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.


Cuando y Cuanto

Even after 15 years in private practice, as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon I am still honored that patients seek me out for consultation.  I make sure to educate them properly regarding the procedures they seek, and go over a great deal of information to help them make an informed decision.  Unfortunately, not all patients want to be informed.  I call them the Cuando y Cuanto patients.  This, for those of you who do not speak Spanish, means “how much and when”.

Of course, the price of the procedure lets you know if you can afford it, and allows you to compare other doctors and the fees they charge.  This is not the most important factor.  You do not go looking for a car and ask the price before you know what make, model, year, and the history.  You look at the car, research, ask questions, and see if you are interested.  If it excites you, then you find out the cost.

When I do a consult, I first find out what bothers you about your appearance, then let you know the options to best correct the issue.  Sometimes you come thinking you need one thing, but a different procedure is more appropriate.  You learn about my training, experience, see the office, the place the procedure will be done, meet the anesthesiologist, and get several examples of my work on similar patients.  Then, we talk about fees.

As for Cuando, yes you have an idea of when a good time is for you.  Most good plastic surgeons are booked out in advance.  You should not expect to have a procedure a week or 2 after your consult.  Plan to consult as far in advance as possible, about 2-3 months before so that you will not be disappointed.  Never plan your vacation and hope to book your surgery, book your procedure and then ask for the days off.  Make sure you pick the right doctor, even if you have to wait.

As you seek out the realization of your cosmetic surgery dreams, make sure you feel comfortable with the doctor, the staff, the office and how you are treated.  Make sure you see before and after photos similar to you that you like.  Make sure the procedure takes place in an accredited surgical facility with a Board Certified Anesthesiologist as well, and that testing is done.  Cost and timing are important, but not as important as making sure you make the right decision.


Great Expectations

When a patient consults with me at Yager Esthetics, they usually come as a result of knowing or seeing a patient of mine who is extremely happy with their result.   I had a woman show me on her phone that in her contacts, I am listed as “Miracle Doctor,” for the transformation she underwent after her procedures.

After 15 years and over 30,000 different patient consults, I have also established what I consider the premier practice in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in the Hispanic community of the New York region.  The center looks a certain way, the staff is trained just so, even the website and patient education materials show an incredible dedication to detail.

I have also become a frequent resource for the media in Spanish to speak on topics related to my field.  I had a patient see me last week who said “Tiene tanta fama que sale en mi sopa.” (You are so famous that I even see you in my soup).  All of this together means that when patients arrive for their consult, my reputation is such that great expectations are placed on my work.  This is both good and bad.

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and I am very confident in the way I operate and manage patients.  My results are generally excellent, and 99% of my patients are extremely pleased with their outcomes.  The overwhelming majority of dissatisfaction comes from patients who expect more than quality plastic surgery can realistically deliver.

I try very hard to give a true picture of the surgical and post operative periods, and to point out the limitations of what I can do.  I even show patients the things on their own bodies that I can not fix.  The problem is when patients think that despite what I say, perfection is guaranteed.

After hearing the wonderful experiences of my former patients, seeing me on television, and going through the consultation and office tour, the bar is set quite high.  I always do my best, and can say I can not recall a single case in which my effort was lacking.  My advice to any patient coming to Yager Esthetics or any other office is to listen carefully to what your doctor says, read all the consent and instruction forms thoroughly,  and be clear in expressing your expectations before electing to have surgery.  If all of this is accomplished, satisfaction is nearly always achieved.


Be Kind to your Plastic Surgeon

Having been in private practice in cosmetic plastic surgery in Washington Heights for 15 years, I have literally almost seen it all. For 99% of the patients I see, they are a pleasure. They respect our policy of being seen on time if they come on time, are appreciative of the free education we provide, and the care and consideration in patient treatment at Yager Esthetics. We have spent a tremendous amount of money on creating a beautiful and safe environment for patient care, including a state-of-the-art Accredited Surgery Center, and utilize the best in Board Certified Anesthesiologists.

There are a few patients, however, that do not care. They come when they wish, do not show up for appointments, and cancel after the appointment has passed. They insist on being the first surgery of the day, only to show up late and delay everyone. Even if they get the most incredible results from surgery, they never say thank you or acknowledge the efforts we make. The negative energy they bring just drains you, even if the other 50 patients are wonderful.

The challenge for me is to try and pick these people out before operating on them, so I do not have to take them under my care. I am improving at this process, but still I am fooled on occasion. That is why I need your help. If you are the type of person I described above, please do not come to my office.

Neither one of us will be happy with the arrangement. Unlike some of my colleagues, I truly care about the happiness of my patients. I bend over backwards to accommodate them, often more than I should.

If you are one of the 99%, my patient fans, please refer me only the happy and respectful family members and friends that you have. I am grateful for your support, and will treat them all well. Let us stamp out rudeness, disrespect, and ingratitude together.


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.


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.


25,000 Patients Later- Yager Esthetics

This April, I had the honor of seeing my 25,000th patient.  The enormity of that number humbles me, and makes me grateful to each of them.  It also validates the need that existed in 1997 for a highly qualified Board Certified Plastic Surgeon within the Hispanic community of New York.

I started in 1997 with 1500 sf of space and one Hispanic woman employed. Today, Yager Esthetics is 6000 sf and has 20 hispanic women working, despite the economic downturn.  We have the newly created ySpa, a unique advanced skincare spa and laser center dedicated to treating Hispanic skin.  Visia Skin Complexion Analysis is offered to scientifically select the skincare treatments that will work for you without having to guess and perhaps waste your money.

I have also been fortunate to create the Y Gallery, a free art space within Yager Esthetics for Hispanic artists to display their work.  We have sold paintings for the artists, and host events to meet them.

As a recognized expert in latin beauty, I am always flattered to be featured on Spanish television to offer medical advice for the community regarding plastic surgery and safety issues.  I enjoy meeting the media personalities I have watched for years at home.

So, to the 25,000 of you who have made appointments to see me, I thank you for your trust, and promise to always do my best by you.  To those who have not had the experience, I look forward to meeting you soon.


How to Be a Great Plastic Surgery Patient

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.