FAQ's

Please read some of the most common questions we get below!

Does Dr. McInnes do any other procedures not specifically listed?

Absolutely! There are many procedures not yet listed that Dr. McInnes performs. If you are interested in a procedure not specifically listed, please contact our office and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

Are there any before and after pictures?

Dr. McInnes has lots of before and after pictures that his patients have consented for in-office viewership. He will be happy to show you them during your consultation as he loves to display his work and help his patients understand what to expect from their procedure.

Form Fee

All single page forms have a minimum charge of $156+GST. Additional fees apply for subsequent pages (minimum $50 per page, depending on complexity).

Please note the following:

  • Patients need to review their own forms, legibly complete their section (eg. demographic data), and be prepared to answer any questions Dr. McInnes has pertaining to questions on the forms
  • Forms are faxed from our office only after payment is received
  • It can take 1-2 weeks for form completion
  • Forms will usually not be completed during your visit due to time restraints
How long is the wait for surgery?

Patients typically book well in advance, particularly if they have a preferred surgery date. That being said, there are occasionally last-minute cancellations and we do our best to accommodate requests. If you have a preferred surgery date in mind, we suggest you call our office (604-515-8847) to reserve your consultation today.

How should I choose my plastic surgeon?

Choosing the ideal surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make with respect to your overall experience and outcome. Do not be confused by other official sounding boards and certifications. The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons is the only plastic surgery specialty recognized by the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada. Unfortunately, there are very few restrictions enforced on other physicians or non-physicians who offer plastic surgery procedures or call themselves plastic surgeons of some variety. There are no certifying boards with “cosmetic surgery” that are recognized by the Royal College of Physician and Surgeons of Canada (or in the USA). While other surgeons can learn and perform a plastic surgery procedure, sometimes from a weekend course, they are not plastic surgeons and do not gain the same in-depth training. This can reduce their ability to adapt to variations in anatomy, or intra-operative findings. Both the Canadian and American Society of Plastic Surgeons, of which Dr. McInnes is a dual member in good standing, only admit candidates from accredited plastic surgery training programs who have completed rigorous technical training programs, written and oral examinations in plastic surgery, and complete ongoing medical certification. Be certain to check your surgeon’s membership status as one method of verifying you’re seeing a true plastic surgeon.

I live in a different province, can I still get Dr. McInnes to perform my private surgery?

Dr. McInnes performs consultations with patients from across BC and Canada. While he prefers to see his patients in person, we can also arrange virtual consultation for out of town patients. Your virtual consultation can be arranged wherever you have access to a smartphone or computer with a webcam. Prior to your consult, Dr. McInnes will ask you:

  • The procedure you are interested in
  • To complete the provided medical history form
  • To upload photos of your area of concern

The consult will offer an opportunity to meet Dr. McInnes, have him understand your treatment goals, and hear his recommendations. In certain cases it may not be possible to properly assess you concerns through the virtual consultation, and you may be asked to come in for a standard, in-person examination. For a virtual consultation, please contact our office, and Dr. McInnes will be happy to meet with you. Please note that the BC College of Physicians will not insure BC physicians and surgeons for treating American patients.

My friend got surgery in a different country (or from a different surgeon) that was less expensive, why is plastic surgery expensive?

Surgery is inherently expensive as there are many team members involved in addition to the surgeon. Much like everything else, you get what you pay for. Dr. McInnes wants all his patients to get the best possible outcome, and therefore charges for the extra time required to perform a finessed operation. In many developing countries, these procedures are done in a “cookie cutter” manner, and “plastic surgeons” won’t spend any extra time during the surgery if it’s going to decrease their profit margin. More worrisome, is that your “plastic surgeon” might be a dentist performing breast augmentation, an obstetrician performing a facelift, or a family physician doing your tummy tuck. There are fewer regulations in private surgery, and plenty of false advertising (even in Canada and the USA), so buyer beware. Quality control measures taken in Canada, from accreditation of surgical facilities and plastic surgeon training standards, are high. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to see patients in the emergency department with complications from procedures performed outside of the country. If you’re treated by Dr. McInnes, you’ll be managed and cared for by a board-certified plastic surgeon from your initial consultation to your surgery, and post-operatively.

