What’s in a Name

When I was constructing my office expansion, I thought it was the best time to consider a name for the practice. Yager Plastic Surgery was working, but now we were doing so much more than Plastic Surgery. I wanted the name to include all of what we offered- the ySpa, spider vein treatments, injectable fillers and skin care, as well as laser and advanced scar therapies.Being that my practice was focused on the Hispanic population, I wanted a name that would appeal to a Spanish speaking patient. I tried all sorts of clever names before I settled on Yager Esthetics/Estetica. The reason was that I felt the best indicator of quality, trust, and dedication to the community was my name- Yager.

Yager is not a Spanish word. In fact, it is Austrian. Jaeger, the German version, means hunter. When my Great Grandparents came to the US over 100 years ago, the spelling was changed. They came to Washington Heights, and opened a candy store. My Grandfather opened a Pharmacy in the Bronx, and my Father was a Podiatrist in Manhattan. I came back to my roots in Washington Heights.

Treating patients well is of the utmost importance to me. I try to insure a first class experience from the time they make an appointment, to the way they are treated in a world class facility, to the consult experience and on through surgery and recovery. This is what I do.

I recently had a patient who was not happy due to an issue beyond my control. Even though it was not my fault, it was hurtful for me. I insured her, as I do all of my patients, that I would do everything possible to make her satisfied.

When you come to Yager Esthetics/Estetica, the name means everything. I will continue my mission to provide the highest quality of care to my patients and my community. In the community, for the community is not just a slogan, it is my reputation. If anyone is dissatisfied, please let me know how I can remedy the situation. I am here for you.


Is Your Home Ready for a Plastic Surgery Recovery?

Before undergoing cosmetic plastic surgery, my patients need to get ready. They come to Yager Esthetics for a consultation, we discuss what they want to change, and we do a physical evaluation to see if it is possible. We make sure that they are mentally prepared and understand the risks and potential complications, and have reasonable expectations. We make sure they are financially ready, and have their financing or payments coordinated. We make sure they are medically ready, and have all of their preoperative testing done and a note from their general doctor as needed to insure safety. But what happens when you get home from your procedure? Is your home ready to receive a Plastic Surgery patient?

First, you have to fix the social and family issues. Large dogs that jump on you, children who want to be carried, and people who rely on you for day to day care must be taken care of. Whether it is mom coming to stay with you are sending your kids away, arrangements must be made.

Next, is the house physically ready? If you live in a fifth floor walk up, it is not a good idea to stay there right after an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Make sure you have enough pillows, and that your bed is not too high or too low to get in and out of. Make sure it is clean before you come for surgery.

Have you prepared everything you could have? Do you have your medications, has food been cooked according to any restrictions of firmness (for facial surgery), and is someone around to help you especially the first few nights? Remember, the better you plan, the easier the recovery.

Finally, did you fill your house with positive energy? What I mean is that some people are negative about things, or jealous, or resentful. These people need to be removed from the house and replaced with the good attitude supportive friends and family that make your postop period a pleasure.


Your Plastic Surgeon is not your Parent

Many patients visit me at Yager Esthetics looking for answers to their cosmetic  concerns.  They want to look better, have heard good things about my office from friends, family, other doctors, or on television, and they see me for a consultation.  What surprises some is that I do not make any of the decisions, I leave them to the patient.

To clarify, this does not mean I do what the patient asks of me regardless of what it is.  It is my job to educate you, give you the benefit of my experience, and review the risk and benefits of your options with you. I will let you know if I disagree with your choice, and explain why it may not be your best option as well.  I am not your parent, I am your experienced guide and teacher, a partner in care who will help you decide what the best choice may be.

I hear stories of consultations in other offices where the doctor pops in, looks at the patient, and tells them what they need, and leaves it to his staff to answer questions and try to make you commit to surgery.  I do not think this is adequate.  Each patient is unique, and just because you plastic surgeon is partial to a c-cup, this might be either too big or small for your taste.  One size does NOT fit all.

I encourage you to come to my office for an education on your safe options for improving your appearance.  I will do my best to guide you through the process so that we may come to a mutually agreeable decision as to how to realize your esthetic dreams.


Educational Seminars in Plastic Surgery

Last week, we held an educational seminar on the latest information in injectable treatments in plastic surgery.  It was on a Thursday evening in February at 6 pm.  Over 50 people showed up and were eager to learn.  Some even shared experiences of injections gone “bad” in other offices and countries, testifying as if in church.  This was not scheduled or planned.

What it showed me was the need for, and desire for, education in the Hispanic community about cosmetic surgery and esthetic treatments.  While it was a great event with a Powerpoint presentation   and live patient injection demonstration, it was the amount of time that the patients stayed, asking questions and sharing stories, that impressed me the most.

When I stared Yager Esthetics (Yager Plastic Surgery originally) in 1997, it was my mission to bring safe and affordable cosmetic plastic surgery to the Latino community.  In the past 15 years, we have grown tremendously in space, patients seen, and influence in the community.  I and my 25 staff members are very grateful for the confidence of the community.

We will continue to have seminars, and participate in educational events and charitable works as we have been doing, but intend to build on this concept even more.  Please stay tuned to this website and blog for more information, and friend us on facebook (Yager Esthetics) or follow us on twitter(Yager Esthetics ) so that we may serve you better.


