When I started Yager Plastic Surgery in 1997, I only had one employee. She was dynamic, dedicated, and cared about the patients more than herself. Through her help, we became Yager Esthetics and now employ over 20 Hispanic women. She is still with me, and insures that each employee represents the same standards of professionalism and caring that she set as the bar 15 years ago.
Your experience with your plastic surgeon begins with a phone call or email inquiry to the office. How these are handled says a lot about the way the doctor runs his practice. Is the phone answered promptly, are they polite, are you put on hold for a long time, can they answer your questions competently, is your email promptly answered? These factors let you know that the doctor cares about your experience from day one, and may indicate a high level of attention to detail which is what you want in an esthetic plastic surgeon.
When you arrive at the office, are you greeted warmly and made to feel welcome? Does the space look clean and inviting, and are you seen at or near your appointment time? A well run office will be a smooth operation, and should let you know in advance if there is an emergency or any change in the doctors schedule.
Does the patient coordinator seem organized, knowledgeable, and helpful, or is she trying to sell you surgery? Do not fall for pushy tactics or anything that seems too aggressive. Does she follow up appropriately, or does she hound you to try and close the sale?
I know that I am proud of my staff, and stand behind them 100%. While no one is perfect, I believe they all care and try their best. I accept nothing less from them or myself.
One of the great resources for the Hispanic community to learn about plastic surgery is at the hair salon. Spanish salons are places where women spend many hours, are interested in looking good, and share what they know.
The peluqueras make up a fairly significant portion of my patient base, and are among my largest referral sources. Make them look more beautiful, and all of their clients ask the secret. But do all salons provide good and true information- unfortunately, not.
Beware of stories that start with “ I know a girl whose friend’s aunt’s cousin had a procedure done, and she looks __________.” You are much more likely to get good information only from the patient herself. The rest is just chisme.
Beware of women who seem angry at their doctor. Most plastic surgeons are responsible and care about their results. I know that if I ever have a patient at Yager Esthetics who is not 100% happy, I want them to talk to me about it, as it usually can be resolved. When women say they will never see that person again, ask details so you can assess if it was the doctor or the patient that was at fault.
The best referrals I get are from satisfied patients, as they give a truthful and powerful testimonial without any compensation. That is why I strive to make each patient happy, and explain the limits prior to any surgery or treatment.
Salon gossip is fun, and sometimes helpful, but be sure you know the source and ask the right questions.
Many of my patients at Yager Esthetics are very into vitamins and supplements. In Spanish culture, they are a part of life since Rico Perez popularized them on television. What many people do not know is which ones are important for what reasons, and which to avoid before surgery.
Vitamin A is the heart of retin-A, a great product for skin rejuvenation. It must be avoided before skin care treatments such as peels, laser, and microdermabrasion. It also makes you more sensitive to the sun.
The B vitamins are great for overall health and energy. They can help in pregnancy, and for general well being.
I love vitamin C. It is essential for wound healing, and I recommend that my patients take extra in the weeks leading up to surgery. It is also an antioxidant, and I have several skin care products that feature it, such as Obagi C, and Skinmedica. It is hard to take too much.
Vitamin D is becoming more well understood for its protective effects on the heart. Hispanic skin is generally darker, and so the sun needed to absorb it does not penetrate as easily, and it is especially important to check your levels and supplement as needed.
Vitamin E is very popular, both as a cream and as a pill. It can sometimes irritate new scars, so I do not recommend it early after surgery for the scar. I also tell patients to AVOID it 2 weeks prior to surgery, as it can lead to more bruising due to its effects on circulation.
A little known vitamin is K. It is used for clotting, and can be helpful for redness of incisions, and small spider veins. In patients with easy bruising, it is important to consider adding this step.
So, know your vitamins and why they are important. They are medications, so tell your doctor if you take any supplement or vitamin other than a normal multivitamin capsule.
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