Menu

Looking for Plastic Surgery in Chicago? Wondering which Plastic Surgeon You Should Choose? ... Read On:

Dr. Anh-Tuan N. Truong is one of the top cosmetic surgeons in Chicago, IL board-certified by an American Board of Medical Specialties Board (ABMS).   He is double board-certified by the American Board of Surgery  and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, and he was also voted one of America’s “Top Cosmetic Surgeons” by the Consumer’s Research Council of America.

People from all over the country come to Chicago to see this uniquely skilled surgeon. On top of his specialization in plastic surgery procedures, he has won awards for his research in skin regeneration and artificial skin, making him unusually adept at knowing how the skin will react to a cosmetic procedure. This keen attention to detail enables him to deliver results that his patients love!

Chicago Plastic Surgeons vs. Chicago Cosmetic Surgeons: What's the Difference?

If you’ve been searching for “plastic surgery Chicago” for any length of time, you’ve probably seen the terms plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon everywhere you’ve looked. If you’re like most people, you probably thought they were interchangeable words for the same type of surgeon.

It’s true that the terms are used interchangeably, especially by Chicago plastic surgeons who choose to focus their practices on cosmetic surgery.

Due to falling reimbursements, there are also many doctors and non-surgeons in unrelated fields claiming to be cosmetic surgeons.

This can be misleading and has led to some confusion in public perception. Even doctors in other medical fields can’t distinguish the difference. This is due to the fact that there are many conflicting descriptions in the media and by surgeons themselves with respect to the two.

Cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery both deal with surgical alteration of the human body. The fields are therefore closely related, but not the same

1. Chicago Cosmetic Surgery & Chicago Plastic Surgery Differ in Their Objectives.

While both cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery deal with alteration to the human body, the ultimate goals may differ and thus the guiding principles with regard to training, research, and emphasis of procedures may differ.

Chicago Cosmetic Surgery: Focused on Enhancing Appearance Aesthetically

The procedures, techniques, and principles of cosmetic surgery are entirely focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance. Improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion are the key goals.

Cosmetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck, and body. Because the treated areas function properly, cosmetic surgery is elective. Cosmetic surgery is practiced by doctors from a variety of medical fields, including some plastic surgeons.

Examples of cosmetic surgery procedures include:

  • Facelift
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Blepharoplasty
  • Breast Augmentation
  • Tummy Tuck
  • Liposuction
  • Fat Transfers

Chicago Plastic Surgery on the other hand is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. Plastic surgery is reconstructive in nature as it is primarily concerned with restoring function, while maximizing form is of secondary concern.

Although many of the surgical principles in regard to maximizing aesthetic appearance of the final result are the same, plastic surgery’s primary objective is to restore the underlying function of the body part whether it be mobility, bodily function, or protective tissue coverage.

In 1999, the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons changed its name to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons to more strongly communicate the message that “plastic and reconstructive surgeons are one and the same.”¹

Some examples of plastic surgery procedures:

  • Breast reconstruction after mastectomy
  • cleft-lip repair
  • hand surgery and finger re-plantations
  • scar revisions
  • scar and skin graft surgery for burns
  • skin flaps for tissue defects.

2. Cosmetic Surgery and Plastic Surgery Differ in Their Training.

The training required to become a board-certified plastic surgeon in Chicago is distinctly different than the training to become a board-certified cosmetic surgeon in Chicago. Since the scope and type of procedures performed by each are different, it’s logical that each specialty undergoes a different training and certification.

Plastic surgery training is completed through a post-graduate or combined residency program

To make things even more confusing, there are two tracks to becoming a plastic surgeon.  Some complete an entire 5 years of general or otolaryngology surgery training plus an additional 2-3 years of post-graduate training in plastic surgery.

Another path to plastic surgery is a “combined” program in which surgeons complete 3 years of general surgery training followed by 3 years of plastic surgery training.

The commonality between the two is that a large portion of the training is dedicated to general surgery or otolaryngology (3-5 years) followed by a period (2-3 years) in which a plastic surgeon must master all aspects of reconstructive surgery including craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, burn surgery, microsurgery, and some cosmetic surgery.

In total, only a very small portion of a plastic surgeon’s training (a few months over 6-7 years) is dedicated to training in cosmetic surgery and not all cosmetic surgical procedures are taught.

It is for this reason that many plastic surgeons choose to undergo additional fellowships or apprenticeships in cosmetic surgery in order to be comfortable and proficient at specific cosmetic procedures.

Therefore the title “board-certified plastic surgeon” indicates a certain level of training and experience with respect to plastic surgery and the vast scope of procedures that are required in their training.

Because the scope of training is so broad, the actual number of cosmetic surgical procedures required to graduate from a plastic surgery program may actually be very few (see chart above).

Furthermore, this certification does not require experience or exposure to many common cosmetic procedures.²  Certification only denotes that the surgeon has been exposed to at least the minimum number of qualifying cases in the field, and in regard to cosmetic surgery cases, that minimum number varies greatly between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery.

Currently, there are no ABMS residency programs in the United States devoted exclusively to cosmetic surgery. Because of this, cosmetic surgeons primarily obtain training and experience after completing their residency training. This is done by completing a post-residency fellowship.

Board-certified cosmetic surgeons are residency-trained and certified in a primary surgical specialty and then fellowship-trained specifically for cosmetic surgery.