Is Plastic Surgery a Good Investment?

With tax season upon us, and many of my patients receiving refund checks, the question arises as to how best to spend the money.  Obviously, family and financial needs must first be met.  But what if there is a little bit more that you could use?  Is plastic surgery a good investment?

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, not a financial planner or a business person, so my observations are from my 15 years at Yager Esthetics.  I will lay out for you the potential benefits, and you can decide whether it makes sense to you.

Plastic surgery can boost your self esteem and enhance the way you feel about your body and your sexuality.  The confidence it brings can change the clothing choices you make, the activities you will participate in, and even the way you interact with others both socially and in business.

A refreshed appearance can make you look younger, more energetic, and less tired to potential romantic interests as well as potential employers.  It can also help those who feel young on the inside feel better about looking in the mirror and seeing what they want to see.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery can be empowering, especially to women after having had children or massive weight loss.  It can  be a fresh start to a healthier lifestyle, as when you look better, you tend to take better care of yourself through improved diet and exercise.

All of these benefits are enjoyed every hour of every day no matter where you are or what time it is.  Yes it is a “me” thing, but if you have worked hard you deserve to do something for yourself.

If the numbers add up for you, it may turn out to be the best money you have ever spent.


Sweating the Small Stuff

I always liked the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”.  It was a good way to put things in perspective, and not get hung up on things that are really not that important in the big picture. Since I became a plastic surgeon, especially a cosmetic plastic surgeon, my views have been altered.

Everything I do is about small stuff.  Every fraction of a millimeter, every fat cell, each hair follicle  is important in making my patients 100% happy.  I can remove 5000 cc of fat from someone, and drop them 6 dress sizes, and they would be dissatisfied if their pants fit differently on one side then the other, even if it had nothing to do with my surgery.  It could drive you insane.

Now, I think only of the after results, not what they looked like before.  Everyone seeks perfection, and they do not care about how much of a change was made if the reflection in the mirror is not the ideal.  I have found a way to deal with it to make myself and my patients happy.

I have decided to only focus on 100% satisfaction of my patients, no matter if the criticism is fair or not.  If I see something that can be done to improve the results safely, even if the procedure was done perfectly, I just offer to do it.  While it might be small stuff to a surgeon, it is majorly important to the patient.

So at Yager Esthetics, I will sweat the small stuff for my patients so that they don’t have to.


The Best Reason to Have Cosmetic Plastic Surgery

Most plastic surgeons are happy to have patients come to see them for cosmetic plastic surgery, and focus on the physical attributes only. What I have learned is that the motivation behind wanting the surgery is the best predictor of patient satisfaction.
Seeking cosmetic surgery means that there is something about your appearance that you do not like, and that in itself is fine. But sometimes, the real motivator has nothing to do with a patient’s body image.
I have patients who seek breast implants or liposuction because there husband or boyfriend is losing interest or cheating on them. Rather than believe it is a relationship issue, they feel by looking better they can stop this behavior. In my experience, this is very rarely the case.
Some women and men feel they are passed over for promotions because the younger or more attractive coworkers have an unfair advantage, and if they can look refreshed or sexier, they will be rewarded. Unfortunately, it is usually job performance that is to blame.
While I have seen people with low self esteem blossom into more confident , happier people as a result of plastic surgery, it is when friends and family are there to encourage and support them. A jealous or mean spirited spouse or “friend” can shatter the confidence of even fairly well adjusted people.
If you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery, think about your reasons first. The best reason to have cosmetic plastic surgery is that you are happy in your relationships, have a good network of supportive people, and you are doing it to improve an area of your appearance that bothers you, not anyone else. Operating on unhappy people only makes better looking unhappy people.


Is Smart Lipo smart for you?

For the last year, there has been a lot of hype surrounding Smart Lipo, a laser assisted liposuction technique that has since had other companies produce machines like Slim Lipo among others. The marketing plan of the company is certainly smart, promising direct advertising to the public and referrals to all the doctors who buy the machine from them. Because they sell them all over the country, they can afford a national ad campaign, and it results in patients for anyone who has the machine. The real question is does it offer benefits for you the patient?

As of my writing of the blog today, I am not aware of any convincing long term study that shows improved results over traditional liposuction. I am aware of many cases of skin burns and permanent contour irregularities as a result of inexperienced doctors performing Smart Lipo. Let me explain why.

The company that sells the machine wants to sell as many machines as possible. They will sell to any doctor, regardless of his/her training or certification. That means your ob/gyn, family practitioner, or internist who wants to make money can buy the machine and get the referrals as a Smart Lipo expert. The only training they get is to watch a doctor do it in his office before doing it on their own. Additionally, laser assisted liposuction has a much higher complication rate of burns and fluid collections.

This is not to say that the procedure is bad- the major problems are with the doctors. As in my prior blog entry “Is your cosmetic surgeon a plastic surgeon?”, never assume just because a doctor does cosmetic surgery that he is a board certified plastic surgeon. Ask “Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?” if you want to be sure.

In my opinion, Smart Lipo is smart for the doctor, not the patient. You pay more for a riskier procedure that is possibly done by a less well trained physician with no benefit of better results. Just because something is new and well advertised does not make it better. Be a smart consumer and do your homework.