Beware The Victoria’s Secret Gel Bra

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I am used to being on call for the emergencies of my cosmetic surgery patients. It is infrequent that I receive emergency calls after hours, but it certainly does occur.

The other night at 10:30 pm, I received a page stating that a patient thought her breast implant was leaking. As distressing as this might be, it is certainly nothing you would address in the middle of the night. There is no health risk, and the logical thing to do would be to leave a non emergency message with the service, or call in the morning when the office opens to come in and be evaluated.

I understand that she might have been frightened and panicked, not thinking through the next step well. What happened next was the part that amazed me.

It turns out that the patient noticed a size difference in a top, and did not even bother to take her bra off and look in the mirror. What had actually happened was that the gel insert in her bra had leaked, and the implants were fine. Sadly this is the SECOND time this has happened in the last year.

I love my patients, and make myself available always, but watch out for those “miracle” bras. Call me if you need me.

Planning for Plastic Surgery

As I continue my seventeenth year at Yager Esthetics, I am fortunate to have built a busy and successful plastic surgery practice. I work very hard to minimize the wait for consults and surgery, but will not do more than I can safely manage with professionalism and personal attention.

While I operate two to three days every week, work, life, and school sometimes limit my patients as to when they can get the necessary time needed to recover properly. Because of this, certain surgical dates are more popular, especially around school holidays and over the Summer.

As we are in September, I have already had to open extra days around Christmas and Thanksgiving to try to accommodate the desires of my patients. This is why you should book early, especially if you are looking for a popular date. I am only one surgeon, and I have to make sure I only operate for the amount of time I can give 100%.

When a patient comes in for a consult and expects surgery the next week, it is still surprising. The planning on my side takes significant time. We need to get you to your doctor for testing and clearance, the anesthesiologist has to review your history and lab results, we need to measure you and order garments and bras and implants you might require, and you need a preop visit to review all of your consent forms. The nurses and I have to educate you on risks, alternatives, and the process. For your safety, we spend this time on you.

I would love the opportunity to be you plastic surgeon, but you need to plan well. Come well in advance, and make sure I am the right fit for you. Remember, it is not like buying shoes. This is your life, and you need to be smart.

Uptown Fashion Week

I was very pleased to be able to support and participate in Uptown Fashion week this past week. The idea behind it was to, in conjunction with the well known Fashion Week downtown, raise awareness of the quality and talent available in Northern Manhattan.

As a very well educated and supremely well trained Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, I had my choice of locations to set up practice. I chose Washington Heights because I saw a need for a higher quality choice for cosmetic surgery located in the Hispanic community, and I felt the opportunity was there to show that this community would support my investment. Starting my 17th year of private practice in Yager Esthetics, I take great pride in the accomplishments we have made to date.

The second part of Uptown Fashion week was to raise awareness of domestic violence. Unfortunately, this is a big problem still in many places. As a plastic surgeon, I have dealt with not only the physical reconstruction of battered women, but the self esteem and body image problems created by verbally and emotionally abusive partners. We have always, and continue to support the crusade to end this barbaric abuse.
Seeing the designers, models, and community leaders gather to support this cause only enhances my belief in the uptown Hispanic community in which I have worked for more than 25 years. Let’s make Northern Manhattan the envy of downtown.

The Loss of a Friend

As you read this, I will have just completed the 1st Annual Jim McMahon Scholarship Golf Outing. My close friend, Jim, died in March. He was a golf professional, and a tremendous human being. To honor him, I established an annual golf outing so that his friends could get together and share what he meant to us all. We held it on September 5, as this would have been his birthday.

We have lined up several of his family members, including his daughter, to come over from Ireland so that they can hear what Jim meant to all of us, and hopefully hear what we meant to him. We are sending notes to his mother so she may read the stories and appreciate the impact he had on our lives.

As he was not that much older than me, it also made me contemplate my own mortality, and the finite nature of life. I feel as if I have accomplished many things- happy family, kids, successful practice, and giving back to the community. I also feel that there is so much more I am capable of.

While I will never again have the pleasure of Jim’s company in this world, I feel his presence all around me. As I contacted people about the outing, I learned how wide reaching his impact was. All types of people from every walk of life came together to make this happen.

It is my wish to use what I have learned from Jim in my daily life- enjoy each moment, share yourself with others, and don’t worry what they might think. Good advice for all.

Liposuction is More Than Removing Fat

While having a rare free moment the other day, I was flipping through a Spanish language newspaper. I was surprised by the number of ads offering liposuction. The majority of the doctors offering the service were not Board Certified Plastic Surgeons. Some were ENT’s, others Ob/Gyn’s, and even a Family Practice doctor was touting her skills as an expert. This information wasn’t stated in the ads, and if you were not very diligent in researching or careful in asking, you would have no idea.

I have spoken to a few of these practitioners, and the answer to why they are doing it is simple- making money. None of the doctors I spoke to had any training during residency in their fields. The company that sells the equipment allows them to “train” by watching someone else with experience for either a few cases, or has a weekend seminar outside the US or somewhere by a resort. Amazingly, this is perfectly legal as of now. This is potentially disastrous.

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and did my first liposuction as a medical student in 1989. I have done many thousand procedures at Yager Esthetics, and do many hundred every year. Liposuction is not simply removing fat. Patient selection is very important, and the quality and texture of the skin, the technique used, and a comprehensive knowledge of fluid management is essential. This can not be learned in a few days.

Please do your homework and directly ask your liposuction provider if he or she is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, as no other board with a similar name is the same. You can go to and check for yourself. You do not have to come to me, but please be smart and safe.