Sam Speron, M D, F A C S

Board Certified
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Call for a free consultation847.696.9900

Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Surgery

History of Plastic Surgery

The term plastic surgery has nothing to do with the material known as plastic. Instead, it derives from the Greek language, much as many modern medical terms do. The "plastic" in plastic surgery derives from "plastikos," a Greek word that means "to mold or shape."
Although we tend to think of cosmetic surgery when someone mentions plastic surgery, plastic surgeons have a long history of performing physical reconstruction. Plastic surgery is thus, to the surprise of many, not a modern medical procedure. While techniques are certainly advanced these days, the basic surgical premise is known to have existed since the 8th century BC. Susrutha, an Indian surgeon, was known to perform skin grafts during this period. He was also known to do nasal reconstruction, which may sound odd until you realize nose amputation was a common penalty for certain crimes during that period.  
By the fourth century A.D., surgeons in Byzantium had developed fairly sophisticated methods of fine suturing to prevent scarring. The Romans also made advances in plastic surgery. They were known to perform plastic surgery to repair defects of the ear.
More significant reconstruction became part of the plastic surgery universe in the 18th century, when an American surgeon repaired a cleft palate.  In the 19th century the development of general anesthesia for surgery helped make plastic surgery more widely acceptable (once people realized they no longer had to be wide awake to experience pain). Surgery in general became more commonplace as antibiotics and an understanding of the importance of modern sanitary measures made all forms of surgery less dangerous.
John P. Mettauer is generally considered the first plastic surgeon in the United States, and practiced in the 1820 to 1840s. He was renowned for designing his own instruments, many which form the basis of modern surgical instruments associated with plastic surgery.
World War I, which maimed thousands of soldiers, was the crucible in which many plastic surgery specialists were formed. Doctors developed methods for reconstructing ears, noses, jaws and eyes.  Doctors compared notes across national boundaries after the war.
New techniques and materials are continually being developed in plastic surgery that can repair an ever-wider range of physical deformities.  Many of the advance in plastic surgery make cosmetic surgery procedures easier, more comfortable, and more affordable than ever before.
Although plastic surgery has always had a place in the medical profession, its position as a popular procedure is relatively recent.

The Real Definition Of A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon:
Not every plastic surgeon offering cosmetic surgery in his practice is a board certified plastic surgeon. The board certified plastic surgeon gets his certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). The board certified plastic surgeon of the American Board of Plastic Surgery has to undergo a specific number of years of intense training and education in the field of plastic surgery in order to gain the required skills needed for providing the most comprehensive and competent care for his patients.

Qualifications Required To Be A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon:
To be more specific, the board certified plastic surgeon has to prove his skills by way of meeting the following qualifications at a level that is efficient.
• The board certified plastic surgeon has to be a graduate from a granted medical school.
• The surgeon has to complete a minimum six years of extra residency for becoming a board certified plastic surgeon. These years include three years of practicing plastic surgery and three years of practicing general surgery.
• The three years of practice of plastic surgery have to be done in an active manner.
• The plastic surgeon has to pass the comprehensive oral and written exams to become a board certified plastic surgeon.

Importance Of A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon:
The board certified plastic surgeon holds importance due to the fact that, the individuals get the assurance that such a surgeon will have a vast experience in any of the procedures related to the practice of plastic surgery. The individuals can get all the necessary guidance for making an informed decision from a board certified plastic surgeon. The credibility of the board certified plastic surgeon is proven and hence, such doctors are reliable and pioneers in their fields.

What Is Plastic Surgery?
Plastic surgery refers to a group of surgical procedures that focuses on improving the appearance and ability of a patient by reconstructing parts of the body or making cosmetic changes. While most people think of plastic surgery as something chosen by those who are not happy with their bodies, particularly due to the effects of aging, many people with birth defects or serious injuries turn to plastic surgery to help them regain a normal appearance.
Bad plastic surgery is very frequently in the news. Because it is a lucrative business, many surgeons without the necessary qualifications try to venture into the industry. Bad plastic surgery can leave more scars than it repairs, cause infections and complications, and often does not provide the desired result. You can avoid becoming a victim of bad plastic surgery by carefully researching the doctors you are seeing for a consultation.  Do your due diligence. 

Plastic Surgery vs. Reconstructive Surgery
Plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery are discussed together so frequently that people often confuse them. While both involve the improvement of your appearance, there are very distinct differences.
Both plastic surgery and reconstructive surgery are designed to improve the appearance of a person. This can be done through lifts, tucks, reshaping etc. The correct usage of the terms, though, is dependent upon the underlying reason for the surgical procedure.
Plastic surgery is an elective surgery. In its most basic form, plastic surgery takes a normal part of the body and improves it in a manner as it is desired by the patient. Common plastic surgery procedures include breast augmentation or reduction, liposuction, tummy tuck, face lift or nasal reshaping. All of these surgeries are based purely on a voluntary desire to improve one’s appearance.
Reconstructive surgery is often elective, but is usually medically necessary. Reconstructive surgery differs from plastic surgery in one significant way. It is focused on making improvements to a damaged or abnormal part of the body. For example, a person may suffer damage from trauma or disease that leaves a part of the body looking abnormal or functionally deficient, such as breaking facial bones in an automobile accident. Reconstructive surgery will be undertaken to repair the facial structure so that it both performs and appears normally. While appearance is important, most reconstructive surgery focuses on functionality first and cosmetic result second.
The differences between plastic and reconstructive surgery often blur. Ultimately, the dividing line between reconstructive surgery and plastic surgery is mostly an academic debate or fairly obvious given specific circumstances. Regardless, it is important to understand that there is a distinction.

