Jim McMahon Golf Outing

I lost a very dear friend 3 years ago named Jim McMahon.  He was a golf pro and a tremendous person.  Every day, he comes into my mind in some way, be it a happy memory, funny story, or the desire to call him up to chat.  He can never be replaced.

In his honor, I helped start a golf outing in 2013, and this will be the 4th event.  His friends and family gather at New York Country Club in Rockland County, NY where he was head pro and play a charity golf event.  It has virtually sold out every year so far.

The event features breakfast, lunch, dinner, open bar, cocktail hour and full banquet dinner with prizes and free gifts.  The contestants from the Ms Dominican Republic US pageant are on hand to make everyone feel welcome as well.

Each year, all the money raised goes to charity.  We have given about $20,000 each year to help others and carry on Jim’s good name.  I always attend and play, and it is a bargain at $200.  This is tax deductable.

If you are interested in a fun filled day with me, go to eventbrite.com and search for Jim McMahon. This year, it is Monday, August 15th .    Hope to see you there.


The Ramones and Plastic Surgery

I recently went to the Queens Museum, and was amazed by the special exhibit on the punk rock group, The Ramones. Just four guys from Forest Hills High School who captured a spirit that sparked a great revolution in music.  With a distinctive sound, short lyrics, and a look that changed fashion, The Ramones remain one of the most recognizable groups in rock history.

In some ways, I identify with the group.  When I was finishing my training at Columbia, the path of wisdom for me would have been to join a practice, join an academic institution, or go to a hot bed of plastic surgery like Park Avenue or Beverly Hills.  I had an independent thought.

Opening a beautiful high rent office in Washington Heights, 100 blocks from anywhere, and marketing to the Hispanic community was not just outside the box, it blew up the box.  The more I was told I couldn’t, the more I wanted to make it happen.  No one was going to tell me my instincts were wrong, and if I failed, it would be on my terms.

Now, 19 years later, I am continuing to rock out at Yager Esthetics, creating some of the most compelling work around today.  I err on the side of helping people, no matter the consequences, and 99% of my patients are pleased.

To those on Park Avenue, I wish you the best.  Keep imitating and following the formula.  I will blaze my own trail.  To my Latina friends,  “Gabba gabba, we accept you, we accept you, one of us! “


New Years and Plastic Surgery

In a few days, 2014 will be in the past.  This has been the fastest year of my life, and I never even had a feel for it.  The seasons and weather were odd, and it never really felt like it got going.  So, as always, the question becomes, what can I do to make 2015 even better at Yager Esthetics?

This past year was quite successful, in both patient care and community service. We added Exilis Elite for skin tightening, new skin care and stretchmark treatments, improved scar reduction techniques, and enhanced our spider vein and injectables practice quite a bit.

We had very successful Y Gallery art events, with a very high quality group of artists.  Many paintings were sold completely for the benefit of our Hispanic artists.  Our educational seminar series has been met with a tremendous response, and patients are acquiring the tools to make informed decisions.

So, what to do for Yager Esthetics in 2015?  We have some great live events planned, and details will follow soon.  We have hired even more Hispanic women to help the community and our practice grow together.  New technology is being evaluated now to add to the offerings for our patients, both surgical and nonsurgical.

We are expanding our social media outreach, and I still tweet daily and have an active Facebook page.  Look for videos and photos of our events, as well as copies of my live television appearances.

We are interactive, so if there are questions or suggestions of how we may serve you better, or if there are suggestions for Blog topics or seminars, contact us at info@dryager.com or call 212-543-1700 any time.

Prospero Año y Felicidad!


Santa Claus and Plastic Surgery

Almost all little children look forward to xmas, a time when good behavior is rewarded with family time and the fulfillment of wishes for presents.  It is a happy holiday, but one in which many lose the true meaning of sacrifice for others, and instead focus on themselves.

