liposuction surgeries are often used for similar purposes: to make the abdominal area slimmer and firmer. However, these procedures differ from each other significantly when it comes to what they can do, the types of techniques used, risks, and downtime. At the office of Dr. Owen Reid, we often field questions from patients considering plastic surgery in the Vancouver area who are unsure about which procedure will work best for their concerns. The following is a basic rundown of how each treatment works.

Tummy Tuck

Like liposuction, tummy tucks are not designed for allover weight loss but are beneficial for a rounded stomach that the patient hasn’t been able to improve on their own through physical exercise and a clean diet. One of the main differences between a tummy tuck and liposuction is that the latter is only used for removing fat, but a tummy tuck also can also involve trimming and tightening sagging skin and strengthening the abdominal muscles.

During the operation, your skin is repositioned over the more sculpted contours. It's a great choice for people who have just lost a significant amount of weight and want to fix sagging skin or those who want to correct separated sit-up muscles and stretched skin that contribute to "postpartum belly".


In liposuction, fat is dislodged and surgically removed from just below the skin with a small, tube-like instrument. Afterward, the skin retracts around more slender contours. Unlike tummy tucks, which are entirely focused on the stomach, liposuction is beneficial not just belly fat but for the excess flab on surrounding transition areas that can be trouble spots for many people, like love handles and muffin top. Liposuction has less risks, a shorter recovery time, and less scarring. The two procedures are sometimes combined to address excess fat on the stomach and these other areas at the same time for optimized results.

Need advice on liposuction or another type of plastic surgery in the Vancouver area? Get in touch with Dr. Owen Reid's plastic surgery center to have your questions answered. Call 604-343-9309 or submit your info via contact form to request a consultation.


This will be of interest to anyone who is considering a Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) in Vancouver. In it’s most common form, the BBL is a two part procedure comprised of circumferential liposuction of the torso and fat transfer to the buttocks. Recently, several plastic surgery organizations have expressed their concern regarding the safety of the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure. A selected group of international experts was asked to review the matter and their findings and recommendations have recently been made available.  I would like to review these findings, the history and current state of BBLs in my practice and my thoughts on where we go from here.

My Experience

In my own practice, the BBL has been a safe and effective method of improving body shape and proportions. Over the past 12 months, BBLs have emerged as one of the most common procedures in my cosmetic practice. I’m not aware of any complications, in my own practice, that have been related to the fat grafting portion of the procedure.

Cause for Concern

During the last few years, the popularity of BBLs has grown rapidly, however, several fatalities, outside of Canada, have been cause for concern. Many of these cases have been reviewed. Here is what is known:

  • The mortality rate is approximately 1 in 3000 - the highest for any aesthetic procedure by a wide margin.
  • In all cases of BBL related deaths, the cause was a fat embolism - a complication where fat injected in to the buttock area enters a deep vein and travels to the heart and lungs.
  • In all cases of fat embolism, transferred fat was identified within and deep to the gluteal muscles, where these large veins are found.
  • There have been no identified cases of fat embolism when the fat is exclusively grafted in to the subcutaneous layer.

The recommendations that followed this review address technique and equipment in an effort to help surgeons avoid intra-muscular injections and fat embolism.

Impact On My Practice

I have reviewed my own practice so that I may offer the safest BBL possible. As before, I will continue to avoid intra-muscular injections of fat, however, inadvertent placement of fat in the muscle remains a possibility. Patients need to be aware of this issue and give it due consideration as they weigh the potential risks and benefits of surgery.

Given that intra-muscular injections are to be avoided, and given that the subcutaneous layer will only accommodate a finite amount of fat, there will be limitations to the amount of fat that can be grafted and therefore limitations to the degree of gluteal augmentation that can be achieved.

Part of my role is to clarify the balance of risks and benefits for each patient during the consultation so that it’s possible for patients to make an informed decision. I will continue to follow this issue closely in an effort to stay current with the best available evidence.

Cutting Edge Technology


Over the past few years the task of 'staying up to date' in my chosen field has gone from being a tedious chore to something convenient and enjoyable. A software program called ReadCube has changed everything.
In the beginning, when I was a medical student, I could search for journal articles on line but to read them I had to physically find the journal in the UBC Medical Library. This was a slow process and as a result, most of the reading and studying that I did was in textbooks.
Years later, when I started my Plastic Surgery residency in Calgary, I had on line access to Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the premiere journal in my field. While this was certainly an improvement it was only one journal and therefore provided access to only a fraction of the articles I needed.
Fast forward to the present and the situation is much improved. A couple of years ago, I discovered a program called ReadCube . . . "read, manage and discover new literature like never before". Their tag line is true! The convenience and power of this software was immediately apparent to me and worth the added monthly expense. As a Clinical Instructor with the UBC Faculty of Medicine, ReadCube allows me to search any journal within UBC's massive library of international titles. Articles that interest me can be immediately downloaded. In addition, ReadCube allows me to sort and file the articles as I see fit, which makes for easy reference later. The ability to sync my ReadCube library between all my devices means that I have access to my favourite papers no matter where I'm working. ReadCube even helps me to stay current by flagging newly published articles that are similar to my previous downloads. With these features, ReadCube has helped me to improve patient outcomes in my practice by making it easier than ever before to do the research that is sometimes required as I prepare for an upcoming case.
Thank you ReadCube . . . just in case you're reading my blog.

