Anxiety and Plastic Surgery

When you are going to have plastic surgery, or any surgery for that matter, it is quite normal to be a little fearful or anxious.  It is a sign of understanding that the procedure always has some degree of risk.  Some patients, however, have true anxiety disorders, and their management around the time of surgery is very important.

Like high blood pressure or thyroid disease, having an anxiety disorder doesn’t necessarily exclude you from having an elective esthetic operation.  Similarly, it needs to be controlled as any other medical condition.  Untreated, it can lead to a higher risk of complications, but if well controlled, the chances are minimized.

The issue is that some patients feel like it is not a real problem, and do not take the appropriate medications or treatment, and can even have a feeling of stigmatization.  This is where the problems begin.

Do not be embarrassed to share any mental health issues with your plastic surgeon, as they are not your fault.  Let your surgeon know, so that he can assure that the presurgery and postsurgery periods are as smooth as possible, and the appropriate treatment can be given.


The Times They Are a Changing

Most of my patients will not recognize the title as a Bob Dylan song, but it has really made me think over the past few months.  The world is a much different place since I opened Yager Plastic Surgery in 1997.  For one, I now have Yager Esthetics, a AAAASF accredited Surgery Center with 6000sf of spa, offices and a laser center.

I used to do 3 or 4 cases a week and think I was a busy cosmetic plastic surgeon.  Now, if I only have 3 or 4 cases in a day, I feel like I am not doing well.  My staff is 10 times larger, and so are my bills!  My Spanish has become much more fluent, and I have been able to connect to so many wonderful people in the community.

The cosmetic surgery world has changed, but not always for the better.  I have great new treatments for skin tightening and fading scars and stretch marks, and have expanded our offerings of injectables and spider vein therapy.  New products have been super as well.  This is all good.

The problem is the expansion of non plastic surgeons into the plastic surgery procedures. People have the nerve to call their practices Plastic Surgery or Cosmetic Surgery when some are not even surgeons, let alone Board Certified Plastic Surgeons.  Ob/gyn’s, Internal Medicine, Family Practitioners, Podiatrists, Dentists, and Rehab Medicine practitioners advertise for liposuction, breast surgery and tummy tucks! Frightening.

Please do not be deceived.  It is not illegal for any licensed MD in NY to do a plastic surgery procedure, it is just important that you know what the training of the person is.  Board Certified can mean any board- only the ABPS can certify a Plastic Surgeon.  A Facial Plastic Surgeon is an ENT, Cosmetic Medicine is a made up field, Board Certified Surgeon is a General Surgeon, and Cosmetic Surgery or liposuction specialist means nothing.

You are free to choose, but take a minute, go to www.plasticsurgery.org and type in the name of your doctor.  If he or she is not there, they are not a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, no matter how nice the office is or the advertisement.  You don’t have to come to me, just do not make a mistake you may regret always.


Operating Room Music 2016

As most of you know, I am a huge fan of music in general. All different styles and languages and time periods, as long as it is well done.  I have even put out an album with my band, Used Karmas, in 2015 which is available on Spotify as well as for listening or purchase at www.usedkarmas.com.  So it should come as no surprise that I like to listen to music while I operate.

Since I am in the OR around 20 hours each week, I can listen to 25 albums or more every week.  How can I possibly fulfill that craving?  While I could always use Pandora or another streaming service, or stick to digital such as itunes, I actually bring in cd’s for each day.  I must have over 2000 by now, I am not ashamed to admit.

I started listening last year in alphabetical order, to insure an interesting mix of genres, and it has certainly been just that.  As I am up to the M’s, I went from MC Solaar, a French rapper from the eighties, to The Meat Puppets, to the rocker Meat Loaf of the seventies, to Heavy Metal Megadeath, and then Alt Rock Mekons, and Mercury Rev, finishing my day with Metallica.

I had only one Surgery professor who did not listen to music in the OR when I was at Columbia Presbyterian.  He said that if you could hear the music, you weren’t really operating.  I think that is why he was not well liked.

Coming in to an operating room can be intimidating and scary.  To have music playing makes the experience a little more human and relatable.  If you are scheduled for surgery at Yager Esthetics, feel free to bring your own cd’s or itunes music.  I am always happy to play what you like.


2016- The Year of Yager Esthetics

I am starting of the year with the assumption that 2016 will be my best year ever.  Why not? It could definitely happen, not just for me but for you as well.  Attitude matters, and mine will be focused and fantastic.

How to you plan to have a great year?  Start off by making sure you take care of your health.  I will continue my workout regimen, and try to add one more activity to put it on another level.  I will reduce my sugar intake, and weigh myself daily to insure I stay on track.  Doctor visits, dental visits will be done early.

Family is important.  I will make sure to appreciate my family, enjoy each day with them, even when they drive me insane.  No one comes with a guarantee, so remember to tell them how you feel.

Professionally, I have to continue my plan to educate and keep the Hispanic community safe with a high quality option for plastic surgery.  I continue to vet new options for my patients, and promise to love them all and be grateful for the opportunity to care for them.

On the humanitarian front, I will continue to donate to children’s charities, and give my time and support to the community as I have always done.  It’s about the good, not the glory.

Lastly, I refuse to waste a moment on negativity.  The power of happiness that is inside can overcome the darkest of clouds.  I am proud of who I am and what I do, and no one can take that from me. In July, I will be starting my 20th year at Yager Esthetics, and it will be amazing.