Thanksgiving 2013

Once again, this is Thanksgiving week. As I do every year, I take this opportunity to reflect on all of the blessings I have received over the year. While I try to be grateful every day, sometimes the pace of life makes it difficult to thank all of the people the way in which you would like.
I am thankful for my family. There is no greater feeling to me than the love of my family. There is no way to describe the experience of being a father until it happens to you. I am so fortunate to have the health of my children.

I am thankful for my opportunity to serve the Hispanic community. Since I was 3, I knew I wanted to be a doctor. Not only did I follow through on that dream, but I was able to become a Plastic Surgeon and find my calling in the world of Latin beauty. The ability to educate and provide truthful and helpful information to patients in order for them to understand their options before making dangerous choices has been beyond rewarding. While it is impossible to eliminate all risk from surgery, I feel fortunate to help reduce risks and inform my community about some unsafe practices.
I am thankful to my staff, more than 20 Hispanic women, who help me do what I do day in and out for nearly 17 years now. I cannot do it alone, and to see these young women mature and grow under my watch is very special.

I am thankful to all of my patients who honor me by selecting me as their Plastic Surgeon. Most of my patients work very hard , and Plastic Surgery is a dream to them. I always keep that in mind when I enter the operating room, and do my best to deliver the best and safest results.
I am also thankful to those who take the time to read my blogs, and follow me on twitter. It is my way to give you a little insight into who I am and what I do, not only in Plastic Surgery. Keep reading, and stay well. Happy Thanksgiving!

Second Opinions in Plastic Surgery

As a well known Plastic Surgeon in the Hispanic community for 17 years, I often see patients who have had bad experiences or results done elsewhere with other doctors. Some are from overseas, and some are from right here in New York. Some patients are worried, some are disappointed, and others are angry.

Like many Plastic Surgeons, I take pride in my results, but understand complications can occur, and that other factors can come into play that may affect the outcome of a well performed procedure. Patient compliance, skin type, and expectations are important considerations. It is very hard to be certain of exactly what happened with only the patient’s story and a physical exam.
One of the most important things to remember is that it is hard to judge a result without seeing the before images. If you want a good second opinion, it is a great help to bring your before photos. You may be seeking a perfection that is impossible, and the fault may lie not in the operation but in the expectations.

It is always my preference to ask if the patient has discussed the problem with the primary surgeon, and I have even called them with the patient here. If it is an overseas surgery where return is difficult, this is not possible. Remember, you always have the option of returning to the doctor who did the operation. Sometimes the trust is broken, and return is also impossible.
Sometimes urgent care is needed, and I have admitted patients to the hospital from my office, or referred them to the ER across the street when inpatient care is needed. I always tell patients that I charge for my services, and give an estimate of costs before taking you on as a patient. You can always return to your doctor or go to the ER as an option.
I try to be sensitive to each patient’s needs, and many are emotionally vulnerable after complications. If you are angry with you surgeon, let them know either in person or by mail. If I have someone who is dissatisfied,I would hope they would sit down with me so that I could explain options and help. I like to think my colleagues are as honorable.

My best advice is to do your homework before surgery, and if you have suffered a complication, seek the best care possible. It is usually not your fault, and the important thing is to do what you can to safely correct it.

Don’t Tell Your Plastic Surgeon The Implant size

I do a lot of breast implant surgery. I put in hundreds of implants every year, am in the 17th year of my private practice, and have done literally thousands. I am good at the procedure, I feel my results are quite natural, and the great majority of my patients are very happy. Except for the few I let pick the exact implant size.

In today’s social media and internet world, with online forums and chat groups oversharing everything, information is abundant. I applaud patients who take the time to research their options and come in with a clear idea of what they want. My job is to educate and assist them in the decision making process.

I insist on laying out all of the options in an unbiased way, and having my patient tell me what she wants. What type of implant, how to hide the incision, above or below the muscle, and what size they want to be afterwards. If they select something outside of my tolerance, I explain my reservations, and refuse to do anything I would not feel is in their best interest.
I have had three patients who have come in and insisted on a particular type and size implant, down to the cc, and not be moved by my explanations. All three have been disappointed

The surgeries were done well, the results were quite good, it was that the patients did not understand the intricacies of implant selection to achieve certain appearances. They became hung up on the number of cc’s instead of what they wanted to create.

My advice is to find a surgeon you trust with results you love, and trust him/her. If you pick the wrong implant, you only have yourself to blame.

Halloween and Plastic Surgery

Halloween just passed, and everyone got dressed up as their favorite character or clever idea of the moment. It is a time for fantasy and fun, and to spend the day behind a mask pretending to look differently. This made me think of Plastic Surgery.
Patients come to see me to either restore the look of years gone by, or to correct defects that were never right in the first place. In a sense, I am creating a mask or new appearance so the fantasy can be realized.

Sometimes the effect is temporary, such as Botox or Radiesse or Juvederm that can make you look well for several months to a year. Sometimes it is surgery, which can fix some defects permanently, and at least give many years of results.

As long as you realize it does not change who you are inside, or fix the life problems we all have, it can be a very healthy way to achieve a new appearance. Very much like Halloween.

When the mask or costume comes off, you are still you. If you can accept that and are comfortable with yourself, you will be happy on Halloween and after Plastic Surgery as well.
Hope you got only treats this year.