Sometimes, cosmetic plastic surgery patients act the same way.  They see their plastic surgeon as a type of Santa Claus, who can magically grant every wish for physical improvement with the wave of a scalpel.  The bandages are like the wrapping paper, which when removed reveals the wonderful gift within.

Many times, patients are thrilled with the results, and understand the work that went into creating them.  All the training and sacrifices made by their doctor to acquire his or her techniques and esthetic eye are evident.  Some, however, like spoiled children, can never be satisfied or have enough.

I always meet with my patients several times before performing a surgery upon them, so that I may review the risks and alternatives of each procedure, and try to give them a realistic idea of what to expect.  Unfortunately, not all patients listen well.

Over 99% of my patients are quite satisfied with their care and results of treatment at Yager Esthetics, but that 1% is what makes my life difficult.  If everything is done well and the results are excellent, and the patient is unhappy, there is very little that can be done.

If plastic surgery is under your tree this year, don’t be naughty.  Listen to your doctor, try to have realistic goals, and all will turn out nice.  Happy Holidays!


Plastic Surgery does not cure Depression

On the paperwork you fill out at Yager Esthetics, there is a place for medical problems. When I speak to the patients, they often leave out several issues and medications. One of the most common is depression. I believe it is partly out of shame and fear, and partly due to the fact that they do not consider depression a medical problem. This is potentially dangerous.

When people have a history of depression, they often do not respond to emotional stress well. Plastic surgery, even the use of skin care or wrinkle injections, can be a stressor. This is especially true if they do not have supportive people around them. Situations such as these can be very dangerous.

It is important to tell your doctor about depression, and to not be ashamed. It is no more embarrassing then diabetes or high cholesterol. This knowledge helps the anesthesiologist dose certain medications differently, and the surgeon to insure that you have the support network you need before a procedure is done.

Plastic surgery does not cure depression. You only get better looking depressed people. If you are the family member or friend of a potential patient with depression, make sure to let the doctor know. Be positive and supportive, let them know you care, and tell them they look fabulous. Sometimes, treatment is needed prior to surgery, and your surgeon can help you find a qualified health care professional to help you on the inside as well.


Stop Smoking before Surgery

As a doctor, of course I believe that no one should ever smoke. There is no debate that smoking is harmful to your health and can cause cancer, emphysema, birth defects if you smoke while pregnant, and also trigger asthma.

As a board certified plastic surgeon, specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery, to stop smoking at least 3 weeks prior to your surgery is critical for obtaining the best esthetic results. I find that by explaining the reasons why smoking is harmful makes my patients more willing to quit.

The chemicals in cigarette (and marijuana) smoke can shrink small blood vessels, and lead to poor circulation. Any surgery that tightens skin such as facelift, breast lift, or tummy tuck, damages blood flow to the skin. Normally, healing will still occur due to the small vessels. In smokers, there is less of a reserve, and skin can literally die or fail to heal properly. As you might imagine, have a hole on your face, breast or stomach is not attractive.

Smoke also retards wound healing in general, and can affect scar quality. This is true even with second hand smoke, and I tell my patients whose spouses smoke to stay away from them while they smoke during the healing process.

Smokers also are at a higher risk of anesthesia complications, as they sometimes do not have proper lung function. Anesthesia requires exchange of gases through the lungs, and poor exchange can lead to poor outcomes.

Cosmetic plastic surgery is not life saving or is it ever an emergency. Because of that, at Yager Esthetics we need to reduce your risks as much as possible. Stopping smoking is so important in this process, and we encourage everyone to do so. Be safe and smart- lying to your doctor about not smoking can increase your risks even more, as the tightness of the pull during surgery is different for smokers as well.


Importance of Exercise after 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.


Be Honest with your Plastic Surgeon

You often read articles about how to select the best plastic surgeon, or what the latest techniques are with the most fabulous results. You do your research, check board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, talk to patients and see before and after photos. You have selected the perfect doctor, so you are done, right? Not exactly.

