The Eyes Have It
A person’s eyes are often the first part of the body to show signs of aging. At Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Dr. Timothy Greco excels at giving patients a natural, more youthful and rested appearance
by Glori Gayster

Although the eyes are often referred to as being “the window to the soul,” an important question remains: Do they tell the real story? For many, the appearance of tired eyes is not a true reflection of how they feel. Often it is quite the opposite, yet heavy upper eyelids, dark circles, puffiness beneath the eyes, drooping eyebrows and a wrinkled forehead with frown lines convey to others a different story.

“The most frequent comment I hear people say is, ‘I look tired but am not,’” says Timothy M. Greco, M.D., F.A.C.S., a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon and medical director at Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Bala Cynwyd. “Eyes are often the first facial feature others appreciate and also the first to show signs of aging. Other changes such as neck laxity and jowling follow and are part of what is coined the ‘aging face’—something that has become more than just vanity; it has become a part of one’s livelihood.”

In other words, those with a youthful appearance are perceived as more energetic, which often equates with higher productivity and the enhanced performance. Dr. Greco and his skilled team restore a refreshed and rested appearance to his patients with a variety of customized treatments offered at their facility.

“There are a number of proven techniques that can make a dramatic yet natural look as the eyes begin to age,” he says. “Today, facial plastic patients no longer fit into a certain demographic mold. Both women and men have been impacted by the economic downturn and can continue to work. Older highly skilled professionals find themselves competing for positions against younger individuals. These older patients have the skill and knowledge to perform at a high level and I provide them with a more youthful appearance, which boosts self-confidence and self-esteem.”

Wake up those Tired Eyes
Tired eyes can present in a number of ways. Some people have puffiness and excess skin with wrinkling, while others have dark circles and yet others have a combination of both. For those presenting with such conditions, Dr. Greco meticulously performs at eyelid surgery—otherwise known as blepharoplasty—to rejuvenate the eyes.

When treating patients, Dr. Greco explains that it is important to understand that the changes occurring with age affect people throughout their lives, even despite one’s best efforts to stave off the effects of time. The skin around the eyes is extremely thin and is easily susceptible to sun damage. In youth the fat surrounding the eye is not apparent. With aging, fat begins to herniate and it can result in what is often referred to as the “hill and valley” effect—puffiness with loss of volume below the fat (tear trough).

Eyelids are not the only area that may need treatment. As Dr. Greco explains, “The eyebrows begin to descend and forehead wrinkles appear as people age. This can create a tired or angry look. In such instances, I may recommend forehead or brow-lift surgery to create a fresher, rested and more pleasant appearance.”
A traditional brow lift raises the forehead, removes excess tissue and lifts one’s eyebrows, while the newer endoscopic brow lift elevates the brows and rejuvenates the forehead using very small incisions, resulting in less scarring and hair loss.

Dark circles caused by prominent tear troughs and other signs of aging, including the wrinkles known as crow’s feet, may be treated with different products initially to allow for a rehearsal for the patient. If those results are appealing, eyelid surgery can be offered to create a longer lasting result.

Treatments for improving the appearance around the eyes are not new and continue to gain in popularity. Dr. Greco uses a variety of surgical techniques based on the patient’s concerns and presenting signs of aging; he estimates that, in approximately 50 percent of cases, multiple procedures are performed simultaneously.

“As a plastic surgeon who focuses solely on the face and neck,” he says, “I take a comprehensive approach—one that sometimes uses supplemental procedures to provide a better result for the patient.”

There is a Difference
At the Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute, one’s initial visit involves a comprehensive consultation and addressing the patient’s primary concerns.
According to Dr. Greco, although the Internet provides information on many eyelid procedures, it can’t diagnose and treat the patient. It is the personal comprehensive consultation in which a surgical plan is created for each patient’s needs. Video imaging is very helpful in showing patient’s their new, rested look.

For his part, Dr. Greco is extremely detailed in evaluating each patient and stresses the importance of setting realistic goals. His evaluation includes testing for excessive laxity to the lower eyelids, drooping of the upper eyelids and a range of eye function tests. Eyelid surgery is all about improving the appearance while maintaining proper position and function of the eyelids.

No matter how many new facial aesthetic techniques and products are introduced, nothing is more important than relying on a skilled, trusted and experienced surgeon. For more than 17 years, Dr. Greco has been providing excellence in facial aesthetic surgery and is well known for his unique approach, which includes providing customized skin-care programs, minimally invasive techniques and state-of-the-art surgical procedures for the best possible results. The luxurious, private environment is matched only by the staff’s compassion and dedication to serving patients as they progress through their personal transformation. Specialization is a critical difference, and Dr. Greco has earned his reputation as the “face guy.”

“Unlike other body aesthetic procedures that treat the abdomen, thighs and arms by removing inches, facial enhancements are a matter of millimeters,” he explains. “It’s all about fine tuning to create a fresher, rested appearance and avoiding the over-operated look.”

As the author of multiple papers on facial plastic surgery, Dr. Greco has provided instruction for courses in facial plastic surgery, including rhinoplasty (nasal aesthetic surgery), aging face surgery and minimally invasive facial procedures. Also, he has presented clinical research at national meetings of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and regularly teaches physicians throughout the United States. He is currently a principal investigator involving clinical research on lip enhancement.

“Seeing a patient’s aesthetic transformation and the resulting renewed self-confidence and enhanced self-esteem is my favorite part of the job,” he says. “There’s no greater satisfaction.”

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

Glori Gayster is a freelance writer based in South Jersey.