Take 10: Todd Gerlach, MD

Ten things you didn't know about the board-certified plastic surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute...

Dr. Todd Gerlach is a board-certified plastic surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute with more than 20 years of experience.
Dr. Todd Gerlach is a board-certified plastic surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute with more than 20 years of experience.

Dr. Todd Gerlach is a board-certified plastic surgeon at Soderstrom Skin Institute with more than 20 years of experience. He attended college at the University of California at Riverside, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, then moved to Chicago to pursue his dream of becoming a physician at the Chicago Medical School. He completed his general surgery residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, followed by plastic surgery training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He also completed fellowships in microsurgical replantation and hand surgery at U.C. Davis Medical Center. 

After his formal education, Dr. Gerlach started a private practice providing plastic and reconstructive surgery for patients in the suburbs of Chicago. In 2005, he relocated back to southern California and served patients in the greater Los Angeles region. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Gerlach moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family and joined Soderstrom Skin Institute in 2020. He provides all aspects of cosmetic/plastic surgery—from body contouring and Botox, to breast augmentation and reconstruction, to laser and chemical peels, liposuction and much more. He is currently accepting patients at Soderstrom’s Peoria, Morton, Normal and Peru offices.

  1. What are your favorite childhood memories? I grew up in Southern California on the coast outside of Los Angeles. We were typical California kids who enjoyed the ocean, surfing and boating. My favorite memories were in the camper with my family exploring. 
  2. Who or what were some of your early influences? My grandfather had an immense impact on me as a child. He was a brilliant man who supported his family through the Great Depression. When my father became sick and died early, my grandfather carried on and was always present in my life. He was fantastic at math, was a surveyor for the Pacific Electric Railway, and loved to play board games. He always challenged us. 
     
  3. What was your first job? When I was 15 years old, I worked on the docks in Los Angeles Harbor. 
     
  4. Has there been one teacher or mentor who inspired you the most? I have had many, but I think the most influential mentor in my career was Dr. Bunke from San Francisco. He was a real pioneer in microsurgery and performed the first toe/thumb transfer. His books are considered the gold standard. He still influences me to this day to see the person through the medicine. It’s not just a medical case; it’s a person. 
     
  5. What do you do to relax? There isn’t a lot of relaxing going on with a curious two- and six-year-old at our house, but as a family we get outside whenever we can. Before the kids, my wife and I enjoyed remodeling our homes, and we love to cook and entertain.
     
    ​  Dr. Gerlach moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family and joined Soderstrom Skin Institute in 2020.  ​
    Dr. Gerlach moved back to the Midwest to be closer to family and joined Soderstrom Skin Institute in 2020.


  6. Three words that best describe you: Student, teacher… It’s kind of hard to talk about yourself that way. 
     
  7. Favorite music: Anything my children sing. It is humbling, sincere and innocent. I wish I could bottle it. 
     
  8. What was your first car? An old Mazda RX-7 with a rotary motor. I shared it with my two brothers. The first car I actually bought brand-new was a Chevy-K1500 Stepside pickup truck. I still have it. 
     
  9. What is your greatest achievement? Waiting for the right wife.
     
  10. Favorite food or meal: Christmas lasagna. Our tradition was to make a huge lasagna from scratch every year. Now we make three pans to guarantee leftovers. Our neighbors started bringing their own Tupperware! PM

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