3 Things You Should Know Before Having Fillers for the First Time

If you have conspicuous facial wrinkles from depletion of collagen or a loss of elasticity, soft tissue fillers can replenish the fullness the skin has been missing to give it a smoother, thicker, firmer, and more youthful appearance. Any kind of cosmetic treatment to change your facial appearance is a personal decision that you shouldn’t make hastily—even when it comes to a minimally invasive procedure. Although facial fillers are one of the least invasive procedures available and can seem very straightforward, there are some things to know about them. It helps to have a consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon before making any final decisions, be aware of what’s involved, and learn what you can do to optimize your results. Here are some things that patients who are considering facial fillers from our Philadelphia area practice should know before they decide to proceed with them.

1. Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Are Dissolvable

Did you know that if your fillers results aren’t what you imagined, it’s possible to have them reduced or reversed? An enzyme called hyaluronidase is mixed with saline solution and starts breaking down the hyaluronic acid found in Juvéderm® or Restylane® right away. Results of this appear in less than 24 hours, so you have options if you regret your decision. That said, you should know that some swelling is to be expected right after your initial filler injections, so the ultimate look won’t be apparent for several days. Give your results a chance to “settle” before deciding you don’t like them and want them reversed.

2. Some Fillers Are Longer Lasting

Although hyaluronic acid fillers generally last for six to 18 months depending on which one is used, there are some fillers—like Sculptra®—that deliver longer-lasting results. These injectables, which are known as biostimulators, gradually stimulate the body’s own, natural production of collagen, with an enhancing effect that lasts for at least two years on average. Because this collagen is built by your own body, it can’t be reversed. Some patients prefer more temporary fillers for their first go.

3. They Can’t Fix Everything

Fillers reduce the depth of wrinkles caused by aging, damage from external elements, or lifestyle choices such as smoking, but they aren’t meant for dynamic wrinkles which are linked to facial muscle contractions on the forehead, and fine crow’s feet next to the eyes. Botox treats the dynamic nature of these wrinkles.  If you have more severe sagging skin that causes jowls or a double chin, fillers won’t be able to get rid of that redundant tissue. Plastic surgery would be the best choice.

Get more details on what to expect from facial fillers elsewhere on our website. Dr. Timothy Greco’s team can also provide more tips on having fillers or other cosmetic procedures. Call (610) 664-8830, or submit a contact form to request a consultation.

What Causes Laugh Lines, and How Do Fillers Smooth Them Out?

For some people, laugh lines symbolize joy and happiness. For others, these pronounced creases that extend from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth and along the inner cheeks are no laughing matter. These lines are often one of the first telltale signs of aging to appear, and they can make you look tired or unhappy—even when you’re not. These indentations—technically called nasolabial folds—are a perfectly normal and harmless feature that are present on almost everyone’s faces starting from early childhood. The exception is newborn babies and people with certain medical conditions. The folds become more noticeable over time due to aging, smoking, weight fluctuations, chronic sun damage, and the impact of gravity. When this happens, you’ll need a filler like JUVÉDERM® from our Bala Cynwyd-based cosmetic team to reverse this particular sign of aging.

Your skin makes less collagen and elastin as you age, so it naturally becomes more lax around the lower face. Loosening skin and years of facial expressions cause laugh lines to be most visible when you’re smiling or laughing, and the repetitive muscle action involved in these expressions usually makes them deeper. The secret to turning back the clock and addressing these wrinkles is restoring the volume that your skin has lost by physically filling in the empty space below the surface. Fillers can be used as an alternative to a surgical facelift for restoring your contours, though the results will not be nearly as dramatic as with surgery.

JUVÉDERM® contains a synthetic form of the organic hyaluronic acid your skin uses to maintain fullness and hydration by pulling in water from the deeper layers and the surrounding tissues. The soft, smooth gel makes the skin firmer, plumper, and more luminous. The filler isn’t injected into the folds themselves, but rather the surrounding areas so that the gel flows into the gaps where it’s needed. The goal is to soften the lines, but still leave some small, natural-looking creases so that your face doesn’t look over-filled or swollen and unnatural.

Talk to our team at Dr. Timothy M. Greco’s office for more advice on reducing facial wrinkles like laugh lines with JUVÉDERM®. Call us at (610) 664-8830, or write us a message to talk more about your goals.

How Can You Fix Sunken Temples?

