Dos & Don’ts After Surgery

You often read articles about how to select the best plastic surgeon, or what the latest techniques are with the most fabulous results. You do your research, check board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, talk to patients and see before and after photos. You have selected the perfect doctor, so you are done, right? Not exactly.

When I agree to operate on a patient at Yager Esthetics, my patient and I BOTH sign the consent forms, because it is an equal partnership agreement. I agree to do my best to perform the surgery safely, expertly, and with my patients best interest first. My patients also have responsibilities in order to achieve the optimal outcome.

Do – Patients have to be 100% honest with their plastic surgeon. Hiding a medical condition, or lying about not smoking can be harmful not only to your results, but to your health. I have many patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and other conditions on whom I happily operate. The difference is that I can order the proper testing to keep them safe, and talk with their doctors to assure that it is safe to proceed.

Do – Patients must follow the post operative instructions given by their doctor. How you listen and follow directions can be the difference between a great result and a complication.

Don’t – No driving for two weeks means no driving for two weeks. Instructions are usually given to avoid damaging your surgical outcome. If you are thinking about breaking one of the rules, call the office and ask the reason for the rule first. It might change your mind.

So, continue to be careful in selecting your plastic surgeon. Also, try to be the best patient you can be, and your chances of a great result will be much higher.

The 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.

After Surgery Diet – What you Should know

At Yager Esthetics, patients often ask me if there is a special diet they should follow after liposuction or tummy tuck surgery. While the short answer is that they can eat what they want, a sensible and healthy approach to diet and portion control is essential to maintaining the best shape.
While I do not claim to be a nutritionist or registered dietician, I thought I would pass along some healthy eating guidelines to lose or maintain your weight. I do not endorse any particular diet plan, and favor learning how to eat regular food both at home and in a restaurant so you can follow these principals forever.

To increase your body’s metabolism, you have to keep it working all day long. Skipping meals is the worst thing to do, as your body just slows down thinking it may never be fed again. I recommend eating every three to four hours in a sensible way.

In the morning you need a sensible breakfast, such as Special K with fruit, an egg white omelette with veggies, or a whole grain toast with preserves and coffee or tea. In between breakfast and lunch, have a low fat yogurt with 100 or less calories and a piece of fruit and space them out.
For lunch, I prefer a protein the size and thickness of my palm with a starch (rice, potato, etc) the size of my fist without a thumb. I can have as much veggies as I want, like a salad, but very little dressing on the side.

In between lunch and dinner, another yogurt and fruit. Dinner is the same guideline as lunch. After dinner, 2-3 hours later, I allow myself a dessert of 100 calories or less of any type. I often find it difficult to eat so much in a day. At work, sometimes frozen food are convenient if you read the labels, keep fat calories to 25% or less, and keep it under 500 calories.

Throw in a little exercise 2 to 3 times a week, and you are well on your way to a healthier new you! If you need more help, call us and we will recommend a nutritionist or weight loss doctor to help you.

Scars after Surgery – Everything you need to know

One of the most common questions I get is “Am I going to have a scar after surgery?” The answer is, of course! Every time you cut the skin beyond a certain depth, the body repairs the damage by forming a scar. This is to create strength in the damaged area so as to prevent further injury.
The art of cosmetic plastic surgery is to try and minimize and hide the scar in a way that it is the least visible. In many cases, even the trained eye cannot find the mark. We use many tricks, such as hiding it in natural creases such as the fold of the eyelid or curve of the ear, and using the change in color from dark to light, such as in the edge of the areola in breast augmentation.

The healing process often takes about a year before the scar matures, and it can go through some red and firm stages before the process is complete. I see my patients very often after surgery to insure healing is proceeding in the ideal manner. If the scar looks dark, red, wide, or thick, I can usually recommend medications, tapes, and sometimes injections to improve the final result. If a patient comes back after 6 months or longer, it is often too late to help with these small interventions, and sometimes surgery is needed to correct the scar.

Let me also clear up 2 common misconceptions- lasers and keloids. If you do surgery where you are cutting, a laser is just as likely to leave a scar as a scalpel. It is just a different way to cut. Some lasers can help after a scar is established to help flatten or fade a mark, but do not be fooled into thinking that a laser tummy tuck, laser breast lift or laser facial surgery is in any way better than traditional surgery. It is often just hype to sell you a service that is most often no better result wise, and in inexperienced hands can have significantly more complications.
Every ugly or visible scar is not necessarily a keloid. Keloids are a type of abnormal scar that rises off the surface of your skin, and grows beyond the border of the scar onto normal skin. It is often treated with steroid injections and radiation therapy in addition to surgery. They are often resistant to correction.

So, if a plastic surgeon tells you that a surgery in which your skin is cut leaves no scar, be very skeptical. No one can promise you an invisible scar, as even the best surgical technique coupled with perfect patient care afterwards cannot overcome genetics. Do know that the overwhelming majority of scars heal extremely well with time, and this should not deter you from seeking out cosmetic plastic surgery if it is right for you.