As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in NYC, I hear some interesting stories about other doctors both here and overseas. They come mainly from dissatisfied patients who want to improve results or fix complications. Some I can help, others are unable to be helped, and others have expectations that cannot be met in this world.
Many of these patients do have poorly performed procedures, either by non Plastic Surgeons or inexperienced cosmetic physicians. Others look perfectly fine, and have unrealistic ideas about what can be achieved with Plastic Surgery.
The stories that disturb me the most are from the people who say that they were not asked by the doctor on consult what they were looking to achieve, did not see any before or after pictures, and just blindly thought that a professional should know what they wanted. This is a terrible mistake.
I like to think that I am fairly intuitive, and have a very good aesthetic eye. I know what looks appropriate, and what is bizarre. I also know that I am only going to see the patient a few times a year after, while they live with their results 24/7. For this, I always try to insure that they know more or less what I am suggesting, and that we are both realistic about what to expect. Showing photos usually helps.
Do not assume that your Plastic Surgeon knows best. As President Reagan said, “Trust, but verify”
As I sit here awaiting the opening of the Y Gallery event for famed Puerto Rican artist Celestino, I am thinking of how I got to this point. Opening Yager Plastic Surgery in 1997, my goal was to serve the Hispanic community with safe and affordable cosmetic surgery. Sixteen years and two expansions and renovations later, I have created Yager Esthetics/Estetica.
Here in Washington Heights in upper manhattan, I now have a state-of-the-art 6000 sf facility, complete with an accredited Surgery Center, Laser center, the Yspa, and Y Gallery. Y Gallery is a free art space within my office for the benefit of Hispanic artists looking for a venue in NYC to have their art seen. There is no fee to the artist, they can sell art and we do not take one penny. We also print a mailing postcard, provide music, food, and drink as well as an exhibition night and up to 2 months of time to show the work.
The yGallery events have become more popular over the 3 years we have been doing it, and virtually every artist sells something. The stature of the artists has also grown, leaving us to vet the best for inclusion. The Pequenos Picassos program to introduce children of single mothers of low income Hispanic families to art and help provide funding for art programs and scholarships to the community has also been an incredible success.
Why art in a Plastic Surgery center? Plastic Surgery is the perfect blend of art and medicine, and being able to enhance the experience of my patients means the world to me. In The Community, For The Community is not just a slogan for me, it is a way of life.
Many women, especially after the birth of children, notice a change not only in their stomach area but in their breasts as well. They can be bigger, smaller, or the same size as before pregnancy, but they are often looser.
The two factors that are most important in breast esthetics are size and shape. For my money, the more important of the two is shape, because if you have a small or large well formed breast it is still pretty and youthful. Bigger is not always better.
There are many techniques of breast lift, or mastopexy. Some use just an incision around the areola, others a lollipop, and others an anchor type scar. The deciding factors are the laxity of the skin and how far down the nipple has fallen. When done properly, the results are rewarding.
I wanted to touch on the myths and truths about the procedure to better inform my patients.
Myth 1- You will lose sensation if you do a breast lift. It is possible, but very unlikely that nipple sensation is permanently lost with mastopexy
Myth 2- You will be smaller if you do a breast lift. Only skin is removed, so no significant size change is likely.
Myth 3- You have to remove the nipple to lift the breast. No, you are cutting around the areola, but the nipple stays attached to the breast tissue below at all times.
Truth- In many cases, the very full upper part of the breast can only be achieved with the addition of a breast implant. Many women do not have enough breast volume to have a very round breast after lift without an implant. They do look pretty and natural, but if you are going for the push up bra look without a bra, this is not possible without adding an implant.
Hope this helps.
Whenever a patient undergoes a surgical procedure required sedation, regional, or general anesthesia, they are required to have a patient escort over the age of 18 to leave the office. This has always been the policy of Yager Esthetics, even before we became a AAAASF Accredited Surgery Center. It is amazing that some patients are annoyed at this rule.
The purpose of the patient escort is to have someone who is not altered by the medications that are given with anesthesia, and are not subject to the physical limitations imposed by the surgery so that they may help you arrive home safely. There should also be someone with you for at least the first 24 hours in case something happens and you are unable to call for help. It is common sense.
Going home in a taxi by yourself is never acceptable. If you pass out in the cab, what happens? If you get out of the cab and fall going into your home or building, who can help you? If you become confused or fall asleep from the anesthetic effects, who knows what might happen.
I know that some people live alone, and feel that it is embarrassing to tell someone they need help getting home from cosmetic surgery. It is a private matter, and not everybody has a person that they trust. If this is the case, ask about hiring a nurse or nurse’s aide to take care of you for the first night. They can pick you up and go home with you. Your safety is definitely worth the minor expense.
When we witness a senseless attack on society such as 9/11 or the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the first instincts are usually sadness and possibly fear. We reassess what we do, where we go, how we travel, and become more suspicious of people and situations around us. These are all natural responses, and it is difficult to change them.
What we should do is support the victims, seek out the people who committed the crimes, bring them to justice, and figure out how to prevent it from happening in the future. With the Marathon incident, I believe that is where we are right now.
What does this have to do with Plastic Surgery? I feel that Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is the epitome of the American way of life. We do not apologize for success and the ability to invest our hard earned money in our own happiness. Whether it is a new pair of shoes, a fancy car, or a little liposuction, it is our right to enjoy.
I am well aware that there are more important things in life then your appearance, and for some Plastic Surgery is frivolous. I am not suggesting that Plastic Surgery is a way to protest terrorism. What I suggest is that we be vigilant, but not change what it means to be an American, and enjoy the freedoms our ancestors have fought so hard for.