Celebrate America

As we approach the 4th of July, I think we should all remember what an amazing country we live in. Despite your political leanings, America is still truly the land of opportunity. That is why so many immigrants seek us out as a dream place to live.

My family came to the US over 100 years ago, and each generation has worked hard to raise our level of education and financial achievement. I hope my children do the same. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and drive, the freedoms and opportunities are there if you want them badly enough.

The leaders of our country cannot see eye to eye with every citizen, as we all have our own unique experiences and thoughts. Part of what I love about our America is that everyone has the right to be wrong. We hope we are right much more often than not.

I suggest that we all put politics aside and celebrate the Fourth of July together as a nation, respecting the noble concepts upon which our country was founded, regardless of who is in the White House. It is our house, and a house divided cannot stand.

I support America whoever is President, and root for their success, as it is my success as well. There is no other country in which I would rather live.


Summer in the City 2018

Summertime is upon us again in NYC. That means hot weather, air conditioning, and many teachers and school employees looking for plastic surgery. Having the summer off is one of the amazing perks of being an educator.

The summer is also a less clothed time, and people become more conscious of their bodies and flaws. Fixing them is where I get busy. Liposuction, breast implants, and BBL’s are all way up at this time of year. I always do abdominoplasties and facial rejuvenation, but these procedures tend to be steady all year long.

Summer is also a time to be careful with your skin. Sun block, hats, and careful monitoring of your sun exposed areas is crucial. My brother died of melanoma, so I know this is a very real danger. Check those moles, my friends.

For those of you travelling, remember to make sure it has been at least 3 weeks from your surgery before getting on a plane to reduce the risks of DVT’s. Be safe and beautiful!


Father’s Day 2018

Yesterday was Father’s Day, 24 hours to express gratitude to the men who have children. It is not as popular as Mother’s Day, and for good reason: women give birth to children after growing them inside their bodies for 40 weeks; men start their work only after birth.

Being a father means different things to people. Some are the primary caretakers, responsible for all aspects of a child’s life, and others are the only parent. These fathers deserve the highest of regard for being entrusted with raising good people. There is no job more important.

Other fathers are not present, either by choice, death, or other circumstances. This absence is hard to replace and burdens the Mother and other people in the child’s life. This can be a major factor in the type of parent the child will become.

Most fathers are somewhere in the middle, co-parenting in either the same house or different accommodations. They share in the child-raising and care. Whether married, separated or divorced, the presence of a father in a child’s life is almost always a good thing.

I am a plastic surgeon, so why am I talking about being a father? Because despite all of my education, training and abilities, being a great father is the most important and challenging role that I have. I can do thousands of cosmetic plastic surgeries, make so many people look and feel better, but I will be judged by the quality of human being my children become. If everybody felt this way, imagine what tomorrow’s world would look like.


A Great Patient Story

I see a lot of patients in comparison to most private practice cosmetic plastic surgeons. The traditional business model is to charge a large fee for the consult, make it 45 minutes long, and to establish a relationship with the patient while selling yourself as the best person for the job. Since the patient has already spent a real amount of money, you tempt them by allowing them to use it as a credit towards a surgery and they feel more obligated to sign up on the spot. I do not do this.
My mission is to serve the Hispanic community by providing affordable plastic surgery at a high level of expertise and to prevent patients from getting taken advantage of. Because of this, I charge a minor fee of $50 for a consult, one tenth of what Park Ave charges, so that even if they do not end up having surgery with me, at least they have received good advice and true information.
I am approaching the 50,000th patient who has made an appointment in my practice, and it is no wonder that I do not remember them all. I am pretty good at faces, but the names sometimes escape me.
I had a woman come in for a consult for abdominoplasty. I had noticed that she had undergone a breast reduction in 1996. After many years, it looked very well done, and I was impressed with the quality of the work. I mentioned to her that whoever did her breast reduction did a great job. She looked at me funny and told me that I was the one who did her surgery when I was at Columbia Presbyterian as Chief Resident in plastic surgery.
I was a little embarrassed that I did not know that I had done the surgery, but at the same time I was incredibly proud.


Income Tax and Plastic Surgery

Today, your taxes are due. Mine as well. Nobody seems to enjoy this day unless a refund is due them. That has unfortunately never happened to me.

Income tax refunds are used by many of my patients for plastic surgery. A check comes in that you are not expecting and you start to think of what fun things you can do with it. After a few years, you plan on it being there. I have always found this fascinating.

As income tax loan advancements became more popular, the surge in plastic surgery came a bit earlier. Now in late January to February, the dates are being filled up. Couple that with the Spring Break holidays and April is insane.

This is my 19th tax season at Yager Esthetics, and it always keeps me busy. Earning the money I need to pay my taxes works out well. In reality, the government is receiving a loan from the people who overpay all year long and then giving it back. After this, the people give it to me, and I send it back to the government. The circle of life!

I love it when tax season brings happiness to others. It is otherwise sad for me.


Pain

Today would have been the 47th birthday of an old friend.  He was a remarkably bright presence, and his smile made the world a better place. I miss him.