When it pertains to cosmetic surgery, the training, experience, and knowledge required to become a board-certified cosmetic surgeon reflects specialization in cosmetic surgical procedures above and beyond what is required in plastic surgery.

Each surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has completed a one- or two-year fellowship training dedicated to cosmetic surgery alone. During this fellowship, surgeons receive thorough training in all cosmetic surgery procedures of the face, breast, and body, plus non-surgical cosmetic treatments, performing a minimum of 300 individual cosmetic surgery procedures.

This fellowship training is in addition to completing a 5-6 year residency program in a related discipline like general surgery, otolaryngology, oral-maxillofacial surgery, or plastic surgery.

Board-certified plastic surgeons may be very skilled and qualified to perform cosmetic surgery and may be the most experienced in those procedures in your area.  However, it is important to understand that this is not always the case.

If you look at requirements and training to perform a cosmetic procedure, plastic surgery certification doesn’t always equate to more proficiency compared to a dedicated board-certified cosmetic surgeon.  That is why some board-certified plastic surgeons seek to also become board-certified cosmetic surgeons.

Because any licensed physician can legally perform cosmetic surgery, regardless of how they received cosmetic surgery training, it is extremely important to do your research when choosing a cosmetic surgeon.

In the end, the title doesn’t matter if the surgeon can’t perform a procedure safely and proficiently and this goes back to adequate training. To find the best plastic surgeon in Chicago for a specific cosmetic procedure, you must compare doctors’ overall (residency and post-residency) training, experience, and proven competence with respect to that specific cosmetic procedure that you want to get.

A plastic surgeon may not always be the most well-trained surgeon when it comes to a given cosmetic procedure, just as a cosmetic surgeon may not be the best surgeon to perform a reconstructive procedure.

Also remember that many doctors claiming to be cosmetic surgeons aren’t certified surgeons at all.  This is why doing your research and asking the right questions are paramount.

For questions to ask your Cosmetic Surgeon, click here.

¹http://www.plasticsurgery.org/articles-and-galleries/history-of-plastic-surgery.html

²Morrison, M.Sc., Colin, A Survey of Cosmetic Surgery Training in Plastic Surgery Programs in the United States, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, pp.1570-1578, 2008.

Verified Patient Reviews

5
5.0 rating
5 out of 5 stars (based on 72 reviews)
Excellent100%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%
5.0 rating
September 2, 2019

I would like to say “THANK YOU”, to Dr. Truong and his wonderful staff. Thinking about having surgery can be an overwhelming decision. You can go through so many different emotions. After finding Dr. Truong, my husband and I knew we had found the perfect match for what I wanted in my surgeon. Dr. Truong has the best “bedside manner “. From the moment I met him he was patient and took the time to address all my questions and concerns. The entire staff makes you feel so comfortable, like you’re family. He is an amazing surgeon. I had a mommy makeover ( BA and TT) and I am amazed with my results. I wanted to look better after having 3 wonderful boys, but I didn’t want to look like a had “something done”. I look so natural, that people that have known me for so time couldn’t figure out what was different. They just thought I looked really good. Which is a wonderful compliment! I look my pictures of my body before my procedure, and I can’t believe the difference. I can honestly say the having Dr. Truong as my surgeon is the best choice that I made. He truly is a surgeon who cares about his patients.

R. Suarez
5.0 rating
August 28, 2019

The best I’ve seen! I had breast surgery with Dr Truong and I was very pleased and happy with my results and with how they looked and felt. I loved their staff and how fast, kind and accurate they were. Love Love Love them!!!I highly recommend them!

Patient
5.0 rating
August 14, 2019

I have a lot to say about my experience here. First of all my biggest issue was that I had extra skin on my tummy with lots of stretch marks after loosing 60 pounds, then my boobs got very saggy. Took me 8 years after I had my son to finally loose the weight. Took me 3 years to decide on this surgery and I was shopping around looking for the best answers. After going to 3 consultations to some other places I found Dr. Troung to be the most truthful and helpful source for my best decide, other places were cheap but weren’t so honest and were adding things I didn’t want or suggested to get done the other places reviews were terrible and just the way I was approach was different from what I’ve experienced at Dr.Troung’s office. It all started with making that phone call to get in the books for a free consultation having them explain to me the whole process and asking me my goals Dr. Truong gave me his best opinions and I just loved the way he explained everything and how honest he was. I had a list full of questions prepared. After finally deciding the best option of getting a tummy tuck and a boob lift with implant I was handled to the best financial cordinator Monika she took her time to explain my other options of payments. I had my surgery December 14th 2018. They made me feel so comfortable that day of surgery my mom was there with me they treated my mom so nice and even kept her posted with my surgery while I was in the process of surgery. I’m so happy with them they even were keeping up with me with phone calls and checking up on me after surgery , had a call from the nurse Nikki Zaffino which was very attentive, then the anesthesiologist Who has 40 years of experience and No deaths which was my biggest question, them Monika, then finally to the amazing surgeon Dr.Truong. My results Are amazing so far. They are a great team together I really appreciate their time and help because a surgery is not easy and we hear a lot of bad things on the news or social media I hope this helps everyone who has many questions but don’t hesitate to ask what you need, they are there to help and will answer to all of your concerns. Thank you everyone !!! 😘

Reina M
Call Now Button