The safe road to plastic surgery

Leonora Hernandez, 24, believes getting breast implants would help her have a better-looking figure and find self-confidence.
“I need to look better in clothing,” Hernandez said. “I am sure that having breast implants will do the trick.”

The Flushing resident is not alone in wanting to turn to plastic surgery to improve her appearance. In 2009, more than 12.5 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States alone, according American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

However, like with any other surgery, it comes with risks. Back in April of 2010, Barbara Nieto was charged after she nearly killed a patient following a butt augmentation she performed at a spa located in Corona. Nieto wasn’t a surgeon, but instead was licensed by the State of New York to perform “appearance enhancement.”

Dr. Jeffrey Yager, M.D. a board certified plastic surgeon and founder of Yager Esthetics, practices cosmetic plastic surgery of the face, breast and body. Throughout his career Yager has had patients consider surgery for the wrong purposes and some are not good candidates for surgery.

“Some patients come in depressed thinking surgery will help them feel better,” Yager said. “I have even had a patient come in because she had a cheating husband and wanted to look better.”

Yager said surgery has its pros and cons. It’s a procedure where the individual needs to thoroughly think about what they are going to do to their bodies.

“I sometimes need to act like a psychiatrist and make sure that patients are considering surgery for themselves and not the wrong reasons,” Dr. Yager said.

Like with any other surgery there are risks that should be taken into consideration. According to ASPS, patients need to choose a surgeon they can trust with at least six years of surgical training and experience and a minimum of three years in plastic surgery. The surgeon also should operate in an accredited facility and certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Yager also recommended knowing if the anesthesiologist is certified. He said usually during the anesthetic procedure, many complications could occur. Possible complications include abnormal heart rhythm, blood clots, brain damage, heart attack, nerve damage, stroke, and even death. During post surgery there are also chances of infections and fluid accumulation under the skin. That’s why Yager said it’s very important to follow up after a procedure in case there is an issue.

Hernandez heeded the warnings from the experts before going under the knife.

“I already started asking around and doing research on possible surgeons,” Hernandez said. “Hopefully, it’ll all turn out good.”

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