Plastic Surgeons Should Not Be Technicians

I had a patient come to me recently with a problem following a rhinoplasty performed by another plastic surgeon.  I assumed she was here because she needed reassurance that the healing process was normal, or she did surgery far away and could not fly their due to financial or work circumstances.  It turned out that her surgeon was closer to her house than I was, it was just that he refused to see her.

On examination, it appeared to be a reasonably well performed operation with a normal post operative course.  I reassured her that healing was normal, and asked her permission to call her surgeon.  He complained to me that she was very needy, asked too many questions, and took up too much of his time.  He felt there was nothing to do until her visit in several months, and that he did not need to see her.

At Yager Esthetics, the relationship between doctor and patient is a partnership that continues forever, even after the procedure is completed.  I feel a special bond with each person I operate on, and invest a lot of emotional energy in the planning, execution, and aftercare.  Sometimes, I am a plastic surgeon, sometimes a psychiatrist, and many times just a friend or confidant.  It depends on the patient’s needs.

While it is true that physically nothing would be done for this patient until her next visit, she clearly had emotional or other reasons for needing someone to talk to.  I feel that this is part of caring for the cosmetic plastic surgery patient.  You need to spend enough time with the patient before agreeing to perform surgery to know if you want to accept the responsibility of her total aftercare.

Plastic surgeons are not technicians who simply perform the indicated procedure, no matter how talented they may be.  We should be physicians who care for all the needs of our patients.

Exercise and Plastic Surgery

Many of my patients are surprised when I tell them that exercise is important after plastic surgery in order to obtain the best results.  I have been told by more than a few patients that the reason they did cosmetic procedures was to avoid doing exercise.  I can tell you that this is a mistake.

Depending on your surgery, there will always be limits to certain activities for a period of time.  After any surgery, I recommend no exercise for 2 weeks to avoid bleeding and prolonged swelling.  For tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), no abdominal exercises can be done for a month.  From one month to 6 weeks, we start isometric contractions, and full exercise after 6 weeks including crunches.

The abdominoplasty procedure closes the abdominal muscles, but if they have no strength or tone, you will not be flat.  A strong core makes your results better, and even the best surgery cannot make up for weak muscles.  

For breast surgery, we limit chest and upper body exercises, as movement of your arms can move the muscle and/or implant if you have one.  After the rest period, it is good to strengthen the chest muscles to get that little bit of extra lift that it brings.

After liposuction, exercise is key as well.  Once the extra fat layer is gone, you can actually see muscle definition.  Working out is so much more rewarding when everyone can see your hard efforts on the beach.

So do not do surgery to avoid exercise, do exercise to avoid surgery.  If you need surgery, get the maximum results by exercising as well.

The Sun and Plastic Surgery

There are many rumors about the sun and plastic surgery, so I thought that the summer would be the best time to let Yager Esthetics patients know what the truth as I know it is on the topic.

The sun is very important for your body to effectively absorb and utilize vitamin D.  This is especially important to darker skinned patients, as the color in the skin makes it harder for the sun to penetrate and convert the vitamin d into a useful form.  I highly recommend having your doctor check your level to see if you need to take supplements for this vitamin.

I also tell my patients to be very careful about the sun if they have had recent cosmetic surgery, as many of these procedures can temporarily decrease sensation in your skin.  Because of this, skin can burn without you feeling it.  Remember to use sunblock and check the areas frequently.

Another important fact is that scars do not tan.  Because of this, if you had a facelift, the scar can become more noticeable as the skin around it darkens while it stays white.

The sun will age your skin, can make dark spots worse, accentuate wrinkles, and pave the way for skin cancer in the future, so be smart.  Make sure to use and reapply sun screen if you must be outdoors, hydrate well, and do it in moderation.  A tan may look healthy, but it is really a sign of skin damage.

We hope you are careful of the sun this summer, and that you stop in to see our estheticians so they can help repair the fun in the sun damage to your skin when it ends.

When You Love What You Do, You Never Work a Day In Your Life

Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor. In nursery school, when the other kids wanted to be cowboys and firemen, I wanted to be a pathologist. I do not know exactly why I was so drawn to medicine, but the fever just never went away.

Fortunately, I was able to get good grades, study at Johns Hopkins and Columbia, and realize my dream to become a physician. Finding my calling in Plastic Surgery was the icing on the cake. As I enter my 15th year in private practice, it is hard to imagine doing anything else.

With the success I have been fortunate enough to have, I continue to invest it back into my practice. We just expanded to 6000sf last year, expanded our cutting edge ySpa, and this month opened our Laser Center for Latin Skin. The technology we have is the best available for our Hispanic patients, and we continue to serve the community.
Every day I am excited to come to the office and work with my fantastic staff. My patients honor me by trusting me to help them achieve their cosmetic goals. I can honestly say that I give my all to each one, even after seeing over 25,000 patients so far.

I thank those of you who have made my practice such a pleasure, and look forward to serving the needs of the community for many more years.