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.

Holiday Spirit 2018

As we approach the holiday season, I wanted to talk about Holiday Spirit and how it can make everyone’s life better.  I am always amazed that a time of year can make people behave differently towards each other.

December brings a joy and festivity to most people.  Holidays of gift giving, parties and gatherings, as well as a nostalgic look back at one’s youth can put you in an especially charitable mood.  We see more acts of kindness, volunteering, and a more forgiving attitude to friends, family, and neighbors.  It is a warm spot in the cold weather.

What if we carried this spirit forward throughout the year? What if all twelve months of 2019 were December?  Would the good spirit live on, or do we really only have a limited ability to be pleasant and kind?

It is my belief that any departure from your normal behavior requires effort, but if this effort is sustained for a long enough period of time, it becomes routine.  Therefore, if we try to keep our holiday spirit beyond the season, it will become easier and easier as time goes on.

Let us try to make Holiday Spirit everyday routine!

Filters and Plastic Surgery

One of the most clever Halloween couples costumes I saw this year was a husband and wife in an identical red dress and heels, the husband in a wig to match the wife’s hair, with he having hairy arms, chest and legs and in need of a shave.  She had a nametag that read “Filter”, he had one that said “No Filter.”

Not only are we becoming obsessed with social media and sharing photos of the best of ourselves, we try to further enhance our online perfection by adding in filters to give an even more unrealistic view of ourselves.  This can be harmful in many ways.

People are already self conscious, and low self esteem is quite common.  To make people feel even more insecure about how they look can lead to depression and body image disorders.  No one knows if a filter has been used or not.

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I see a definite increase in patients seeking refinements of very small issues, especially in the face.  It is most definitely due to how they appear in photos on social media.

My advice is to live in the real world, stop wasting time worrying about how others look through filters, and see each other only face to face in person.  You might be surprised at how well you compare.

Cyber Monday 2018

Today is Cyber Monday, and all of my patients are on their favorite web enabled devices seeking out the latest and greatest deals available.  Cars, phones, tv’s and clothes at limited time pricing seems to motivate people, especially with the holidays and New Year right around the corner.

I am sure that some plastic surgeons will be getting in on the action, offering discounts or sale prices on surgeries, injectables, or skin care.  I would not waste your time looking for Yager Esthetics specials that day.

While I like to think of myself as progressive, innovative and young thinking, I am truly old school when it comes to the professionalism of the practice of medicine.  I am friendly, my office is decorated with style and color, I play current music and have young staff.  When it comes down to the actual patient care, I will not be trying to sell you anything.  If you come in to discuss a particular concern, that is what we will talk about.  I will not take the opportunity to upsell procedures or services.

In my opinion, plastic surgeons are not salespeople.  We are physicians, and should always put our patients’ best interests ahead of anything else.  Our duty is to serve and assist, and that is what I do.  I never talk money with patients, and I honestly do not know or want to know the cost of many of the things we do.  It keeps me focused on patient care.

So enjoy Cyber Monday, seek out those amazing “shopportunities”, and if plastic surgery is in your future, I hope you will come by and get nothing but an honest assessment of what you might need and a more than fair price to do it.

Thanksgiving 2018

Another Thanksgiving at Yager Esthetics- this is our 22nd! Each year, we have a gathering for staff and family to show our thanks and appreciation for being together as a workplace family. We cook, eat, and relax in the space we normally work to make it feel more like home.

Being thankful is a powerful theme, and I am so thankful on many levels. I would like to use this blog to give a little recognition to those who mean so much to my practice.

Thank you, Anesthesia! Your attention to detail and patient safety and comfort makes what I do a great experience for each patient. I spend a lot of time making sure that surgery goes well, and no matter how perfectly I perform, if the anesthesia is not good the experience is ruined.

Thank you, clinical staff! You make sure I have what I need, and that each patient is well taken care of. You are my eyes and ears and I rely on your good judgment to help care for our patients.

Thank you, office staff! If you do not answer the phones professionally and have the knowledge to make sure that the proper appointments are made, I have no patients to see. Your warm greetings and interactions make each patient feel at home.

Lastly, my patients! You are the reason I work so hard. My mission since 1997 has been to provide a safe and excellent choice for cosmetic plastic surgery for the Hispanic community in Washington Heights and I have never deviated from that goal. It is you who sends me most of my new patients and extends my care through so many generations of so many families. I appreciate each of you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Veterans Day 2018

On Veterans Day, we honor those who have served in our military.  The sacrifices and dedication of our service people cannot be ignored.  It is fitting that we take a day to recognize those willing to fight to preserve our way of life, and to never take it for granted.

Interestingly, the field of plastic surgery really had its beginnings during the World Wars, where advanced techniques were needed to reconstruct the horrific injuries that modern weaponry inflicted upon our troops.

The innovations of the founders of plastic surgery in the modern era started the ever expanding role of our specialty to include virtually the entire body.  This extensive and comprehensive training in surgery and anatomy and physiology makes us the specialty with the most variations in surgical sites, and has lead to so many breakthroughs in other medical specialties.  The reconstructions that plastic surgeons can offer lets cancer surgeons be more complete in removing tumors and allowing function afterwards.

Cosmetic plastic surgery is a byproduct of all of the wonderful reconstructive procedures developed by our specialty, and I am grateful for all of the efforts of those who came before, as well as for the training I received to be the surgeon that I am today.

To our military veterans as well as the plastic surgery pioneers who saved their lives, I thank you for your service.