Traveling to New York for Plastic Surgery

Since opening Yager Esthetics in 1997, I have focused on the education and safety of the Hispanic community with regards to cosmetic plastic surgery.  I have been fortunate to build a thriving practice in New York City’s Washington Heights community, and develop a good reputation in my field.  Through interviews on television, newspaper and magazine articles, as well as internet articles and blogs, I get more and more inquiries from around the US and from other countries.  Many want to come to NYC and have plastic surgery with me, so I thought I might address the pros and cons.

I have many patients who live in New York, but want to travel to other countries for surgery.  The main reason is saving money.  I always caution them about making sure you know the training and safety record of the doctor, making sure proper testing is done, that they can stay longer than anticipated if a complication arises, and that they know the emergency plan of the doctor. By that, I mean if a strange allergy occurs, or a complication that needs hospitalization or advanced care, how do they get to a qualified center quickly and who pays these costs?  Even if your surgeon is fantastic, things happen that are not the doctor’s fault, and you need to think of all situations. With a well trained surgeon, in an accredited center with a well qualified anesthesiologist, there is little if any savings when travel is factored in.

These same considerations must be explained to patients who travel to Yager Esthetics.  They need to have a place to stay during recovery, and a plan for staying longer if anything should happen that is out of the ordinary.  Medical insurance which covers you for this procedure in New York is helpful. My office is literally across the street from New York Presbyterian Hospital, so getting there is easy.  In today’s modern society, with email and phone, most details such as fees, time of surgery, and health can be assessed before travel.  When you meet me and see my center, just as in any doctor’s office, you and I must feel comfortable with each other before we proceed.

While I am flattered when anyone chooses me to help them achieve their cosmetic plastic surgery goals, when people fly in from other states or countries the compliment is also much appreciated.  Usually, excellent Board Certified Plastic Surgeons exist in all states, and I encourage you to seek local options if you feel they are equivalent.  If you have your heart set on Yager Esthetics, we will do everything possible to make the process safe and easy.


Plastic Surgery Will Not Make You Happy

The great majority of my patients who do cosmetic plastic surgery are extremely pleased with the results.  I strive to perform the correct operation safely, and to deliver the promised result or better every time.  As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in private practice since 1997, I have had the good fortune to build a very busy practice, Yager Esthetics, which is 100% focused on cosmetic plastic surgery.  I do pride myself on excellent results, and try to make every patient happy.  I will tell you that this is impossible.

Plastic surgery can make you look better; it can correct developmental problems, and even reconstruct defects caused by accidents or other surgery.  What it cannot do is make an unhappy person into a happy one.  It is my job to try and figure out if my patient is seeking cosmetic changes for personal satisfaction, or if it is an attempt to try to cure underlying relationship issues or depression.

I had a patient the other day who was unhappy with the result of a breast surgery.  On examination, it was a beautiful result.  We talked about her desire to be larger, and she went to speak to my patient coordinator.  It turned out that her husband was leaving her, which made her feel unattractive.  Instead of dealing with the relationship problem, she chose to lay blame on the surgery.

Ladies, the only way to be happy with the results of plastic surgery is to do it for yourself.  If you think it will change the way your spouse or boyfriend behaves towards you, you are most likely wrong.  Even if this does make him feel differently about you, do you really want a man who is only interested in your appearance?


Is 2012 Really The End Of The World?

The Mayan calendar supposedly suggests that 2012 is the end of the world.  That got me thinking, if it really is the last year of earth, what should we be doing? What would you want to change if you knew there was no next year?

Certainly, spending time with your family, letting them know what they mean to you, is the first thing most people would do.  Settling any feuds or disputes with family and friends, confessing your transgressions, and making peace are reasonable goals.  But what about work?

If you had to work, would you do anything differently?  Would you work harder and try to be the best with the little remaining time, or not care and slack off?  Would you show up every day and do the best job possible, or call out sick and make sure you use all of your sick days and vacation days?

The answer to those questions will reveal your true character.  I try to make sure all of my employees are dedicated and hard working, and care about the care of my patients above all else.  It shows good moral and ethical character, and it is what a patient at Yager Esthetics deserves.

I would expect nothing more from my staff than I would expect from myself.  I treat each patient as if they were my family, I let them know what I honestly would recommend to a friend, and never suggest a procedure to make more money.  I have never lied to an insurance company or a vendor to get money or product I did not deserve, and I would never lie to a patient.

If 2012 is truly the last year of the world, I will continue to live my life as it is.  I am at peace with my morals and ethics, and still remain proud to serve the Hispanic community with the professionalism and respect that they deserve.


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.


Dumbo Deformity – When Your Ears Stick Out

When I was doing my plastic surgery training at Columbia, one of my favorite procedures was correction of prominent ears.  It was usually done on 5 year old children before they started grade school so that they wouldn’t get teased by classmates.  I enjoyed it because the incision was hidden behind the ear, and you could reshape the structure of the ear just like in sculpting.

Each case was a little different, and so you could be creative with the solutions.  I could use sutures to form the curves, or weaken the cartilage with small nicks to make it bend the way I wanted it to.  Sometimes cartilage was rotated or removed to achieve the desired outcome.  The results were immediate, and the patients (and their parents) were very grateful and pleased.

In my private practice at Yager Esthetics, it is rare to see little children.  I still do ear surgery, or otoplasty, a fair bit on teenagers and adults. The beauty of operating on older patients is that we can use local anesthesia, and show the patient the new shape in a mirror as we create it.  If they want the ear a little closer to the head, we can adjust it on the spot to insure a happy patient at the end of the procedure.

Otoplasty can change your life. Pulling your hair back is an option, shorter styles are no longer taboo, and you can be confident that no one will tease you about your ears again.