As we age, changes occur in the soft tissues and bone of the face. The facial skin thins, our cells divide at a slower rate, and the proteins that give our skin elasticity begin to break down. As the skin loses elasticity, it succumbs more regularly to the effects of gravity, causing the skin to sag. Wrinkles are caused when the tissue beneath the skin changes with age. These changes include atrophy of fat in some areas, with hypertrophy in other areas. Some fat begins to descend. Additionally, fat collects in the jowls and under the chin, and the facial muscles become lax. All of these changes contribute to an aged, tired look.
There are a number of different treatments and procedures that can help counter the effects of aging and offer patients a younger, fresher appearance, and there is one particularly effective option for Philadelphia area patients looking to gracefully combat the visible facial effects of aging.
Dr. Timothy M. Greco performs facelift surgery, also known as a rhytidectomy, to give each Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Delaware patient a natural, rested, and youthful appearance—not a stretched, operated-on look.
There are several different approaches to a facelift depending on the patient's needs and the preferences of the doctor performing the procedure.
Figure 1 – Typically, a facelift involves making incisions in the temporal scalp, in the natural creases in front of the ear, behind the tragus (in women) or in front of the ear (in men), and around the earlobe and behind the ear into the scalp. Depending on the patient's needs and goals, Dr. Greco may make other incisions, possibly under the chin to tighten neck skin and muscles.
Figure 2 – Next, Dr. Greco raises a conservative skin flap. He will remove small deposits of fat by liposuction. Below the fat is a layer of tissue called SMAS (superficial muscular aponeurotic system). When this layer is tightened, which the doctor can accomplish by carefully raising a flap and rotating it superiorly and laterally, it provides the effect of lifting the cheeks, offering additional definition to the jawline, and tightening the neck for an overall youthful appearance.
Figure 3 – Lastly, Dr. Greco repositions and redrapes skin, removing the excess portions. The incisions are closed using fine, meticulous sutures for the skin and staples in the hair. For patients worried about the appearance of scarring, Dr. Greco places the incisions in the most inconspicuous areas based on hairstyle. These will be discussed during the consultation.
Philadelphia patients of any age can contact Dr. Greco for a consultation about a facelift. However, facelift surgery tends to have the most positive results for patients in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who are in good physical and mental health and capable of maintaining a normal weight. It is possible to seek a facelift well into your 80s and still have a positive experience with pleasing results. Patients in the process of losing weight should consider waiting until they have lost the appropriate weight to allow for a more ideal outcome.
People who are experiencing a significant degree of facial wrinkling and sagging might consider a facelift followed by skin resurfacing as a means of restoring their face to its more youthful appearance.
Anyone suffering from health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, should discuss these issues with Dr. Greco during the consultation phase, as these conditions.
A facelift can dramatically turn back the clock on the visible signs of aging, creating a noticeable improvement in your facial appearance. A successful facelift can tighten loose skin around the jawline and neck and offer a lift to facial features, such as cheeks and jowls, that have begun to sag. The tissues that remain after facelift surgery, however, continue to age. If necessary, touch-up procedures including fillers and BOTOX® Cosmetic in the future will help to keep you looking fresh and rested.
It's important to remember that the primary purpose of a facelift is not to create an altered appearance, but a fresher, rested look, which accentuates other pleasing facial features. In the first couple of days and weeks following a facelift, it's difficult to recognize the final results due to swelling and bruising, but that will resolve quickly, allowing you a glimpse of your younger, fresher appearance. Whatever the results, a facelift will not prevent your face from continuing to age following the procedure. A unique skincare program will be designed for you to help maintain your results.
Some patients are also interested in other procedures such as a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) or laser skin resurfacing, and Dr. Greco will discuss any additional procedures that may further enhance your results.
Learn why double-board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy M. Greco has been chosen "Best of Philly" five times by Philadelphia Style Magazine.Meet Dr. Greco
Every patient is unique and will respond differently to surgery based on factors including genetics and lifestyle. Certain factors, like smoking, obesity, and exposure to the sun can impact the quality and duration of the results of your procedure. Generally, though, the effects of a facelift can last more than a decade, possibly longer. Women and men interested in a facelift in the Philadelphia area can feel confident knowing that tuck-ups are available in the future for patients who want to maintain their rejuvenated appearance.
The actual time necessary to perform a facelift ranges from 3 to 4 hours, depending on the complexity of the surgery. Every patient is different, so it is important to remember that Dr. Greco will discuss what to expect with you prior to the surgery. There will be a comprehensive consultation prior to the surgery, and during that time Philadelphia-area facelift patients can discuss any factors that will make their surgical experience safe and comfortable.
You should be able to return to work or social activities within 10 to 14 days after surgery. Any residual bruising can be concealed with makeup, which our aesthetician will customize for your individual needs. In addition to makeup, the use of the Vbeam Perfecta (Pulsed Dye Laser) can dramatically improve bruising several days following your procedure. A simple hairstyle change can help you to camouflage incisions and prevent unwanted attention from scrutinizing friends and neighbors. Remember that any bruising and swelling will eventually fade and that 80 percent of the swelling is gone after 2 weeks, with another 10 percent after 2 months.