What can I do to “optimize myself” for surgery?
  • Eat healthy: vegetables, fruit, sufficient lean protein, vitamin supplementation, stay hydrated
    • Dr. McInnes has a diet handout he can provide you if you’re planning to lose weight, just ask!
  • Exercise: strengthen you muscles, get in shape
  • Reduce alcohol intake (eg. less than one standard drink per day)
  • Quit smoking: absolutely no smoking (or vaping or marijuana) minimum 3 weeks before and 4 weeks after surgery (ideally 4 weeks or longer)
  • Stop herbal supplements, vitamins, fish oils etc. 7 days before surgery (they can increase bleeding)
  • Ensure you have stopped any blood thinning medications such as Aspirin, Advil (ibuprofen), or warfarin as recommended by Dr. McInnes

Abdominoplasty

My friend got a free tummy tuck, why are you charging me?

Cosmetic surgery is not a benefit of the Medical Services Plan (MSP) anywhere in Canada, as taxpayers do not wish to pay for cosmetic surgery. A procedure called a panniculectomy is covered by MSP in certain medical circumstances, however this is not a cosmetic operation. Sometimes patients do not understand the difference between the two operations, and may report getting a “free tummy tuck”. This procedure involves removing some excess fat and skin below the belly button in certain patients but it does not contour the abdomen, and often does not produce a cosmetic improvement as the belly button gets sewn down to the pubic line. Many plastic surgeons refuse to do this procedure because it is somewhat aesthetically displeasing and is only for certain medical conditions. Dr. McInnes is happy to discuss the indications, limits, and outcomes of panniculectomy with you at your consultation. 

What about my stretch marks?

Childbirth or weight loss commonly leave patients with stretch marks, which are full thickness scars in the skin. Like scars elsewhere, there isn’t a magic potion to eliminate them. Abdominoplasty surgery may remove some of the stretch marks, but this will depend where they are located. If they are mainly below the belly button, they will be mostly excised. If the stretch marks are located above the belly button, they will still be present after abdominoplasty. Dr McInnes will discuss this with you during your consultation.

What about non-invasive treatments (Coolsculpting, Sculpsure etc.)

Non-invasive treatments can be used for very mild cases, but won’t achieve the desired results for more moderate fatty deposition. Coolsculpting is often over-promoted in cosmetic med-spas by non-plastic surgeons who don’t have the ability to offer any surgical treatments. Several surgeons have abandoned less invasive options as patients were often spending a considerable amount of money only to be left disappointed with very modest results. Similarly, for very large amounts of excess fat, particularly if there is excess skin, liposuction alone may not achieve desired results. By offering multiple treatment options, Dr. McInnes can advise you on the treatment that will give you the results you desire with the least amount of downtime. 

Why should my weight be stable before abdominoplasty?

The reason weight should be stable before abdominoplasty is because weight fluctuations can impact the results of your surgery. For example, if you were to lose a significant amount of weight after your abdominoplasty, Dr. McInnes may have been able to remove additional skin and fat from your abdomen. Similarly, if you gain weight, your surgical results will not be optimized for your size. It is important to aim for a healthy, sustainable weight prior to your abdominoplasty.

Breast Augmentation

How much pain will I be in after surgery?

This depends on various factors, and of course everyone has a different pain tolerance. Implants placed below the muscle cause it to stretch, and this is typically more painful initially until the muscle gets used to this new position. Dr. McInnes believes in multi-modal pain treatment as it has shown to be the most effective and decreases the use of narcotic pain medications. He will commonly treat his patients with a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and a short course of narcotic.

I’ve heard of BII, what is that?