The Importance of Protein Supplementation for MWL patients undergoing body contouring

In a recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, a simple regimen of protein supplementation was found to reduce the incidence of post-operative wound healing issues. I decided to summarize parts of the paper here in this month's blog because it has the potential to enhance the recovery for all of our massive weight loss patients who are undergoing body contouring procedures.
This study was published by a group working out of Mississauga, lead by Dr. Jamil Ahmad and Dr. Frank Lista. They recognized that for massive weight loss patients there are more wound healing issues following body contouring surgery in comparison to other body contouring patients. It's well known that post-bariatric patients experience higher rates of protein calorie insufficiency and the authors hypothesized that protein supplementation would help to reduce the number of post-operative wound healing complications.
Two groups of 23 massive weight loss (MWL) patients undergoing abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) were selected. The two groups were similar with regards to age, gender, BMI and other characteristics. Patients in the treatment group were asked to supplement their diet with 80 grams of whey-isolate protein powder for 4 weeks before surgery and 4 weeks after surgery. This was the only difference between the two groups.
The treatment group had a significantly lower rate of wound healing issues (0% vs 21.7%).
Protein calorie insufficiency is common amongst post-bariatric patients. In addition, protein requirements are increased during the healing phase following body contouring surgery. It's not unexpected then that the authors were able to demonstrate improved healing and recovery in the group who received protein supplementation.
"Based on this article, I would encourage all of my MWL patients to incorporate some protein supplementation in to their pre- and post-surgery diets."
Article reference:
Austin, Ryan et al. The Impact of Protein Nutritional Supplementation for Massive Weight Loss Patients undergoing Abdominoplasty. Aesthetic Surgery Journal; 2015, 1-7.

Plastic Surgery for Men - our top 8 cosmetic procedures

It's been my observation that men are less likely than women to disucss their plastic surgery needs with friends and family. As a result, there may be a dampened public awareness of all that goes on regarding men and plastic surgery. This was recently exemplified by the American Society of Plastic Surgery who reported, in their annual statistics, that 40% of all 'breast reductions' in the U.S. were performed on men. While the correction of gynecomastia is perhaps the most well known reason for men to stray in to a plastic surgeon's office there are in fact many other products and services that are designed for men.
Body contouring procedures that are popular with men include correction of gynecomastia, liposuction and abdominoplasty.
  • Male breast reduction surgery is covered in detail on a dedicated page and this is perhaps the most common reason for men to consult with Dr. Reid.
  • Liposuction can be a powerful tool for re-shaping the torso and reducing stubborn fat deposits. Treatment of the abdominal and 'love-handle' areas are most common. Minimal scarring and downtime help to make liposuction a popular procedure.
  • Men who choose to have a tummy tuck have often lost a significant amount of weight and this procedure is ideal for those who have loose skin in the abdominal area.
Above the neck, there are several treatment options for men. Some of them are surgical procedures that require anaesthetic, while others are conveniently offered in the office.
  • Lose the double-chin. Check out our page on Belkyra, a minimally invasive injectable treatment to remove submental fat to create a more athletic looking neck line.
  • For more challenging necks, a surgical neck lift with submental liposuction is powerful procedure that can restore, or create, a youthful looking neck.
  • A chin augmentation strengthens the look of a 'weak' jaw and can dramatically change a guy's profile and their overall look. It's often a great complement to the neck treatments listed above. Minor augmentations can be achieved in the office with an injectable filler, while more dramatic results require placement of an implant.
  • Women get Botox . . . . men get 'Brotox'. The product is the same, but the aesthetic goals are different. Botox should be considered by those men who have persistent creases and wrinkles affecting either the brow or forehead.
  • Aging men with loose upper eyelid skin should consider a blepharoplasty. This relatively minor surgical procedure removes redundant skin and aims to restore a crisp upper eyelid fold while maintaining a masculine look.
That concludes our run down of Dr. Reid's top 8 cosmetic procedures for men.

What to expect during your consultation

Here's a blog post that is perhaps applicable to everybody. Most blog topics are particular to a specific procedure or treatment and, therefore, only relevant to a small subset of patients. As an alternative, I will lay out a framework for the consultation process and a scaffold for the information that needs to be delivered during any consultation. My hope is that this will reduce the number of unknowns, improve the quality of the discussion and promote better, more informative consultations.
Almost all consultations follow a set structure that is designed to meet the needs of our patients. To begin with, we will ask you for some basic information so that a chart can be developed within our electronic medical record. Following that, you will be provided with some written material that is specific to your area of interest (e.g. breast augmentation). In a private consult room, our patient coordinator will review your treatment goals and provide you with some preliminary information.
The substance of the consultation really begins at this point. Dr. Reid will record the relevant aspects of your medical history. He will also provide some background information on the topic and his approach to treatment (e.g. how to select implant type, size, etc.). The discussion that follows, with Dr. Reid, helps to ensure a mutual understanding of your goals, expectations and concerns. A directed physical examination provides the remaining information required for Dr. Reid to prepare a personalized treatment recommendation.
There is a lot of information during this last phase of the consultation and it's most easily remembered if you break it down into the following categories.
  1. Your diagnosis and recommended treatment plan
  2. Alternatives to the recommended treatment
  3. Technical details about the procedure itself
  4. The expected outcome
  5. The recovery process
  6. The potential risks
  7. The fees and the booking process
For most cosmetic procedures, we prefer to arrange a second office visit approximately 4 weeks prior to the scheduled procedure. This 'pre-operative' visit provides another opportunity to clarify your goals, the treatment plan and your plan for recovery.  If there are questions that need answering prior to the pre-operative visit, we can always be reached by telephone or email.
We aim to create a consultation experience that is comfortable, thorough and informative. If you have any questions or comments about our consultations, or if you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr. Reid please contact our patient coordinator at jean@drreidplasticsurgery.ca