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Behind the Scenes of a Plastic Surgery Center

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As a self-professed beauty maven, I fully immerse myself into the magnificent world of appearances.  As I frequently tell my mother, “I want to look like I’m 25 when I’m 60.” So, when the opportunity arises for me to pay a visit to one of the exclusive Body Cosmetica affiliated centers, located on 87th and Madison, I jump on the offer.

As the cab speeds to the entrance, I see gorgeous tree-lined streets and rustic pre-war apartment buildings, surrounding the center. Businessmen briskly walk by, waving their hands and talking animatedly on their gadgets.

I am buzzed in, and enter a swanky lobby. After being greeted, I’m sent to a waiting area filled with plush couches and an array of glossy magazines. The overall feel of the center exudes luxury and comfort. Nurses gently discuss with patients in soft melodic voices and occasionally a laugh emanates from one of the back rooms.

I am eventually greeted by Kendra Klock, the Senior Patient Coordinator at Body Cosmetica. Her presence demands attention- effortlessly chic, passionate, and a succinct talker. She moves me to the back of the center so we can sit down and talk, all the while answering calls and emails that are unendingly thrown her way. “This is a round the clock job,” she says. “My cellphone is my lifeline. I am always reachable, 24/7, to answer patient’s questions and assist with any issues.”

Kendra began her career working as a clinical director for a medical spa. Her breadth of knowledge and savviness catapulted her to the role of patient coordinator, in 2011. In this position, she acts as a vital link between the doctors and the patients- finding affordable financial options, verbalizing patients’ needs and desires, and thoroughly explaining the various surgery options offered by each doctor.  “My job is to steer patients in the right direction,” she says. She expertly does so, as is witnessed, shortly thereafter. A woman enters the room for a breast lift consultation. She explains to the doctor, and Kendra that she is worried about getting the breast lift because it is an extensive surgery that is out of her budget and leaves some scarring.

After meticulously looking her over, both the doctor and Kendra determine that the woman does not need a breast lift, but rather, a breast augmentation. This surgery takes a shorter time, leaves minimal to no scarring, and is less expensive. “Our job is to steer patients in the right direction, not try and sell them the most expensive procedure,” says Kendra. “A woman came to us from another notable plastic surgery center in Manhattan. She had stated that the doctor had set a procedure date for her, without ever seeing her in person or checking to see if she even qualified for the procedure.”

Every case is entirely customized for the patient, by using an equal dose of medical expertise and the patient’s request. Not all patients are able to undergo their chosen procedure. For example, many come in wanting a tummy tuck but their body mass index is to high for the surgery.

At this particular center, patients are seen by Dr. Joshua Hyman. Not only is he board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the highest echelon of membership for a plastic surgeon, but he is highly decorated with various awards and accolades. Hyman has trained at some of the country's finest hospitals and is renowned for his breast work (augmentations, reductions, and lifts) as well as Mommy Makeovers (tummy tucks and liposuction).

After glimpsing one of his fliers, I expect Dr. Hyman to mirror the medical environment in which he thrives- stoic, curt, and cold- but he completely surprises me with his warm smile and jolly demeanor. He has an elusive quality; a certain je ne sais quoi- maybe it’s the lack of pretentiousness you’d expect from an established doctor, his quirky mannerisms, or his authoritative way of speaking, but his presence is both reassuring and alluring- a definite bonus when discussing a surgical procedure.

Another patient enters the room. She looks a bit uneasy as she perches on the edge of her chair. Kendra explains to her that all of the facilities are AAAASF accredited, meaning they are sterile and have the same amenities that one would have in a hospital, but in a much more private and upscale setting.

The patient explains that she recently lost 100 pounds and her breasts are now deflated. She wants to get an augmentation this September.  After congratulating her on the immense weight loss, Kendra shows her a unique feature that only this plastic surgery center utilizes. She opens a cupboard and brings out what looks like a sports bra with pockets on the inside. It is a one of a kind sizing system, where the patient slips differing breast molds into the brassiere to get a more realistic feel of how the breasts will look, post-surgery. “Most offices don’t offer a sizing system and the implant size is often left up to the surgeon, leaving patients disappointed after the surgery,” Kendra explains. The patient’s eyes light up as she slips two 350cc molds into the bra. “My boyfriend will definitely like this,” she jokes, laughing sheepishly, as she’s clearly warmed up to us. She spins in the mirror, looking at herself from every angle. “Yupp, I think this is it. I want them to be natural.”

We leave the room to let the patient change into her street clothes. Kendra explains that after the surgery, patients have stellar follow-up. “They meet frequently with the doctor and are able to contact him at any time with any questions they may have.”

The plastic surgery center stands as a beacon among the Upper East Side, and certainly fits into the elegance and grandeur that characterizes this neighborhood. The staff genuinely cares about its patients and takes extensive measures to ensure they have the best possible surgical experience.


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