I met him when he was starting college at Columbia University and I was starting Medical School there. He had a back issue he had been dealing with, and it seemed odd to me.  I sent him to a Neurologist who found a spinal cord tumor.

He underwent surgery and radiation therapy which stabilized the mass.  He went on to finish his degree, get married, and have children. The one thing he could not control was the pain.

Narcotics, Toradol, spinal stimulators, medical marijuana, and all other attempts were not met with success.  Still, he lived with a smile on his face and was there for all.

Finally, after 25 years of suffering, he ended his life.  He had a party to celebrate the 25 years, it turned out it was just to say goodbye. I was not there.

The point of the story is that pain cannot be ignored or disregarded, be it temporary or chronic.  Take it seriously, and save the medications for when you need them.


Last Blog of 2016

Another year of blogging is now complete. I hope to those who read it, it has provided some valuable information, some amusement, and a little insight into what makes me who I am. Intentionally, and often unintentionally, my personality will leak out in my writing.

Even if no one ever read these pages, it was still worth it to me writing. It is an excellent exercise in thought. Each blog takes me about 10 minutes to complete. I sit down with no topic or notes and then just flow with an idea of the moment. I do no drafts or revisions. I have no editor or assistant. It is often fascinating where my mind decides to go.

2017 will be a year of major changes at Yager Esthetics. Our nonsurgical services are booming, and more technology is on the way. Stay tuned here for what is next. At least 2 will launch in January. Both are long overdue and will be much in demand.

We are going full electronic records and eliminating paper. Get ready for iPads and laptops, as well as a video revamp of the website. Technology cannot be stopped. We will continue to set the bar for plastic surgery in the Hispanic community.

I wish you all a very happy and Healthy 2017. Thank you to all who have supported me over these 20 years, and know I will continue to support you for as long as you will have me.


A December to Remember

It is already the last month of 2016- where did the year go? The older I get, the faster time seems to speed by. Yager Esthetics is charging ahead in our 20th year as the Latina beauty experts. With all of the imitators popping up, we are certainly flattered, but be sure to be safe and do your homework.

December is a funny month, in that we tend to hold a few extra surgery days aside for the “last minute shoppers” of our practice. All of a sudden, people start realizing the holidays are coming, and there is time off from school and work. Gift money comes in, and all of a sudden they want to finally have that cosmetic plastic surgery procedure they have been thinking of.

If that is you, realize that surgery should not be rushed. Testing needs to be done beforehand to insure you are healthy and safe. Implants, girdles, and special order items need to be secured ahead of time, and all of the preop and postop visits need to be coordinated. You need to think about child care, who will pick you up from surgery and care for you, and who will cover you at work.

Of course we offer nonsurgical treatments and injections, such as Botox, fillers, skin tightening, laser hair removal, Silk Peel and skin care, for those who can’t quite get a surgery together. The results are amazing and can get you ready for a holiday party, family gathering, or New Year’s Eve celebration.

If you want this to be your December to remember, be efficient, make an appointment with your general medical doctor for right after your visit with me so testing will not be delayed. Patients aren’t the only ones who take off time around the holidays, doctors do as well. Except for me- I am here to serve you.


Thanksgiving 2016

I can’t believe Thanksgiving has passed already! It is my most favorite holiday, as all Americans can celebrate together. It is a wonderful reminder to all of us as to how lucky we are to live in this great country.

One tradition I have in my life is to have a Thanksgiving dinner for all of my staff, where we can enjoy food from everyone’s traditions and share a moment without working. It is important to realize that we are all people, and have personalities and lives outside of work. Getting to know each other in a more personal context is fantastic.

At my home, I make it a point to insure that everyone we know has a place to go for dinner. Even if it is a new neighbor, classmate of a child, friend of a friend, we try to open our house to at least one new person a year to make it a welcoming holiday. It is about sharing and caring.

I would also like to thank my Hispanic community for welcoming my practice for 20 years. It has been my pleasure serving, and I hope for at least 20 years more.


May You Live in Interesting Times

There is an ancient Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” I think with the results of the United States Presidential election last week, these times would surely qualify. Donald Trump, a billionaire with zero political experience and a decidedly not political way of expressing himself, went from an outsider with a 1% chance of winning last year to the office of Washington and Lincoln.

I am not here to express a political view, but rather to step back and consider what this means in general terms. I try to take inspiration and find the good in everything, and there is a lot of both in this result.

To those of you who think that no one can make a difference in politics, it has just been shown that even if no other politician likes or supports you, it is the American people who get to choose. Put your message out there, and if it resonates with the public, you can win. Trump was outspent and did not have the full support of his supposed party behind him, yet he won.

Many people voted for the first time, or the first time in a while. While I feel the campaigns and the process in 2016 were ugly and a poor example to the world of a civil democratic process, this has certainly sparked an interest in the millenials in voting.

I am hopeful that all politicians take notice and realize that they serve at the will of the people. Maybe they can pull together and actually get things done so that service to their constituents and to this great nation I love will come before party and politics. G-d bless America.