Not all doctors are the same. That’s not a generalization; it’s a fact. Education and experience are both important factors that differentiate doctors within a field, and those factors are particularly important in the world of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures, where the doctor is as much a visionary as he is medical specialist.
“Cosmetic and plastic surgery is a field based on principle,” says Dr. Michael Salvino of Salvino Plastic Surgery in Hinsdale. “Every case is different. One must truly listen to the patients to understand their goals, and it takes creativity and vision to be able to achieve it.”
Dr. Salvino is a board-certified plastic surgeon who received some of the best surgical training in the country. After four years of medical school, he did eight years of residency—first in general surgery at Northwestern University, followed by three years in plastic surgery at Loyola University Medical Center. It was early during medical school when he developed an interest in plastic surgery after seeing the vast amount of things that can be done in the field.
“We go head to toe, skin to bone, and everywhere in-between,” he says. “That’s what drew me in.” About half of Dr. Salvino’s patients are aesthetic surgery patients, and the other half are for reconstructive surgery such as breast surgery from breast cancer or facial reconstructive surgery.
A lot has changed since Dr. Salvino first started studying plastic surgery. Many traditional procedures like breast augmentation and tummy tucks have improved, though they are still considered a fairly major surgery. But there has also been a lot of innovation in the types of procedures patients can choose from that are less invasive.
“There’s been a huge trend and shift in plastic surgery where patients can accomplish the same goals with less radical surgery,” he says. “Non-invasive procedures have really taken off, and now patients ask for certain things by name.”
One example is Botox—the most well-known type of neuromodulator that works to reduce muscle movements that cause creases and wrinkles in the skin.
“These have been phenomenal products and procedures, which have pushed back the need for some patients who might have been getting surgery,” Dr. Salvino says. Plus, neuromodulators have been approved for a myriad of medical treatments including migraines, muscle spasms, and more.
Facial fillers have also been gaining popularity and Dr. Salvino often does fat grafting, which uses a patient’s fat from liposuction to use as a filler. The fat has the expected volumizing effect, but doctors are also seeing that the stem cells in those fats are surviving and transforming tissues to make a person appear more youthful.
The wide acceptance and broad education around new options like this has been great for the field of cosmetic surgery and procedures, says Dr. Salvino.
“There’s been an explosion of techniques and devices, and it has done nothing but help the practice of plastic surgery. But the downside is that as it’s become more visible, a lot of other people have come along and decided to try treating patients. I had eight years of surgical training and residency to do what I do,” he adds.
This is one of the things that sets Dr. Salvino apart. He’s an advocate for patient education, and even if it’s not him a patient chooses as a doctor, he’s adamant that patients find someone qualified who will listen to their needs and wants.
“My best advice is that you have to find a board-certified plastic surgeon who has gone through the rigorous training it takes to call oneself a plastic surgeon.”
Another key qualification Dr. Salvino has that isn’t necessarily taught in medical school is his ability to treat each person as an individual and make them feel comfortable.
He takes his time. He builds trust. He cares.
“Every patient I see, I treat individually,” he says. “I relate to each patient, and am honest with them. It’s the golden rule. I treat patients how I would like to be treated.”
Salvino Plastic Surgery is located at 911 N. Elm Street, Suite 216, in Hinsdale, 630-929-6565, salvinoplasticsurgery.com.