Concerns over breast implant safety and side effects have spanned decades, and plastic surgeons are extremely active in researching the safety of breast implants. Breast implant illness (BII) is a controversial term used to describe a wide range of symptoms that some women have attributed to breast implants. . Common complaints have included fatigue, concentration difficulties, and joint soreness. At present, the science is unclear if this is a true entity, however due to the difficulty is studying such a vast number of vague symptoms, Dr. McInnes feels it could be possible in certain cases. It is exceedingly difficult to separate things like fatigue and concentration difficulties from natural changes that would have occurred due to age and normal hormonal changes. While there are large scale studies which show that non-textured breast implants are safe, Dr. McInnes believes in keeping an open mind, particularly in medicine. He will discuss BII with you in more detail at your consultation as there are other options available, such as fat grafting.

What is ALCL?

ALCL (anaplastic large cell lymphoma) is a type of lymphoma that has been associated with textured breast implants, which Dr. McInnes does not use. To date, there has not been a single reported case associated with a history of only smooth implant use. As a precaution, most plastic surgeons in North America are no longer using textured implants. The disease usually manifests with a very swollen breast, on average 10 years after implant placement.

ALCL can occur in people without breast implants, however there has been an association seen with the use textured breast implants. At present, the risk in patients with textured implants appears to be between 1:3,000 - 1:10,000 (in comparison, the incidence of breast cancer for women is 1:8). This disease is being aggressively studied by plastic surgeons across North America and in the world. The vast majority of cases are cured by removing the implants and associated capsule, without the need for medical treatments. Dr. McInnes stays up to date with the latest information on ALCL and breast implant safety, and will be happy to discuss risks of implants with you.

Will I need to change out my breast implants?

Breast implants are not designed to last a lifetime, and your implants may need to be replaced at some point. Breast tissue and skin continues to change for various reasons including aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors and gravity, and these can all change to look of your breasts after breast implant surgery. Implant companies typically recommend changing them out after a period of 10 years, however many patients have their original implants in place for well beyond that with no issues. 

Breast Lift

I don’t want a vertical incision, why is that required?

In most cases a vertical incision is required with a breast lift. Candidates for an areola lift and concentric circle type mastopexy will usually have just a small amount of excess skin. The vertical incision narrows the breast, and is usually critical for lifting the nipple and shaping the breast. Similarly, a transverse incision below the breast is used to control excess skin in the vertical direction. Dr. McInnes will discuss this with you further at your consultation. 

Breast Reduction

What happens after I’ve recovered in the recovery room?

Most patients spend 1-2 hours in the recovery room before being discharged. If you’ve had additional procedures done, an overnight stay may be possible if arranged well in advance of your surgical date, but often is not required. You will be given pain medication to take at home, and Dr. McInnes will discuss this with you at your consultation.

What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?

Dr. McInnes believes in multi-modal pain treatment as it has shown to be the most effective and decreases the use of narcotic pain medications. He will commonly treat his patients with a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and a short course of a very light narcotic. In combination with the numbing (freezing) medication injected at the surgical site, many patients do not have extensive pain and just take Tylenol and Advil.

When can I resume normal activity and exercise?

After breast reduction surgery, Dr. McInnes doesn’t want his patients doing any intense physical activity for at least 4 weeks. Dr. McInnes will provide you with a detailed post-operative form to review before and after surgery [(found here)]. Generally speaking, you will need to take it easy for 3-4 weeks, and avoid excessive tension on the incisions for 12 weeks if you want an optimal scar.

Face & Neck Lift

What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?

Dr. McInnes believes in multi-modal pain treatment as it has shown to be the most effective and decreases the use of narcotic pain medications. He will commonly treat his patients with a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol), and a short course of low-potency narcotic. In combination with the numbing (freezing) medication injected at the surgical site, many patients are surprised by just how little narcotic medication they use.

When can I resume normal activity and exercise?

Following facelift surgery, it’s important to take it easy for 4-6 weeks. Over-activity can cause bruising and put tension on the incisions. Many patients are socially presentable after 10 days and able to return to work by their third week. Dr. McInnes will provide you with a detailed post-operative form to review before and after surgery.