Yager Plastic Surgery
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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Back to School 2016

Monday, September 12th, 2016

As the kids return to school, and teachers begin to work again, the beginning of September is a great time for me to work on learning.  After four years of college, four years of medical school, and 5 years of training in Plastic Surgery, even starting my 20th year of private practice does not mean I know it all.

Every 3 years, I must complete 150 credits of continuing medical education just to maintain my license.  In addition, to remain a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I have to do a Maintenance of Certification program in 10 year cycles.  This involves courses, certifications and an exam.

Next year is my exam year, and I will be doing the Cosmetic Plastic Surgery module, as that has been my sole focus for my career.  While I still remain competent in all areas of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, I have not performed many of the procedures in decades.

This year, I am on a mission to explore new areas of practice, as well as critically assess what I do best and where I can improve.  I have never seen a perfect result in plastic surgery, be it my own work or others.  I do not think it is impossible, but I like the challenge of getting as close as humanly possible while remaining safe.

I invite you to assess your own work, whatever it may be.  I am sure there are courses or videos that might expand your abilities, as there are for me.  Let us all return to school and learn for a lifetime.  School is definitely in session.


Labor Day 2016

Monday, August 29th, 2016

It is Labor Day! Enjoy your day of rest and relaxation. This means that tomorrow, all the kids go back to school, and my teachers have to return to work after a summer of vacation.  The rush of plastic surgeries for the teachers is over, and now they start coming to book for Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

The first weeks of September are usually quieter for most people in my field, and an excellent time for vacation for me. I usually work hardest when most people are on vacation.  Although I am a professional and highly educated, I am a servant to the needs of the public, and therefore must make myself available at their convenience.

The side benefit of this strategy is that when I take vacation, most people are working.  This means the vacation spots are less crowded, and sometimes even less expensive.  You have to look on the bright side of things, as every seeming negative usually has a positive hiding somewhere.

The year has been quite rewarding for the first 2/3. I have a solid and stable staff, we just refreshed the entire Surgery Center OR and Recovery areas, and are getting ready to launch our new website design.  Our transition to electronic medical records continues, and we hope to be paperless by the end of the year.

Please keep reading weekly, as some exciting news will be revealed over the next months.  I will share details as they become finalized.  Enjoy the last day of Summer (unofficial), and get ready for an end of year to remember.


Is it Okay to Visit Cuba?

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

I was speaking to a patient the other day who was about to travel to Cuba. She is of Cuban descent, and she was born here in the US. She had mixed feelings about the trip, and would never have done it while her Cuban father was alive. He absolutely refused to return until the country was free.

I have other Cuban friends and patients, and the dividing line seems to be similar. The older generation wants nothing to do with the Castro government and is resentful of what they endured. The children are a bit unsure, but most want to see the island firsthand.

My patient told me that her children wanted to see where they were from, the places in the stories that there grandfather told them. The house where he was born, the building that he owned that is now home to 20 families. Even though he still has the deeds, there is virtually no hope of reclaiming it.

I understand both sides, and do not want to help a regime that has oppressed its people for so long unless my visit can somehow improve the quality of life of the people of the island. But how can I do that?

For now, I will wait and see what the future brings. There is no right answer, only what each person feels.


Aug August

Monday, August 1st, 2016

It is August already, and as Summer marches on, I am reminded of the Summer of 1998.  It was my second year in practice, and I was not as well known as I am now.  For some strange reason, I got an influx of patients for breast implant surgery.

I was so excited that my practice was growing, and that I was making it happen for myself.  With no real money and a lot of school loans, I had managed to survive a whole year as a solo plastic surgeon in Manhattan.  I could feed myself and afford rent on a one bedroom apartment outside the city.  Sadly, this was similar to when I was a resident in terms of my disposable income.

I had always been very good at selecting breast implant sizes, even as a student.  Spatially, I could see a woman and a photo of what she wanted in terms of breast size, and instantly know the implant size required.  I never use sizers during surgery, nor do I order multiple sizes for a single patient.  I had been fortunate to have a patient or two who didn’t mind sharing the fact that they had surgery with me.

It came to pass that in that month, I had a string of days where nearly all the cases were breast augmentations.  At that time, it was far and away a record for most implants in a single month.  We called it “Aug August.”

Now, I sometimes do that many implant cases in a week.  Don’t worry, the breast is yet to come.


Sunglasses and Wrinkles

Monday, June 27th, 2016

I have always been blessed with perfect vision.  I never liked to even wear sunglasses or hats to shield my eyes.  It was a feeling of freedom to have nothing on my face.  I thought that glasses were foolish if you did not need them to see, and used for status symbols or fashion and attention if they were not prescription.

I have come to realize that sunglasses are important in anti aging. They can prevent wrinkles and discoloration, and potentially even eye cancer.  I have since started wearing them, and so should you.

When the sun is bright, it can cause you to squint, thus making crow’s feet lines that over time might need Botox to treat.  The lines can become permanent over the years, aging you.  Sunglasses with proper uv protection can filter these harmful rays.

Melanoma can occur in the eye, and sun exposure is always a factor, so shielding the eye from the sun seems to make a lot of sense.  Always check with your doctor if a new dark area appears on the eye.

The sun also ages skin, causing a breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers that can lead to sagging and thin skin, wrinkles and discolorations.  Proper lenses can filter out these uv rays and keep the periorbital area looking youthful.

So go ahead and splurge on some cool shades, as long as they have proper lenses and size to protect the area well.  You can look great as well as maintaining your youth.  Total win-win.