Better with Age
Area residents rely on facial plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy Greco to turn back the clock on the “aging face”
by Glori Gayster


When looking in the mirror, how true is the reflection? For many of us, the reflection is quite different than how we feel on the inside. Timothy M. Greco, M.D., F.A.C.S., ascribes the disparity between the two as the “aging face”—heaviness in the eyelids and brows, jowling, smile and frown lines and other telltale changes in the face that occur as one ages.


“The most frequent comment I hear from patients is ‘I look tired but am not,’” says Dr. Greco, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and the medical director of Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Bala Cynwyd. “Turning back the clock without stopping it is what I do every day.”


For more than 17 years, Dr. Greco has been a pioneer in facial plastic surgery, both locally and nationally. Often referred to as “the face guy,” Dr. Greco has a unique approach that includes state-of-the-art surgical procedures as well as minimally invasive techniques designed to create the best possible results. A fresher, rested look is what he achieves instead of a distorted one. The face tells all, Dr. Greco explains, and people of all ages and demographic backgrounds now turn to him to maintain a youthful appearance.


Seeing a Difference

At the Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute, the office’s luxurious, private environment is matched only by the practice’s compassion and dedication to excellence as each patient undergoes his or her personal transformation. Dr. Greco and his experienced team are devoted solely to surgical and procedural enhancements of the face and neck, which is an all-too-important distinction. His mission statement of his practice is “trust your face to a specialist.”


“Unlike other such procedures that treat the abdomen, thighs and arms, facial enhancements are a matter of millimeters not inches,” he explains. “It’s all about fine tuning.”


An initial visit to the practice involves a comprehensive consultation and sharing of information, but understanding one’s options is only part of the process. Dr. Greco is extremely thorough in evaluating a patient’s needs, always underscoring the importance of setting realistic expectations. Often patients learn that a combination of procedures might offer the best results. Video imaging helps in the consultation process by providing patients with a better understanding of their surgical results.


Despite the multitude of reasons patients consider facial enhancements, Dr. Greco alludes to certain trends. One of the most popular facial surgeries in Philadelphia is a rhinoplasty, or the delicate sculpting of the nose. Whether it is to create better harmony with the rest of the face or to improve breathing, nasal aesthetic surgery can provide both. Dr. Greco performs a variety of such procedures, including open and closed rhinoplasty, using small and inconspicuous incisions. Rhinoplasty may be combined with aging face surgery to provide a more youthful balanced appearance. He is also skilled at revision rhinoplasty for those who may have deformities from previous surgery, using advanced techniques to correct structural deformities. Dr. Greco has special interest and expertise in revision rhinoplasty using one’s own rib cartilage.


In the mid to late 40s, many people see the first signs of sagging skin and banding in the neck. One also may notice heaviness atop his or her eyes. “This is especially noticeable on the lid platform between the eyelash and crease,” Dr. Greco explains. “By surgically removing skin from this area and/or lifting the brows, the eyes appear more open and refreshed.”


For those in their 50s and older, the prevailing conditions are wrinkles and jowls. Treatments vary between individual patients and can include face-lifting, combined with other procedures to fine tune one’s youthful appearance.


Dr. Greco’s patients do not fit into any certain demographic mold; they include women and men of all ages. Although women still represent the majority, a growing number of men are interested in facial enhancement. “Each person has their own reason, but I have noticed that the downturn in the economy and more patients unable to retire is a driving force in this increase,” Dr. Greco says. “They are highly skilled yet competing against younger professionals for positions” and, as a result, want to look and feel younger.


Another shift Dr. Greco has seen over the past decade involves the procedures themselves. At one time rejuvenation procedures focused solely on cutting and subtracting the face. There has been a paradigm shift in that surgical and minimally invasive procedures now add volume—converting a raisin to a grape, he suggests. Structural fat grafting is one such technique, which takes and processes fat from another area of one’s body and then adds it to certain areas of the face. Endoscopic procedures are also used in facial rejuvenation. These procedures are less invasive and use small incisions to effectively rejuvenate the upper third of the face. Endoscopic brow lifting is an example.


An Earned Reputation

With so many area physicians, “med spas” and other service providers claiming to provide facial enhancements, it is important to recognize that not all professionals are the same.  Dr. Greco’s unique training along with his passion for the face distinguishes him from others.

Everyone has seen some of the extreme results when a procedure is not done well—the pulled skin, distorted smile or eyes which lack expression. Patients should discriminate in selecting an expert who not only specializes in facial plastic surgery but also is highly skilled. By focusing his practice solely on enhancing the face, Dr. Greco has earned his reputation as a go-to professional whose goal it is to create a fresher, rested look for each and every patient.


Facial enhancements are not for everyone, of course, and Dr. Greco explains that there are times when he has advised patients against certain procedures. “Some referrals come from patients who I never treated,” he shares. “I recall a specific instance when a beautiful woman in her mid-40s came in for a consultation. There was nothing I would have changed. Years later, we met again. She looked quite different [because she’d had several procedures done elsewhere] and said, ‘I wish I’d taken your advice.’ It’s about trying to always do the right thing for the patients.”


Dr. Greco also felt it important to have a neutral voice evaluate patient care and satisfaction. In a study performed by BSM Consulting, a nationally recognized medical consultancy based in Incline Village, Nev., Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute received one of the firm’s highest grades ever, with 100 percent of patients responding that they would recommend the practice.


Furthermore, Dr. Greco’s peers in the medical community recognize him as one of the most respected physicians in his field. Author of numerous professional papers and chapters on advancements in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Greco often lectures at educational conferences on the aging face, nasal aesthetic surgery and minimally invasive techniques. He has presented original clinical research at national meetings of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery on multiple occasions. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and teaches residents facial plastic surgery.


When asked about the best part of his job, Dr. Greco has no hesitation: “To see the pop in patients’ eyes and bounce in their step. It is clear that, after they’ve come to see me, they feel better about themselves.”


Timothy M. Greco, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute

2 Bala Plaza (333 East City Avenue), Suite PL-15, Bala Cynwyd

Phone: 610-664-8830



Glori Gayster is a freelance writer based in South Jersey.

Alison Dunlap is a freelance photographer based in South Jersey.