CELL Phones at Concerts and Plastic Surgery

Recently, artists have begun asking concert goers to refrain from taking pictures and videos during the show. Some, such as Jack White, have gone on to require that all phones be sealed in a bag prior to entering the venue so that this does not occur. I was at a show, and he had someone come out and let the audience know that he had hired professional photographers and videographers to shoot the show, and gave access to them for free for anyone who wanted a memory or to post on social media.

Bob Dylan, during a show in Vienna, stopped singing due to this distraction and said “We can either pose or play, it’s up to you.” The frustration built up to the point that it not only ruined other audience members’ experiences, with upheld phones and selfies taking away from the moment for them, but for the artist as well. I have to side with the artists.
I can’t tell you how many times a cell phone interrupts a consult or patient visit, making it hard for the patient and me to maintain concentration. I always find it telling that when a patient is naked in a gown, they still hold their phone in their hand. Who are you going to call?

Don’t even get me started on employees who are sneaking a peak at their phones during work. It is a theft of my time, and a disservice to the patients.

If I take a call during a patient encounter, it can only be from another doctor or something I am doing for that patient. If you see me doing otherwise, please scold me. I would deserve it.

April Fools 2019

To become a doctor, and a surgeon in particular, you must endure decades of study and dedicate virtually all of your awake time to patient care and craft. To truly understand the weight of having someone’s life in your hands on a repeated basis is only the first step in realizing the responsibility and pressure that one must embrace.

I like to believe that I have a very quick wit, and can see the humor in most situations. Perhaps it is a coping mechanism that I have developed to deal with the rigors of my work. Being able to make others laugh without playing the fool is an art that brings me tremendous pleasure.

The unfortunate side effect of this is that I can never let loose of the rational side of me that is so essential to being a great Plastic Surgeon yet does not allow me to completely relax and not think of every possible outcome of my behavior. I sometimes give of the aura of a stiff and somewhat unapproachable person in social situations, especially with strangers. They are often shocked at how opposite to that image I really am.

I have never regretted the sacrifices I have made to be where I am today, and consider it an honor to continue to serve the Hispanic community as the Plastic Surgeon of choice. I take what I do seriously, and would never compromise on patient care.

If you see me outside and want to say hello, please do. I truly enjoy the life I have, and even if I don’t act “the fool,” it doesn’t mean I can’t make you laugh.

Presidents Day 2019

Today is Presidents Day, a made up arbitrary Monday in between George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birth dates so that we can have a 3 day weekend instead of 2 random days off. While I have tremendous respect and gratitude for both great men, I doubt that even 1% of the people who take the day off will spend even a moment to honor either man.

I guess I have a problem with the concept of moving the date of a holiday observance to a Monday so that people can have three days in a row off. Is the holiday a paid vacation, or the intended honor of a person or event? Is it about travel or respect?

I especially love it when a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday and they still declare Monday a holiday, lest someone think they are being cheated out of a day off. Heaven forbid we celebrate when we are not working.

My suggestion is to honor the intent of the holiday, be it on the actual date or a Monday. Let it not be a day of X Box and sleeping in, but one of discussing the meaning of the day. Visit a museum, donate your time to a charitable cause, or even read about the history of the holiday. Even if this is just for an hour or two of the day, it is honest and genuine.

Valentine’s Day 2019

It is a few days before Valentine’s Day, so I hope you who participate have made all of your arrangements for dinner reservations, flowers, and chocolates. Jewelry, for those who prefer, can still be purchased.

For me, I would like to send a Valentine to Plastic Surgery, whom I have loved for over 30 years. But how do you send chocolates to a field of medicine? Can flowers be appreciated by techniques? Do books appreciate jewelry?

I show my love for plastic surgery through my faithfulness to her principles. I never wander from her scope of practice, am loyal to her core principles, and do not entertain thoughts of other specialties. Despite being committed as a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I participate in a lifelong program of study to maintain my certification, and try not to forget all I have been trained to do.

I have sacrificed a lot to stay with Plastic Surgery. I spent so many years in Medical School, Residency and Fellowship to prove myself worthy. Many sleepless nights spent in hospitals, missing many events due to the demands and needs of the practice.

I want to say that with each year I love Plastic Surgery more. As I age, I understand its importance more. Even if I put away my tools one day, I will always be a Plastic Surgeon in my heart.

Scars are Forever

I had a patient come to me for a second opinion consult after having had a breast and body surgery done elsewhere. This is not surprising in itself, as I see so many people dissatisfied with results of other plastic surgeons. What was unique was that she liked everything about her procedure except the scars. And the scars were perfect.

Each body heals differently after injury, and as a Board Certified plastic surgeon, I am well trained in techniques to try and hide or minimize the appearance of scars. The overwhelming majority of my patients heal well, but not 100% Having a thick, dark, red or even keloidal scar is not always the result of a poorly performed closure. In fact, I would place the majority of the scar on the patient’s skin type.

I always discuss scarring with patients before performing procedures, and it is spelled out clearly on all of my consent forms. I even work with the patients at every visit, advising them as to the best care of the incisions. We offer treatments including creams, lasers, microneedling, and injections.

I had to explain to this patient that her scars were of good quality and no further treatment was needed or advised. That the most important word of the two word phrase “plastic surgery” was “surgery”. The patient left unsatisfied, thinking all plastic surgeons stick together. She said she had the surgery part, and would find someone to fix the plastic part. I wish her good luck.

