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Liposuction & Tummy Tuck Patient Story

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Patient Perspectives By Barbara Johnston

Martha Forbes, who recently had a tummy tuck and liposuction in Vancouver, will be featured on the TV show Skin Deep this fall. For her, the procedures were part of a process of finding balance in her life. Dr. Mosher sat down with Martha in August to hear her story.*

How did you hear about Dr. Mosher?

I met Dr. Mosher at the BC Women's Show about eight years ago. The coordinator introduced us and I was immediately comfortable with him. It was a huge, noisy trade show, but he was this island of calm and tranquility amongst the uproar of women doing makeup and fashion. He was impeccable and friendly, and he made a huge impression on me. I kept his business card for all those years.

Why did you want to have a tummy tuck and liposuction?

Since I was 20 I've had seven surgeries and procedures in my pelvic region. I've had an ovarian cyst removed, my appendix removed, cervical cancer, and many laproscopies. I've also had fibroids removed twice, and then about four years ago I had an emergency hysterectomy. The bottom line is that I've been cut so many times in the pelvic area, I have absolutely no muscles in my abdomen. It was like I had ten pounds of butter, melted and then tied in a plastic bag really tight. I couldn't look in the mirror and get past that. For this reason, I've wanted a tummy tuck for years. I know you're supposed to love your body no matter what God gives you, but He didn't give me that. It was the product of all the surgeries. I just couldn't find balance with this pouch I had. My first decision was to have a tummy tuck. I then decided to extend the surgery to having liposuction around my hips and rib cage.

Did you have any other reasons for wanting the surgery?

About a year and a half ago I was at a real low point in my life. I was clinically depressed and unhappy with every aspect of myself. At one point it became very clear to me that my mental and physical health had to come before anything else in the world. I realized that if I'm not mentally and physically fit, then I'm no good for anybody. I started to see a psychologist who helped me to establish priorities. That's what started me on the path to overall wellness. My mental and physical health is first, then comes my family, and next comes my passions, which are related to my work and hobbies. My psychologist kept asking me, "What makes you feel best both inwardly and outwardly?" It was part of the process of putting myself on the road to wellness and balance. I started working on my mind and spirit first, focusing on my self-confidence, my self-worth, and my self-esteem. As I started to feel better mentally, my body was the next part to tackle. I just wanted to get my body in balance, and this meant eating correctly, drinking enough water, sleeping correctly. But I couldn't get past the fact that I had this ugly pouch on my stomach. A whole bunch of sit-ups wouldn't have changed my figure. I'm a firm believer that if you have an issue and you want it fixed, there are a number of ways to go about it. Plastic surgery was just a different option, not a right option or a wrong option. For me it was a matter of believing in something, and going ahead with it.

How did your family and friends feel about you having the surgery?

I think that a number of people thought I was doing it so men would find me more attractive. But, you know, it had nothing to do with them. It was so intensely personal that it had nothing to do with anybody else in the world, male or female. Having the surgery was about me figuring out what I wanted and what makes me feel best. I realized that people may not understand this, they may not agree with me about this, but it's about time I start making my own decisions.

Can you tell me about the consultation process with Dr. Mosher?

He's very responsive to what you want, but would never jeopardize your health. He listens to your wishes and gives you advice about health and leads you in the right direction. He never said no, but discussed alternatives and came up with other options. It's very much a collaboration. It's sort of like you're the artistic director and he's building the set.

How was your experience with Dr. Mosher and his staff?

The staff is to die for. They're amazing. You walk in there and it's like a bunch of girlfriends going to the spa for the day. It's not like a hospital. I had too much fun!

Even the anesthesiologist made a great impression. When I was having the surgery they even took care of my mother! Afterwards they called me to check up on me. They were very strict but an absolute joy to be with. You walk in and everybody says, "Hi Martha."

Your surgery will be televised on the show Skin Deep this fall. How did that come about?