When I agree to operate on a patient at Yager Esthetics, my patient and I BOTH sign the consent forms, because it is an equal partnership agreement. I agree to do my best to perform the surgery safely, expertly, and with my patients best interest first. My patients also have responsibilities in order to achieve the optimal outcome.

Patients have to be 100% honest with their plastic surgeon. Hiding a medical condition, or lying about not smoking can be harmful not only to your results, but to your health. I have many patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and other conditions on whom I happily operate. The difference is that I can order the proper testing to keep them safe, and talk with their doctors to assure that it is safe to proceed.

Patients must follow the post operative instructions given by their doctor. How you listen and follow directions can be the difference between a great result and a complication. No driving for two weeks means no driving for two weeks. Instructions are usually given to avoid damaging your surgical outcome. If you are thinking about breaking one of the rules, call the office and ask the reason for the rule first. It might change your mind.

So, continue to be careful in selecting your plastic surgeon. Also, try to be the best patient you can be, and your chances of a great result will be much higher.


The Diet after Plastic Surgery

At Yager Esthetics, patients often ask me if there is a special diet they should follow after liposuction or tummy tuck surgery. While the short answer is that they can eat what they want, a sensible and healthy approach to diet and portion control is essential to maintaining the best shape.
While I do not claim to be a nutritionist or registered dietician, I thought I would pass along some healthy eating guidelines to lose or maintain your weight. I do not endorse any particular diet plan, and favor learning how to eat regular food both at home and in a restaurant so you can follow these principals forever.

To increase your body’s metabolism, you have to keep it working all day long. Skipping meals is the worst thing to do, as your body just slows down thinking it may never be fed again. I recommend eating every three to four hours in a sensible way.

In the morning you need a sensible breakfast, such as Special K with fruit, an egg white omelette with veggies, or a whole grain toast with preserves and coffee or tea. In between breakfast and lunch, have a low fat yogurt with 100 or less calories and a piece of fruit and space them out.

For lunch, I prefer a protein the size and thickness of my palm with a starch (rice, potato, etc) the size of my fist without a thumb. I can have as much veggies as I want, like a salad, but very little dressing on the side.
In between lunch and dinner, another yogurt and fruit. Dinner is the same guideline as lunch. After dinner, 2-3 hours later, I allow myself a dessert of 100 calories or less of any type. I often find it difficult to eat so much in a day. At work, sometimes frozen food are convenient if you read the labels, keep fat calories to 25% or less, and keep it under 500 calories.

Throw in a little exercise 2 to 3 times a week, and you are well on your way to a healthier new you! If you need more help, call us and we will recommend a nutritionist or weight loss doctor to help you.


The Cold and Plastic Surgery

As I write this blog, it is 2 degrees outside in NYC. I don’t mind the cold, but I do mind 2 degrees. It is ridiculous. It did get me to think about what the cold has to do with Plastic Surgery.

One of the advances has been the use of cold to remove fat without surgery, called cryolipolysis. When the fat cells are subjected to sufficiently cold temperatures, the outer layer, or membrane, bursts, and the fat cell dies. You process the fat, and it is excreted when you urinate. The key is to make it not harm the skin on top, and to be comfortable to tolerate for a patient. There are a few machines on the market that do a fair job at this, but the areas you can treat are limited, and it requires many treatments over a period of time to get your results. I think this treatment is fine for the right patient for a limited area of fat who is not a candidate for surgery or is opposed to it.

The cold also decreases the growth of bacteria. This is why the operating room is almost always kept cold. Studies have shown that temperature has a direct correlation with infections and bacterial growth.

Many patients elect to do Cosmetic Plastic surgery during the Winter months, as the girdles that are used can be uncomfortable for some in the heat. Also, you can cover swelling and bruising more easily with the heavier clothing used in this weather.

So, the cold is not all bad for Plastic Surgery. It just is inconvenient for Plastic Surgeons to be outside.