Why Does Plastic Surgery Cost More in The U.S.?

When I first opened Yager Esthetics in 1997, I spent a lot of my time answering the question as to why the cost of Plastic Surgery is higher in The United States than overseas, and why the extra money is worth it. Seventeen years and over 5000 surgeries later, it is still the most important question for a patient to ask.

I do not spend my time and energy educating the Hispanic Community about safety and honesty in Plastic Surgery for the sole purpose of making money. I do it to make sure that everyone knows what the risks and benefits are before making a decision as to where and with whom to have elective surgery. I have seen and heard too many horror stories to let my conscience do otherwise.

There are many very talented and qualified Plastic Surgeons in every country. The problem is knowing which is which. In the U.S., you can go to www.abplsurg.org and see if your doctor is Board Certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery, insuring the highest level of training and education. This type of verification does not exist in most countries, and you have no idea as to what the training of your doctor was.

Where is the procedure taking place? In the U.S., not only hospitals are accredited, but ASPS members are required to operate in only Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and you can check that accreditation online or by phone. It insures the highest level of safety and emergency equipment as well. In many other countries, operating rooms are unregulated, and you have no idea who is giving anesthesia or caring for you after surgery.

Even if you manage to find a fantastic surgeon who does things well in his well organized center overseas, and you have a complication such as a reaction to anesthesia or an unknown health condition, where is the nearest hospital, how do you get there, and do they have the most advanced technology to save your life? In the U.S., if you have a complication, your doctor is available to see you without having to travel or miss work.

Plastic Surgeons here are also required to have malpractice insurance, follow rigorous and extensive programs for infection control and safety as well as continuing medical education to protect you and your rights, all at their expense. It is important for surgeons to have malpractice insurance, as even some of the most straight-forward surgeries can carry risks, which could potentially turn out to be fatal. If the unthinkable were to happen, and we get faced with a civil action for wrongful death suit from a patient’s family, then we would need to have the relevant protection to help us move forward. Surgery is risky, and so that is why we need to ensure that we have the relevant education, training, and tools in place that can help us to prevent any fatalities from happening. FDA approved materials and products all cost more due to the strict testing needed.

So it is not that U.S. doctors are greedy, or do the same thing for more money. Plastic Surgery is more than just the operation. It is the preoperative testing, the proper training and education of the patient, providing the safest environment and having the systems in place to reduce the risks of the procedures to insure your safety. With all of that, the question should be why is Plastic Surgery overseas cheaper? Also, no your health insurance will not cover cosmetic surgery, that’s for medical emergencies unless you own a personal custom cover policy in which you are paying a lot more for.

Why Yager Esthetics is Important

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, specializing in cosmetic surgery of the Breast, Body, and Face. There are hundreds, if not a thousand, practices in the New York area that do the same. If you’re interested in possibly joining them try this free esthetics practice test. But what makes my office important is that we focus on the Hispanic community.

The reason Yager Esthetics is in existence is to fill the need for a well trained, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who speaks Spanish, has an Accredited Ambulatory Surgery Center with inspections every year, Board Certified Anesthesiologists and Registered Nurses, providing the safe alternative for affordable cosmetic plastic surgery in the US. This seems like an advertisement, but unfortunately it is reality.

I had seen and heard too many horror stories from surgeries done overseas and in unqualified and underqualified offices here in the States. Even today, you can see and hear ads on television, radio, and in newspapers by purported experts aimed squarely at the Hispanic community to take advantage of them. Family Practitioners, Ob/Gyn’s, Internist, Rehab Medicine specialists, and even Podiatrists and Dentists put out deceptive ads that make you assume they are Plastic Surgeons.

My pledge since I opened Yager Esthetics in 1997 was to provide safe and affordable Cosmetic Plastic Surgery focused on the Hispanic Community. I will keep fighting to educate and protect my community, and hope one day legislation comes down to make all doctors disclose their training and practice within their own specialty. Until then, count on Yager Esthetics.

Apples to Apples

One of the most popular phrases in my house is the “apples to apples” comparison. This is how we make smart decisions about what to buy, lease, or do. It is important to know exactly what each option offers you in the same terms. This is the way you should approach selecting a provider for a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure.

It never ceases to amaze me when a patient who has had Smart Lipo or some other procedure done elsewhere is completely unaware that the provider is not a Board certified Plastic Surgeon. Many people are unaware that ANY licensed physician regardless of specialty can do whatever they wish in the office. Family Practitioners, OB/Gyns, ENTs, and Dermatologists all advertise these services in the NYC area and make no mention of the type of doctor they are. Some go even further to confuse, stating Board Certified Doctor, or call their practice Whatever Plastic Surgery. Apples to apples, always ask if they are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Sometimes the experience is horrible because it is being done in an office under local anesthesia. Always ask if it is an Accredited Ambulatory Surgical Center, and if there will be a Board Certified Anesthesiologist present. Your life might depend on it.

Also, ask how many of your procedures the doctor has done in the last year, and if this is an area of expertise for him/her. Just because a doctor appears older, it does not always mean they have a lot of experience in a particular area. Also, ensure that the doctor you meet with is the same one doing your operation- no students, assistants or other doctors as sometimes happens.

Make sure you know what you are getting for your money, apples to apples. If so, many of you will end up at Yager Esthetics. How do you like them apples?

2014- The Year of No Excuses

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and the sole proprietor of a sizeable cosmetic surgery practice in New York City, I am a pretty busy person. I attend to many patients, perform a significant number of surgeries and treatments, and oversee my share of nurses and estheticians who see even more patients. Couple this with being a father and all of those time requirements, being in a band that is in the middle of recording our first album of original music, staying fit with a significant exercise routine, and pursuing the path of my naturally curious mind, it might seem that I make no excuses already. This is not true.

We all have things we are meaning to get to, but they are not emergencies. There is no due date or deadline. The thought is that we will get around to it someday. But what if something happens before someday comes? The opportunity is then lost.
We mortals are only given today, and tomorrow is not guaranteed. If our health fails us, or we develop physical, mental, or emotional handicaps, this can limit our choices. Sometimes finances are such that what we dream of achieving or doing can no longer happen. Occasionally the very thing we wish to do or place we long to visit vanishes or is no longer possible.

I lost my father when he was young, and my only brother as well. My best friend died long before his time and without warning. While I cannot say this will not happen to me, I can say that I will put off things no more, and enjoy every day like the blessing it is. I suggest you do the same.

Let’s make 2014 the best year of our lives, and make our dreams a reality.