When Dr. Peter Geldner was in high school, he witnessed a young burn victim who had been treated by a plastic surgeon and who couldn’t stop talking about how the surgeon had changed his life.
That was the moment Dr. Geldner knew he wanted to be a plastic surgeon.
Fast forward a few decades. Dr. Geldner now runs the Geldner Center, a plastic surgery and aesthetics center with locations in Chicago’s Gold Coast and Hinsdale.
“I get tremendous satisfaction from seeing the psychological and physical transformations that my patients experience following surgery,” Dr. Geldner says. “They revitalize their lives.”
Dr. Geldner’s path to managing two plastic surgery centers in the Chicago area was, at the very least, unconventional.
The son of Holocaust survivors, Dr. Geldner was born in Warsaw and immigrated to Israel with his parents as a very young child, then to the United States at the age of six. His father, a neurosurgeon, and his mother, an opthamologist, helped expose him to the field of medicine.
After receiving his medical degree from the University of Madison, Wisconsin, Dr. Geldner went on to receive his training in plastic surgery from the University of Chicago. He completed his residency at the University of Texas, Galveston, where he met his Chicago-born wife, JuliAnn. Together, they decided to base his practice in Chicago. JuliAnn, a lawyer, is the Geldner Center’s General Counsel and COO.
The foundation of the Geldner Center’s success is a focus on understanding and gaining trust with patients.
“Our interest is in meeting a subjective goal,” Dr. Geldner says. “The point of plastic surgery is to achieve the goals of patients, and that achievement is built on a relationship.”
“Plastic surgery is not based on needs,” he continues. “It’s based on what it is about you that bothers you and how I can help you. It’s patient-centric and patient-focused.”
When you book an appointment with the Geldner Center, you might have a start time for your appointment, but Dr. Geldner won’t leave the room until he feels he and his patient have established a true collaboration.
“That can take five minutes or it can take two hours,” JuliAnn Gardner says. “It doesn’t make it easy to manage the appointment calendar.”
Undergirding the Geldner Center’s success is a keen focus on education and ethics.
“I’m a lifetime learner,” Dr. Geldner says. “When JuliAnn and I go on vacation she loads her Kindle with fiction books and I bring my medical journals. I go to conferences and try and keep up with the latest technology.”
The center’s assessments, completed in collaboration with patients, might lead to a recommendation of surgery or the center might refuse procedures if they don’t meet its ethical guidelines.
In addition to its comprehensive set of plastic surgery procedures, the Geldner Center offers many aesthetic services performed by highly trained nurses and practitioners. Services include injections and medical-grade facials.
Geldner Center staff are held to the same high standards that Dr. Geldner sets for himself.
“Having highly trained Nurse Injectors and Estheticians gives us a strategic advantage,” Dr. Gardner says. “Our Nurse Injectors and Estheticians not only receive the highest level of training, they also enroll in continuing education and are experts in their fields.”
All of this adds up to a winning combination for the Geldner Center, a perhaps improbable destination that started for Dr. Peter Geldner in Warsaw many years ago.
The Geldner Center is located at 12 Salt Creek, Suite 315, in Hinsdale, and 680 N. Lake Shore Drive, Suite 1325, in Chicago, 312-981-4440, mygeldnercenter.com.