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.
Every September, as the new school year starts, there is excitement and panic in the air. For the parents, it is shopping for clothes and supplies. For the students, it is seeing old friends, making new ones, and continuing the learning process.
Every September, I use this as a reminder to keep up with my learning as well. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I have to earn a certain number of credits and complete educational activities. I read journals, attend conferences, and read a great deal of information about the new and emerging technologies. I also go “Back to School.”
I am fortunate to have been in private practice for more than 15 years now, and from the very beginning I have used digital photography. All of my before and after pictures are archived on my computer. Each year, I review the results, procedure by procedure, to see if there is improvement and to insure the highest quality of work.
By objectively evaluating the work each year, I can spot areas that have improved, and areas to investigate for the upcoming year. It may be to look into combining procedures, or to trying newer technologies.
I recommend that everyone, no matter the line of work, review your job quality each year to look for ways to improve. Life is about learning and improving.
I often see patients in consult for cosmetic plastic surgery who are crippled by low self esteem. They can barely look me in the eye, are timid, and are embarrassed to even let me look at them for the purpose of a physical examination. My heart breaks for these women, and I work extremely hard to make the experience at Yager Esthetics one of healing and support.
The reasons for low self esteem rarely stem from the actual physical defects that they have or perceive. It comes from a childhood of being emotionally and psychologically abused, and sometimes even physical or sexual abuse. This leads to a feeling of shame and low self worth. These unhealthy feelings attract the wrong kind of people, and a thoughtless or abusive spouse or partner feeds off of this negativity to further cripple the person.
I am very clear with my patients that I am there to help them correct the physical defects that they possess, and offer support and encouragement to show them that they are worthwhile people. I also tell them that surgery is not the answer to fixing a cheating spouse, or improving their social life. It will not get them a better job, or make their family dynamic change.
I am encouraged by the many cases I have where the physical improvement has indeed changed the way in which the patient views herself, and has lead to them breaking unhealthy patterns in their lives. They carry themselves differently, dress differently, and are suddenly empowered to remove the negative influences from their lives.
In some cases, I decline to operate until they see a counselor or other professional to make sure that they are safe and in a proper state to undergo surgery. It is unfortunately not the usual patient who agrees, but some do. The improvement in the emotional well being of the patient sometimes overrides the need for plastic surgery, which does not bother me at all. Being a Plastic Surgeon to me is all about helping people look and feel their best, and if I can do it without surgery, then I have really made a difference.