I first talked to Dr. Mosher and got his advice and ideas. Then I contacted Skin Deep to find out about the possibility of being profiled on the show. I like the show because it gives women information and hope that something can be done if they're unhappy with some aspect of their body. After I started talking to Skin Deep, I went back to Dr. Mosher and talked about the options and decided on what I wanted to have done.

How did you feel about sharing something so personal and knowing it would be televised?

I wanted to make this information available to other women who might be considering plastic surgery. I've known women in the past who think they're tricking everybody when they go off to have plastic surgery. They say they're either sick or going on vacation. Then they come back and it's fairly obvious that they've had something done, but it becomes a great secret. Instead of rejoicing that this woman feels better about herself, it becomes a taboo subject. Why keep it in the closet when it's helping so many women and making them happier? It's like being an addict who's recovered and never talks about it because they're okay now. I don't think it should be a secret, I don't think it should be taboo. Obviously I'm not embarrassed about having plastic surgery or I wouldn't have gone on TV.

How was it working with Dr. Mosher in front of a television crew?

Dr. Mosher is always very professional when you're working with him. When we were working on the show, and not in the surgical or examining room, he got a twinkle in his eye and his sense of humour really came out.

Were all the procedures done at once?

Yes, they were. The surgery lasted several hours. But I've gone through so many surgeries it was almost normal to be on the operating table.

How did you feel before the surgery?

I had no pre-surgery anxiety. Other people were worried because of the usual anesthesia problems that could show up. My sister was very worried. My mom, who was there the whole time, was worried. On Skin Deep, a lot of women are crying and shaking before the surgery, and I think that's a very natural reaction, but I had no worries. Before I went in I knew that I was doing the right thing. I went in there and said, "Come on guys, let's go." I knew it was right. I knew Dr. Mosher was right. When I arrived at the surgical centre, I literally jumped out of the cab, grabbed my mom, and ran in.

How was the recovery?

There was pain. It was quite an extensive surgery, and afterwards it hurt. The first three days were the worst. Every muscle in your stomach is connected, so even looking at your toes hurt. There was a lot of swelling and I bruise very easily. My abdomen was black. Dr. Mosher said I was a very impressive bruiser!

At what point did you start to feel good after the surgery?

I would say after about seven or eight days. After about a week, standing up and sitting down was fine. After two weeks I was walking around. After three weeks I got the go-ahead from Dr. Mosher to do whatever I wanted. It was gradual.

How do you feel since you had the procedures?

I feel so much closer to having the balance I've been looking for. For me it was the right decision. I don't regret anything. Afterwards I just wanted to dance and sing. I've never been happier in my life. Even though life is still a bit complicated, I wouldn't want to be anybody else in the world. I like who I am both mentally and physically. Achieving that sense of balance and sense of well-being is spectacular. I wish that for every woman in the world. To me, the surgery was just another stepping stone towards balance. It's a wonderful feeling when it all comes together.

*Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary individually.

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YES Medspa and Cosmetic Surgery Centre: Dr. Mathew Mosher
301-8837 201 Street
Langley, BC V2Y 0C8
(604) 888-9378
Fax: (604) 888-9301
Cosmetic Surgery Office Hours: Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Medspa Office Hours: Monday 8:30 a.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday–Friday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.


Dr. is one of the most accomplished plastic surgeons in the Vancouver area, performing procedures such as liposuction, BOTOX COSMETIC® treatments, tummy tuck surgery, breast augmentation, and face lift using innovative techniques which minimize incisions, downtime, and discomfort. At his office in Langley, he serves patients from Burnaby, Surrey, Abbotsford, Richmond, White Rock and surrounding areas.
BOTOX COSMETIC® and VOLUMA® are registered trademarks of Allergan Inc. SOFT LIFT™ is a trademark of Allergan Inc. JUVÉDERM® is a registered trademark of Allergan Holdings France SAS.

Dr. Mathew Mosher