Although it may be politically incorrect to say, all people are not created equal- not in appearance, cultural beauty ideals, or desires. Because of this, each woman who wants a breast augmentation has more than one choice of implant type, size, shape, texture, and insertion technique. But are Hispanic women different? In my experience of having consulted on over 23,000 of them, I would have to say they are, and are proud of it.
Although the term Hispanic or Latin encompasses a very wide group of people of varying countries, colors, and body types, I can make some broad distinctions that apply to the majority. Some are physical, some genetic, and some cultural.
Hispanic skin is certainly different, and responds to surgery and inflammation in a manner unlike Caucasian or African-American skin. If you are not very white or very black, the body’s response to surgery is much more unpredictable, and conditions like PIH (a darkening of the skin after inflammation) and abnormal scarring can occur. Knowing how to inform the patients of this, and having techniques available to reduce the risk, as well as treat the result, is something only a large experience with Hispanic patients can teach.
The Latin beauty ideal is also different. A fuller hip and buttocks is almost a universal Hispanic desire, as well as noticeable curves. Some countries like a fuller breast, some a smaller firm breast. You must speak to each patient to understand individual desires.
Hispanic music and fashion also play a role, as wearing form fitting clothing does not allow for bulges or “chichos”. Dancing requires contact with the waist and back, so the firmer and flatter the better. Women cannot always get away with a girdle.
It is your right to know the experience of your plastic surgeon, so ask. What percentage of his/her patients are Hispanic, make sure he/she speaks your language so you can communicate directly, and make sure the staff and patients look like you!
I had a patient come to me recently with a problem following a rhinoplasty performed by another plastic surgeon. I assumed she was here because she needed reassurance that the healing process was normal, or she did surgery far away and could not fly their due to financial or work circumstances. It turned out that her surgeon was closer to her house than I was, it was just that he refused to see her.
On examination, it appeared to be a reasonably well performed operation with a normal post operative course. I reassured her that healing was normal, and asked her permission to call her surgeon. He complained to me that she was very needy, asked too many questions, and took up too much of his time. He felt there was nothing to do until her visit in several months, and that he did not need to see her.
At Yager Esthetics, the relationship between doctor and patient is a partnership that continues forever, even after the procedure is completed. I feel a special bond with each person I operate on, and invest a lot of emotional energy in the planning, execution, and aftercare. Sometimes, I am a plastic surgeon, sometimes a psychiatrist, and many times just a friend or confidant. It depends on the patient’s needs.
While it is true that physically nothing would be done for this patient until her next visit, she clearly had emotional or other reasons for needing someone to talk to. I feel that this is part of caring for the cosmetic plastic surgery patient. You need to spend enough time with the patient before agreeing to perform surgery to know if you want to accept the responsibility of her total aftercare.
Plastic surgeons are not technicians who simply perform the indicated procedure, no matter how talented they may be. We should be physicians who care for all the needs of our patients.
Many of my patients are surprised when I tell them that exercise is important after plastic surgery in order to obtain the best results. I have been told by more than a few patients that the reason they did cosmetic procedures was to avoid doing exercise. I can tell you that this is a mistake.
Depending on your surgery, there will always be limits to certain activities for a period of time. After any surgery, I recommend no exercise for 2 weeks to avoid bleeding and prolonged swelling. For tummy tucks (abdominoplasty), no abdominal exercises can be done for a month. From one month to 6 weeks, we start isometric contractions, and full exercise after 6 weeks including crunches.
The abdominoplasty procedure closes the abdominal muscles, but if they have no strength or tone, you will not be flat. A strong core makes your results better, and even the best surgery cannot make up for weak muscles.
For breast surgery, we limit chest and upper body exercises, as movement of your arms can move the muscle and/or implant if you have one. After the rest period, it is good to strengthen the chest muscles to get that little bit of extra lift that it brings.
After liposuction, exercise is key as well. Once the extra fat layer is gone, you can actually see muscle definition. Working out is so much more rewarding when everyone can see your hard efforts on the beach.
So do not do surgery to avoid exercise, do exercise to avoid surgery. If you need surgery, get the maximum results by exercising as well.
While the overwhelming majority of my patients are still Latin women, the number of men seeking cosmetic plastic surgery is definitely on the rise.
The most common procedures for men are liposuction of the love handles and lower abdomen, as well as the chest. These are the most frequent patterns of male fat deposits. With the advances in liposculpture and the minimal downtime, it appeals to more men. Who doesn’t want to look better at the beach?
The other frequently performed procedures on men are nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), eyelids, and face and neck. As we live longer, and have to work more years, a youthful appearance is associated with more energy. Not to mention, the pursuit of women sometimes changes a man’s perspective on plastic surgery.
Skin care, wrinkle injections such as botox and fillers, as well as peels are also on the rise in Hispanic men. Little or no downtime from work and instant results are an easy sell.
So, if you are a Hispanic man, it is time to consider the benefits that cosmetic surgery has to offer. If you are the wife or girlfriend of a Hispanic man, and feel there is room for improvement, give him the support he needs to come in.
Most patients who come to see me for consultation at Yager Esthetics come by themselves. They express their concerns, we do an evaluation, and talk about the options, risks, expected outcomes, time out of work and exercise, and give them information on costs, financing, and payment options. Sometimes we talk about several different procedures. They then leave the office very excited, and go to speak with their family/spouse/significant other. This is where problems can occur.
Patients often forget a lot of the details of their consult, as they are nervous about being undressed, often insecure about their appearance, and dazzled by the before and after pictures. This is frustrating for the people they talk to. Not having been to the office, not having met the doctor or seen the facility and what is offered, they can become very uneasy. The price, although extremely reasonable for a board certified plastic surgeon in an accredited surgery center, is higher than in other countries, and the significant other just dismisses the idea and says to do it over seas.
Another factor in the lack of support of others is that they feel left out of the process, and were not invited to go with you. Even if they were invited and said no, you should tell them that it is important for them to come, as you need to make the decision together. This way, they are a part of the decision, they are not afraid of you being taken advantage of, and can see the quality of the results and the safety and professionalism of the doctor and office.
Make your partner feel like a true partner. To have their support during recovery can make or break your surgical experience.