While I have written before about why I opened my private practice in the Hispanic Community, I have never explained why I feel it is a specialty unlike other plastic surgery offices. After 25 years in Washington Heights, now in my 17th year at Yager Esthetics, I truly feel like a part of my neighborhood.
While everyone is created equal, my patients are special. They are looking for a certain shape, and looking for a doctor- patient relationship that is in many cases different. This is what I love about what I do.
My patients treat me like a part of the family, happy to see me, and proud to tell their friends about me. They will bring friends personally to the office, and sit with them in consults. Some even cook for me! They return the warmth that I give them tenfold.
My patients want to be curvy, and are not shy about it. They bring photos of not only celebrities, but of friends and family who have the shape they want. Some even bring people with them for me to see.
I continue to work very hard, dedicating myself to the Latin Community of NYC, and always strive to make sure Yager Esthetics offers the safest and highest quality care possible. I love my patients, and am grateful for the opportunity to serve them.
I was in a consult with a patient today, as I often am, and at the end of 30 minutes of education on the procedure, risks, benefits, and scheduling requirements, her husband had only one question. What if my wife is not happy after the surgery?
Of course, I answered the question in great detail and to his satisfaction, but it made me think of what makes patients happy with their experiences at Yager Esthetics. Maybe I can learn from this in how I select my candidates for surgery.
Patients who are happy people in general are happy after surgery. If you are an unhappy person, plastic surgery will only make you a better looking unhappy person.
Patients who have good self esteem and confidence tend to be very pleased as well. Not patients who are narcissistic or cruel, just those that are well balanced.
Patients with supportive families, spouse, and friends are virtually always happy. The stories I can tell about jealous and cruel people poisoning the opinions of my patients are very sad.
Patients who listen and read the information provided and have realistic expectations are easy to satisfy. I usually underpromise and overdeliver.
Patients who want everything to go well often get their wish. The fatalists who feel that everything bad always happens to them are often right.
So, to be happy after plastic surgery, be happy and confident, surround yourself with supportive people, read and listen to me, and set reasonable goals. Almost too easy!
For those of you that have been reading my blog for a while, you will know of my great love of music. I have spoken of the importance of having music playing when my patients enter the operating room, and how it helps my creative process during surgery as well. What you may not know is that I am also a musician.
For the last two years, I have been involved with a two other people in creating and performing original music. All of us busy professionals, our time together is quite limited. We tend to manage about 6 hours a month together, with the occasional gig.
As we have now completed enough original songs, we are in the process of recording in studio for our first CD. I have to say it is remarkably helpful for my surgical creativity.
As a musician, I am not the most gifted technically. I play with much better artists, and that has lifted my skill level and confidence. I have developed a great feel, and my natural inventive spirit allows me to succeed.
In surgery, I am exceedingly well trained and have tremendous natural ability. After 17 years in private practice, surgery is like a beautiful musical composition. My confidence enables me to go beyond the average result and deliver the extraordinary when safety permits.
When I play and sing, I imagine it is my operating room, my musical instruments are surgical instruments, and my voice is the OR music. Both areas improve, leading to happy patients and (hopefully) happy listeners!
I will be sure to let you know when the recording is done, and will place a link here so you may listen and give feedback.
During my training in Plastic Surgery and General Surgery at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, I was involved in many cases of breast cancer and the reconstruction of breasts. It was some of the most important and memorable training I had, and I very nearly went into practice for breast reconstruction.
When I was a General Surgery resident, I had a patient with recurrent breast cancer who needed a very big surgery, a radical mastectomy, where we remove not only the breast, but the chest muscles and extensive lymph nodes as well. The surgery went well, and she was free of cancer.
Several years later, when I was Chief Resident in Plastic Surgery, I had the pleasure of performing breast reconstruction on her. She looked and felt whole again, and I was very gratified to know that I helped save her life and restore her form.
I finished training and went into private practice in cosmetic Plastic Surgery here in NYC. One year later, she came to see me and ended up doing a cosmetic facial procedure. Just recently, nearly 20 years after her cancer surgery, she was back for cosmetic services and in perfect health.
While I am a cosmetic plastic surgeon, I salute all of my colleagues who dedicate themselves to the noble battle against breast cancer.