Some people enter a room and feel everyone is judging their appearance, while others feel confident. How people feels about themselves is reflected in their level of self-confidence. This can affect personal success in school, social and career situations. Anyone who has struggled with feelings of self-consciousness has, at times, wished for a “do-over”—an opportunity to start fresh without what they perceive as a weakness.
Timothy M. Greco, M.D., F.A.C.S., understands the ramifications of these concerns—how they can affect a student, young professional or an adult. As medical director of the Bala Cynwyd-based Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute, he also knows the positive effects that such a fresh start by improving one’s facial appearance can provide. Dr. Greco is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, who for more than 17 years has been performing facial surgeries that can improve a patient’s quality of life.
“It is amazing, the effect facial aesthetics have on self-esteem and well-being,” Dr. Greco says. He fondly recalls the experience of one patient, a C student, who was ecstatic with the results of her chin augmentation and rhinoplasty, the surgical alteration of the nose to improve aesthetics and function. It had such a positive impact on her self-esteem. Among other things, it resulted in a significant improvement in her grades as a result of her renewed self-confidence. Many of his young patients take advantage of summer break to improve their appearance before returning to school, entering college or the work force—times when their social groups are changing. “There is a rewarding feeling in helping these patients improve their facial appearance,” Dr. Greco says. “It is an honor to be able to positively affect patients’ lives in this way.”
The focus of Dr. Greco’s practice is entirely on the face, specializing in procedures to improve the aging face, including facelifting, eyelid and brow rejuvenation, cheek and chin implants and otoplasty—or cosmetic surgery of the ears. Rhinoplasty, however, remains a large part of his practice and a personal passion of Dr. Greco’s.
“It is extremely important to not only improve the harmony and balance of the nose but also its function,” he says. “If you asked most plastic surgeons they would say rhinoplasty is the most challenging surgery in this field.” The nose is composed of bone, cartilage and skin. “What makes it so challenging is the surgical alteration and subsequent healing of these tissues used to create an aesthetic and functional nose.”
Many patients who seek functional improvement suffer from a deviated septum, a history of trauma or previous rhinoplasty that limits their breathing. Usually rhinoplasty patients come to him for aesthetic reasons, which can vary considerably from patient to patient. The most common reasons are a dorsal hump, a wide bridge, a bulbous nasal tip or a crooked nose. “What I try to achieve,” says Dr. Greco, “is to put the nose in balance with the entire face. A pleasing rhinoplasty result does not call attention to itself; it calls attention to the other attractive features of a patient’s face.”
In the Eyes of the Beholder
An initial consultation with Dr. Greco involves a comprehensive review of the patient’s needs and discussion of expectations. Dr. Greco offers video imaging as part of the consultation to provide patients with a better understanding of the goals and potential results of the procedure. “In my opinion, if video imaging is not being performed, it is a disservice to the patient. It is not a guarantee of surgical results but allows me to better understand the patient’s desired result. It also gives me a chance to show the patient my artistic skills,” Dr. Greco says. “It also provides the benefit of being able to explain the surgical plan and set realistic expectations.”
Video imaging allows Dr. Greco to show how the patient’s face may appear after a rhinoplasty and help them decide if additional procedures, such as chin augmentation to correct a weak chin or submental liposuction (for fat under the chin) to improve the jaw-line, would further enhance the results. With video imaging Dr. Greco can manipulate the patient’s facial image to show the expected result. “Patients appreciate a complete facial evaluation along with the analysis of the aesthetics of the nose,” Dr. Greco says. Often patients better comprehend that a combination of procedures might offer the best results.
Often referred to as “the face guy,” Dr. Greco has chosen to focus his practice on the face because, “the face is the most interesting and rewarding area in plastic surgery. Yet it is also incredibly challenging.” Unlike other areas of the body, patients cannot easily conceal a suboptimal facial surgery result beneath clothing. “The goal of rhinoplasty is to create a natural pleasing appearance that complements the attractive features of the face. It is often said that a good rhinoplasty is found in the eyes of the patient,” he says. As with all facial aesthetic procedures it’s a game of millimeters and you have to have a keen eye for perfection. Dr. Greco’s training in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery (ENT) allows him to better understand the anatomy and physiology of the nose. This understanding allows for a surgical result that is both aesthetically and functionally pleasing.
Dr. Greco has a large revision rhinoplasty practice. Some revisions may involve a procedure that utilizes a patient’s own rib cartilage for making corrections to severely deformed noses. Many times this scenario is associated with a significant loss of cartilage from previous surgery or injury.
Dr. Greco is an innovator in facial plastic surgery on a national level. He is a clinical assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine where he teaches residents facial plastic surgery. He has also authored numerous professional papers on the topics of advancement in facial plastic surgery and often lectures at national educational conferences and has presented original clinical research at national meetings of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery on multiple occasions.
No matter the cause of their facial concern, patients can be assured that they are in the best of hands with Dr. Greco, a highly trained specialty surgeon, who will provide them with the most natural results—and maybe even a fresh start.
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
Photograph by Rob Hall