Volume loss in the temples and cheeks is a common but unfortunate aspect of aging. Most people strive for a more heart-shaped or oval face with full cheekbones framing a narrower jawline as this is deemed by many to be a youthful look. But when you lose collagen, fat, and bone to support it, the face can become thinner and hollowed around the upper parts, while skin sags around the lower jaw. You also tend to have less bone and muscle mass to support the skin. The temples are one of the areas that many patients overlook when considering cosmetic treatments for the face, perhaps because they don’t realize how volume loss can affect their appearance. A concavity can make you look more tired older, unhealthy, or unhappy. JUVÉDERM® VOLUMA from the Philadelphia-area team at Dr. Timothy Greco’s practice is one of the best options for upper facial rejuvenation. Here’s how it works:

JUVÉDERM® VOLUMA is made of a soft, gel-like substance containing hyaluronic acid and is traditionally injected below the surface of the skin to reduce the depth of facial wrinkles. It is also used for augmenting other parts of the face, such as the cheeks and lips. Experienced injectors can use it to fill out the bony contours and arches of the face, including thinning temples. Dr. Greco recently published an article in the medical literature describing a safer, more effective way of volumizing the temples with a cannula!

Sculptra® is different type of filler, also often used for this area to promote gradual collagen production. Fillers to the temple can also help to lift the brow area and enhance the overall facial shape.

Another method commonly used to restore fullness to the temples is structural fat grafting. In this treatment, some of the patient’s own fat is taken via liposuction from areas where there is an overabundance of it—like problem areas on the stomach or thighs. This fat can then be added to focused areas of the face to add much needed volume. Structural fat grafting can be done on its own or as part of a facelift.

For more information on JUVÉDERM® and other cosmetic treatments for correcting hollowed temples and restoring facial contours, get in touch with Dr. Timothy Greco’s facial plastic surgery practice. We look forward to hearing from you! Call us at (610) 664-8830 to get started or write to us to request a free consultation.

Facial Implants, Fillers, or BOTOX®: Which is the Better Choice for Addressing Facial Asymmetry?

Beauty treatments are often focused on enhancing the skin and individual features, but patients should remember that overall facial harmony is critically important. Faces that are symmetrical are usually deemed to be more attractive and beautiful. A perfectly symmetrical face would have identical sides that match if you were to draw a line down the center. Each side of the face is considered a sibling as opposed to an identical twin. While most faces appear to have a symmetric shape, we all have some mild asymmetry to our features—such as a slightly crooked nose, one eye that looks different from the other, or a misaligned chin. Genetics, aging, injury, and dental work are some of the common causes of asymmetry, but there are also several options for addressing it: Dr. Timothy Greco, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon near Philadelphia, provides facial implants, fillers, and BOTOX® to correct irregularities and help patients achieve a more balanced appearance.

Facial Implants

If you’re looking for a long-term solution for asymmetry caused by your natural bone structure—such as a weak or recessed chin that you want to improve—implants might be something to consider. This is surgical procedure with lasting results. Implants are made from synthetic materials like silicone and plastic. Implants can be added to the cheeks and chin and further enhanced with autologous fat grafts for a fuller, more natural look.

Soft Tissue Fillers

Soft gel dermal fillers can improve contours that have changed over time. Having a youthful, v-shaped face with high, rounded cheekbones, a slim jawline, and defined chin is a common beauty goal.

Hyaluronic acid-based fillers like JUVÉDERM® Voluma improve facial structure by lifting and volumizing the cheeks, which also makes the jawline look sharper. JUVÉDERM® Ultra, another HA filler, plumps lips that are too small for the face due to genetics, aging, or both. Additionally, these fillers can be used to add volume to hollowed temples and to fix stretched earlobes. You can also straighten, refine, or thin the nose or elevate the nasal tip with fillers.

BOTOX®

Neuromodulators relax active muscles in select areas of the face to make eyebrows more even, slim only one side of an enlarged jaw to match the other, or correct wrinkles in the forehead. Injectable treatment sessions are quick, with minimal side effects and recovery time—but keep in mind that the results are temporary. Fortunately, repeat maintenance treatments are possible.

Searching for a skilled facial plastic surgeon near Philadelphia? Talk to the office of Dr. Timothy Greco about our surgical and non-surgical options. Call (610) 664-8830 or request a free consultation.

Rhinoplasty vs. Non-Surgical Nose Job: What Are the Differences?

The nose is one of the most prominent features of the human body, because it is positioned in the center of the face and contributes to its overall symmetry and aesthetics. Unfortunately, not everyone is naturally blessed with an attractive nose. In addition, trauma, genetics, and the effects of aging may distort its shape. Dr. Timothy Greco, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, specializes exclusively in procedures for the face, head, and neck. With such a focus, he often hears from patients wondering whether a “non-surgical” nose job can be an effective solution for their problem. Some offer fillers as an alternative to surgical rhinoplasty, or to enhance the results of a previous rhinoplasty. Dr. Greco has a specific preference for performing “liquid” nose jobs at our Philadelphia-area practice: using Restylane Lyft® to give patients a better idea of what their final results from a surgical rhinoplasty would look like. The following is a basic rundown of what’s involved in the procedures:

Surgical Rhinoplasty

The classic rhinoplasty can be used for functional and/or aesthetic purposes. It can be beneficial for improving breathing issues due to internal blockages or misalignments, but is most frequently chosen for purely aesthetic reasons to alter almost any aspect of the nose resulting in accentuating a patient’s favorite individual features. Patients are sedated with conscious anesthesia, after which Dr. Greco makes strategic incisions that allow him to modify the bone and cartilage structure. Patients should expect one to two weeks of recovery time, as well as six months to a year for the nose to fully heal and settle into its new shape and size.

Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty

A non-surgical nose job, also referred to as nose filler or a liquid rhinoplasty, involves changing the shape of the nose and correcting imperfections by the injection of hyaluronic acid fillers instead of surgery. Unlike rhinoplasties, this strategy only temporarily changes the look of the nose. With that in mind, some patients opt for the treatment because it requires virtually no downtime. Fillers also cause less discomfort and can be dissolved if desired. This technique most often corrects a dorsal hump and can improve asymmetry as well as tip projection. It cannot reduce the size of a large nose.

Both cosmetic treatments for the nose are designed to provide a more aesthetically pleasing, harmonious appearance. Coming to a decision requires extensively discussing your goals with Dr. Greco, being clear about what aspects of your nose bother you, and learning to set realistic expectations. By working together, you can achieve visible changes that improve symmetry, proportion, and balance. Video- imaging is an invaluable tool used during consultation that allows you to see how changes to your nose will affect your facial aesthetics.

Discover more about the benefits of nose jobs and other forms of facial plastic surgery available from Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS, and our staff serving the Philadelphia area. Set up an appointment today by calling us at (610) 664-8830 or send us a message to get started.

How Much Do Dermal Fillers Cost in Philadelphia?

One of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to cosmetic treatments available from Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS’s practice, is how much dermal fillers, such as JUVEDERM®, cost. Philadelphia-area patients often choose the injectable for reducing wrinkles and facial re-volumizing, but since it provides aesthetic results, it is not typically covered by many health insurance plans.

Generally, if you’re choosing any kind of injectable treatment from a reputable provider and want excellent results, you can expect to spend anywhere from several hundred to a couple thousand dollars, on average.

At a reputable practice staffed with licensed and experienced providers, the total cost of a treatment is commonly based on several factors, including the amount of product used for a given patient, the type of filler chosen, the area or areas injections are located, and more. Other variables include the geographic area where the treatments are being provided.

Patients will want to consider how to budget for injectables, especially if they plan to undergo regular sessions for upkeep each year. Some prefer to pay upfront, while others use a credit card or patient financing plans.

No matter what, it is important to ask about cost during an initial consultation, and to work with injectors—such as Dr. Greco’s team—who are upfront about the process and have the credentials to back up their use of the genuine product.

Learn more about JUVEDERM®, Restylane®, and other dermal fillers offered by Timothy M. Greco, MD, FACS’s practice for patients in the Philadelphia area and beyond. Call (610) 664-8830 or send a direct message.

Exploring the Causes and Types of Skin Aging

Are unwanted wrinkles and lines bringing you down? There are a wide variety of cosmetic solutions at your disposal, but it can be difficult knowing which one is most suitable for your specific needs. The range of possibilities is a common source of confusion, especially for those who may be new to the aesthetics industry.

One of the main things to know is that BOTOX® and fillers are not the same and are not used interchangeably. BOTOX® targets one form of skin aging, while dermal fillers address another. If you’re interested in getting started with wrinkle treatments or other forms of plastic surgery in the Philadelphia area, Dr. Timothy Greco, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, can explain the basics.

The cause of the wrinkles being treated will determine which treatments to pursue. There are two basic wrinkle groups: dynamic and static.

Dynamic wrinkles are related to muscle activity and are most visible when people make facial expressions. Picture forehead lines appearing when someone raises their eyebrows. Static wrinkles develop in the skin due to the effects of aging, sun exposure, gravity, other environmental factors, and lifestyle habits.

Within these two groups, wrinkles can be further classified into four subtypes: expression wrinkles, elastic wrinkles, compression wrinkles, and gravitational folds.

Expression wrinkles appear from repeated facial expressions, while elastic wrinkles are caused by excess sun exposure. Compression wrinkles come from pressure on the face as we sleep. Gravitational folds, such as severe creases like nasolabial folds and saggy skin, are formed due to the combined influence of time, gravity, and other damage.

To put it simply, if your wrinkles are caused by muscle action, your go-to would be a neuromodulator, while wrinkles associated with other types of damage are best addressed with other treatments, such as fillers.

BOTOX® is a neuromodulator, meaning it influences the activity of nerves. Once injected, it has a relaxing effect on wrinkle-causing facial muscles. Hyaluronic acid-based soft tissue fillers like JUVEDERM®, on the other hand, replenish essential volume in the skin to temporarily smooth our indentations. More severe aging may require a facelift or other surgery for complete rejuvenation.

Curious about the benefits of available skin treatments? Get more details on neuromodulators, fillers, skin rejuvenation, and more from Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC’s Philadelphia-based plastic surgery practice. Call today at (610) 664-8830 or submit a contact form to tell more about yourself.