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery - Getting the Natural Look
Men and women of all ages and backgrounds are using plastic surgery to enhance their appearance. People are interested in plastic surgery for a variety of reasons - because of an accident or injury, as a result of the aging process, or to bolster their confidence by improving their appearance.
The reason someone is interested in plastic surgery is entirely up to them. During a consultation with a plastic surgeon, the patient is being interviewed just as much as the surgeon is being interviewed. There needs to be a real meeting of the minds when the patient and the doctor meet and an establishment of realistic expectations regarding plastic surgery.
Most plastic surgeons take their responsibility to screen patients very seriously.  The goal is always natural looking results from the procedure and a realistic expectation from the patient. Dr Speron routinely declines requests from potential clients in order to stick to his core beliefs about when plastic surgery is or is not advisable.
One of the most critical aspects of plastic surgery in today’s world is producing natural-looking results.  Finding a plastic surgeon with the right skill set, reputation and integrity is sometimes difficult but always worth it in the end.

Reparing For Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Once you have decided to take the next step and proceed with cosmetic plastic surgery, always take a step back and rethink your specific situation. While this is an exciting time for you, it is common that you may also have some anxiety about the coming weeks.
To ensure your cosmetic plastic surgery procedure is a safe and smooth process, please use these tips below to maximize your experience:

Start by evaluating the amount of time you will need for your plastic surgery procedure, and the amount of time you will need for recovery. Plan your surgery at a time when your social commitments are minimal.  Make sure you can take some time off of work. The key to a successful recovery from a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure is to take the needed time off and relax as much as possible. Stress will only add more time to your recovery.
The amount of time needed for each plastic surgery procedure is different. Make sure you speak with your doctor beforehand to understand the time needed for recovery. Share with him the type of activities you do in your normal routine and also any upcoming events that may be important to you.

While most plastic surgery procedures will not require bed rest, you may wish to have a few family members or friends that are willing to help you out for the first week. Even though you are electing to have a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, it is still real surgery and you should plan accordingly.

Once you have decided on a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure, you must also decide how you will pay for it. Will you be obtaining financing or have you had time to save for the procedure?
While plastic surgery costs are usually not covered by your regular medical insurance, there are actually a number of ways you can pay for your chosen procedure. Check with your plastic surgeon’s office.
Being fully prepared will ensure your success with any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure you choose.

If you are considering plastic surgery to change your appearance, you should know what you are getting yourself into.
As an elective surgery, plastic surgery often does not get the objective coverage it should. Proponents spew on about the positive effects while critics relentlessly argue the opposite.
In these modern times, plastic surgery has come on strong as a method for changing appearances. The most common procedures people are getting today are liposuction, breast surgery, nose reshaping, eyelid lifts, tummy tucks and facelifts. In the last ten years, the number of plastic surgery procedures has quadrupled as the specialty has gained greater acceptance and increased publicity on television shows.
When one thinks about plastic surgery, most assume it is women having their outward appearances modified. This is generally true. Almost 80% of all plastic surgery patients are women, but the demographic is starting to change. While 20 percent of patients are now men, the figure is rapidly growing. Like women, men seek liposuction, nose reshaping, tummy tucks and lifts.
While still somewhat controversial, teenagers are getting plastic surgery in growing numbers. Individuals under 18 most often focus on procedures related to the skin, with skin peels and microdermabrasion procedures accounting for more than 50% of all procedures.
Historically, plastic surgery was a relatively uncommon procedure. Today with extensive media exposure and lower pricing this is simply no longer the case.

Selecting a Plastic Surgeon in the Chicago Area
Although plastic surgery is usually a voluntary choice, you should treat it as seriously as any other medical procedure. Please check out Dr Speron’s 7 critical questions to ask any plastic surgeon before proceeding with surgery.
As with any surgery, you should consult with at least three plastic surgeons to get a full understanding of your options, the potential results and any inherent risks. In making the final choice, there are some basic questions you should get answers to:
1. Is the plastic surgeon board certified with the ABPS and an active member of ASPS?
2. Has the surgeon perform the surgery on previous occasions? If so, how many times?
3. Assuming the surgeon has done the surgery before, do they have before and after photos?
4. What are the possible results from the surgery?
5. What are the possible side effects or complications from the surgery?
5. Where will the surgery be performed and does the surgeon have privileges at a hospital to perform the same type of surgery?
6. Will the surgeon actually perform the entire surgery?

As with any surgery, you want a Chicago plastic surgeon that is highly qualified and experienced.
Plastic Surgery is a serious matter, so do not shop by price!