How Do You Check for Signs of Skin Cancer?

Soaking up a few minutes of sunlight per day may have some health benefits such as improving our mood and regulating our sleep quality, but you should try to avoid too much exposure to UV rays. After any kind of major form of plastic surgery, patients are usually encouraged to protect their very sensitive skin from sun damage that may cause scars to darken. But even if you haven’t had any cosmetic procedure, excess sun exposure is the main cause of skin damage other than chronological aging and also the main risk factor for skin cancer. Dr. Owen Reid offers mole removal at his Vancouver area practice for patients who wish to have them removed for cosmetic reasons or because of a medical issue. Unsure whether spots and blemishes on your skin may need to be removed? Here are some tips for identifying potential warning signs of skin cancer.

The ABCDEs of Melanoma

Skin cancer looks different on everyone but there are some basic rules you can use to spot moles on your skin.

A is for Asymmetry: All of the normal moles on your body tend to have a symmetrical circular or oval shape, so an asymmetrical shape could be a sign that something is wrong.

B is for Border: Is the border of the mole blurred, jagged, or scalloped? The borders of healthy moles are clearly defined.

C is for Color: It’s normal for moles to have a uniform tan, brown, beige, or black color. Abnormal moles have unusual colors such as blue, pink, red, and white. There may also be a mixture of multiple colors.

D is for Diameter: Moles should be small – no larger than a pencil eraser. Although some melanomas can be very small, it’s a red flag if you have very large marks.

E is for Evolving: Is there a mole on your skin that’s continuing to get larger, or have other symptoms such as bleeding, crusting, or bruising over several weeks or months? That’s a sign that it could potentially be a serious condition.

If you’re concerned about the appearance of a mark on your skin, it’s important to get it checked out by a professional. For more advice on abnormal mole removal contact the Vancouver area’s Dr. Owen Reid office. Call us at 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form to request a consultation.

How to Find the Right Plastic Surgeon for Breast Augmentation

Plastic surgery is a major deal, so it’s always best to weigh your options and not rush into anything. The most critical decision patients will have to make is finding the person who will perform their surgery. After all, you’ll have to live with the permanent enhancements they make to your body for the rest of your lifetime and you want to have the safest experience possible with successful results. If you’re planning on having breast augmentation in the Vancouver area, read these tips first.

  • Vet the Surgeons You Consult

    Instead of going with the first doctor you meet, you can interview several plastic surgeons in your area to compare them. You need to find a surgeon who is trained and highly experienced in performing breast augmentation in particular. Ask them whether they’re board-certified with the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, what they were trained in, how many times they’ve performed breast augmentation, and how many years of training they’ve had.

  • Consider Their Aesthetic Style

    Many believe that plastic surgery is just as much of an art as it is a science. Every patient has their own preferences and unique taste. Similarly, each surgeon has their own style, so even if you find one who performs breast augmentation, that doesn’t mean that the kind of look they create will be attractive to you. Ask to see their before and after photos and look at patients who have a similar body shape and breast type to you.

  • Think About Your Personal Comfort Level

    Another factor that is often forgotten about is how the patient feels about the surgeon. Your feelings and the vibe you pick up from the doctor and their staff are important. Ideally, you should choose someone who you feel you can trust and communicate with them easily. Ask yourself whether you feel completely comfortable with your surgeon and their support team. They should be someone who is polite, helpful, and doesn’t make you feel pressured to go through with anything.

Breast implants can give you a renewed sense of confidence by enhancing the size, shape, and symmetry of your breasts. If you have questions about breast augmentation in the Vancouver area, the Dr. Owen Reid office can guide you through everything that’s involved. Call us at 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form to request a consultation.

How to Make Scars Less Noticeable After Plastic Surgery

When the deep layer of your skin is injured, infected, or inflamed, scarring occurs as part of the body's natural healing process to repair the skin that has been damaged or removed. The scar that forms will have a different colour and texture compared to the surrounding skin. One of the biggest concerns patients who are having plastic surgery such as a tummy tuck, arm lift, or breast augmentation usually have is whether the procedure will leave permanent scars. Scarring is an inevitable occurrence whenever you have any form of plastic surgery that involves larger incisions, and some patients can scar more than others even when proper care is taken to protect their skin after surgery. Nevertheless, there are some steps that patients can take, including scar revision from our Vancouver Area office to improve the cosmetic appearance of the scar, restore their functional abilities if scars have inhibited the patient's movement, and reduce pain or itchiness associated with some scars.

  • Follow Your Surgeon's Advice

    From the moment you leave the operating room to recover at home, caring for your incisions becomes critical. Make sure you have a clear understanding on when you'll be able to remove any bandages or support garments, what will be done about stitches or sutures, how you should wash your skin, and which products you should use on your skin.

  • Stay in the Shade

    Sun exposure and fresh surgical incisions don't mix. Scars are more sensitive to sunlight and tend to burn more easily. They can become darkened by sunlight and appear more pronounced. Wear protective clothes, slather on sunscreen, and stay out of the sun as much as possible.

  • Avoid Heavy Workouts or Stretches

    Stretching, straining, or placing too much tension on the incisions can cause healing to be delayed. Avoid heavy lifting and intense workouts until your surgeon says it's safe to resume them.

Thinking of having a surgical treatment to fix sagging skin or remove unwanted fat? Discover the benefits of scar revision from the Vancouver area Dr. Owen Reid office or learn more about the surgical procedures we offer. Give us a call at 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form if you'd like to meet with us to discuss a surgical 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.

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