Income Tax Refunds 2019 and Plastic Surgery

After 22 tax seasons in Washington Heights, I have come to know that many patients utilize their income tax refund checks to finance plastic surgery. It is kind of like found money, and it is a forced savings plan for some.

This year, we are in a government shutdown, and the thought is that these checks may be delayed. The IRS is a government agency, and they will be far behind in the processing of these refund checks. This may lead to a delay in surgery.

Of course, this is not universal. Many people are coming from other countries like Canada for these surgeries, and have managed to check out their options for their refunds beforehand. Still, it is worth noting that this will cause a shift in the general clientele.

February is when the fever usually starts, and it flows into August, as the schools let out and more people have time off. It will be interesting to see how the flow goes this year.

So with all of the craziness and partisan politics, none of the law makers have to forego their salaries as the other government employees do. The people living paycheck to paycheck who can least afford it are the ones getting pinched.

My message to those in charge is to start acting like grownups and learn to play together. Remember, you are in office to serve the people, not your party’s interests. Put the American people first. Do not delay cosmetic surgery. Make America Beautiful Again!

My Friend is Having Surgery Tomorrow

Plastic Surgeons are people, and they have friends and family like everyone else. We get sick, go to see doctors, and even need surgery at times. One of my favorite people is having surgery tomorrow. He is also a doctor, although not in my field.

Just like anyone else, he is a bit anxious about it. He knows that the overwhelming likelihood is that the surgery will go well, and no complications are anticipated, but a tiny bit of fear and respect always creeps in.

Doctors can be more nervous than the public at large, as they think of all of the cases that they have seen and heard of where something goes wrong. Will I wake up from the anesthesia, will they discover something they didn’t anticipate, what if I have a previously undiscovered allergy or medication reaction? Sometimes too much knowledge can be a negative.

As a physician and a friend, I am concerned for his well being, and have spoken to him about the procedure. I try to assure him that all will go well without invalidating his concerns. When it comes down to it, I will not be in the operating room, and he will not be able to participate in his own operation, so we are merely spectators as are most people in this situation.

I will think good thoughts, send positive vibes and be supportive, but as a doctor my degree is useless in this circumstance. Plastic Surgeons are people just like you.

2019 at Yager Esthetics

As we march through our 22nd year here in Washington Heights, the beginning of the year is a good time to lay out our vision for the calendar of the next 12 months. We try to stay fresh and relevant, and always work to improve the patient experience and what we can offer.

We have greatly expanded the nonsurgical offerings, utilizing the latest techniques of microneedling, PRP, and next generation lasers for tattoo removal, facials, scar corrections and skin rejuvenation. Upgraded RF technology allows for better skin tightening and minor fat reduction. Our skin treatments have really taken off with the latest skin care only offered through MD offices, and we have tailored them to our Hispanic patients as we do for all treatments.
We have created a custom electronic charting system which we will roll out to make less waste of paper and allow us instant access to each chart. We continue to add to it with patient portals so that you can access information from your home.

We will be upgrading our social media outreach with professional and educational posts to keep you up to date on hot topics and even on our pop up events and seminars and special offerings. More videos and quick advice on your questions are coming.

While we like to keep current, the one thing that will never change is our commitment to the Hispanic community and providing unsurpassed quality and information to keep them educated as to the safest and best options available. After 22 years here, I still feel I improve every day, and my passion for helping patients achieve their dreams burns strongly within me.

We look forward to seeing you in 2019 and beyond!

Christmas Eve 2018

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Heights,

Not a fat cell was bulging, not even through tights.

The fajas were off, on the floor in a pile

Looking in mirrors, all patients did smile

For their surgeon had reshaped them with skill and with care,

In the hopes that bikinis and spandex they’d wear.

They needed no bras or scarves on their necks,

No filters were needed when photos they’d text.

With confidence and self esteem they were filled,

And all of their partners were certainly thrilled.

As he left the OR with the last patient done,

Dr. Yager’s battle against aging was won.

As he left in his car and drove out of sight,

He said “Happy Christmas to all, and to all skin stay tight!”

Simplicity in Plastic Surgery

Since I started Yager Esthetics in 1997, I have seen tremendous changes in the way in which plastic surgery is marketed and consumed.  Like with most change, there has been good and bad.

In the past, in order to establish yourself in practice, you either joined a well known plastic surgeon or group as a junior partner, learned from them, and eventually grew your own patient base.  Many would seek out emergency room call to fill in the time.  The brave few would strike out on their own and try to attract patients via friends and colleagues, or host seminars to educate the public.

The next wave was reality television, as you let a production team film your life in and out of the office, making you a more household personality.  Public recognition helped leapfrog the years it took to build your name the old way.

Now, everyone wants to start at the top, and attracting attention is usually done via social media.  People in my field have gone so far as to don costumes and do singing acts in the operating room while performing surgery.  The reach is farther and more frequent than reality tv, enabling an instant impact.  The more extreme, the bigger the audience.  Many are not even plastic surgeons, but dermatologists, ENT’s, and OB-Gyn’s.

I started on my own, and built my practice by giving excellent service to each patient, and treating them all with respect.  Over time, patient to patient referrals have gotten to the point that I am one of the most well known and respected board certified plastic surgeons in my community.

My advice is to be true to your ethics, put the patients’ needs in front of your own, and be fair to them.  Simple and effective, but not instant. Just like in cooking, taking time and love inpreparation tastes better than instant.