Recovery time can be impacted by the type of facelift you choose to pursue. A less invasive procedure, like an endoscopic facelift, often results in less bleeding and swelling and fewer stitches than a more traditional facelift procedure, enabling you to return to your normal routine sooner.
The goal of facial plastic surgery is to create desired changes in appearance without noticeable scars. Dr. Greco conceals facelift incisions in the natural skin folds around the ear and in the scalp so they are not visible after they have healed. During your consultation, he will discuss incision placement, as several options are available. Scars can also be improved with injections of steroid medication into the scar and/or the use of a pulsed dye laser such as the Vbeam Perfecta.
You can expect to return to exercise 2 weeks after surgery. Your first few workouts should be light ones.
Discomfort associated with this procedure is usually minimal. Dr. Greco performs facelift surgery using conscious sedation (twilight anesthesia) and local anesthesia for additional comfort. Following the surgery, oral medication relieves any post-operative discomfort. You can expect some tightness in the neck and jaw region, which will decrease as swelling diminishes. Numbness can be expected, which resolves with time. In most cases, patients don't recall their actual surgery, when using conscious sedation.
Dr. Greco does not shave hair in preparation for your facelift surgery. During the procedure, the hair will be placed in small ponytails and carefully preserved. During your consultation, he will discuss the placement of incisions with respect to your hairline.
Any delicate sutures and clips used for the surgery will be removed in 1 week. The 2 small, blue sutures just below the earlobes will be removed 10 to 14 days following your surgery.
Prior to surgery Dr. Greco will discuss ways to minimize risks and ensure that patients looking for a facelift in the Philadelphia area get the best possible results from the procedure. The doctor will ask that you avoid smoking for at least 4 weeks prior to and 4 weeks after surgery, and he may request that you avoid certain medications and homeopaths (herbal preparations) that can increase bleeding.
Several simple rules will help you through the early postoperative period.
First, follow the postoperative instructions and don't improvise. It's important that you, avoid strenuous exercise for several weeks after the surgery. You'll also be asked to avoid direct sunlight, which can injure the facial skin, and adversely effect scars.
Second, know that many patients experience mild depression for several days after surgery. This is largely due to anesthesia you received during your procedure, as well as disappointment with your facial appearance from any swelling and bruising. No matter how much you prepare mentally for the surgery, most patients experience a letdown. To compensate for this, try to remain busy and keep a positive outlook. Finally, get plenty of rest and provide yourself with a nutritious diet. Pamper yourself. This is a perfect time to catch up on rest and relaxation. You owe it to yourself.
Because every patient is different and their needs are different, the cost of treatment will vary depending on the specifics of the procedure best suited to your needs. For specific pricing information, contact Timothy M. Greco, MD, PC and schedule a consultation with Dr. Greco, after which his staff will provide a complete estimate for the recommended procedures.
It's important to remember that the effects of a facelift tend to last much longer than the results from other cosmetic procedures and surgeries. Philadelphia-area women and men can feel confident that the results of their procedure will last years. A tuck-up may be necessary in the future.
Elective cosmetic procedures are not covered by most insurance policies. Affordable payment plans are available through CareCredit®, and we are happy to assist Philadelphia–area facelift patients with all financing questions.
Risks can occur with any surgical procedure, and it's important for Philadelphia facelift patients to be fully informed about these risks before deciding to commit to the procedure. During your consultation, Dr. Greco will discuss any potential risks as well as ways to avoid them.
Risks associated with facelifts include infection, conspicuous scarring, reactions to the anesthesia, hematoma, damage to the facial nerves, necrosis, and alopecia. However, these risks are rare when the surgery is performed by a double board-certified and experienced surgeon like Dr. Greco.
It's normal for facelift patients to experience some bruising, swelling, and numbness following surgery, but these will diminish within a few weeks. There are a number of steps patients can take to mitigate these risks, including avoiding strenuous activity, using ice compresses for the first three days, and resting with the head of the bed elevated. Steroid injections and pulsed dye laser treatments (Vbeam Perfecta) can also help to improve the appearance of bruising.
More than 100,000 facelifts are performed in the United States each year, a number that continues to grow as more and more people turn to aesthetic surgery with the goal that it will help them look and feel their best.
Dr. Timothy M. Greco is double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Most recently, Dr. Greco has been awarded America's Top Plastic Surgeon, 2015, in the category of Facial Plastic Surgery. His practice is exclusively dedicated to facial aesthetic surgery, and he has authored numerous papers on facial plastic surgery. He is a thought leader in facial plastic surgery and has conducted multiple research trials.
He has been named as a "Top Plastic Surgeon" or "Best Plastic Surgeon" in numerous Philadelphia-based publications, as well as trade publications. Dr. Greco is frequently called upon to help train other aesthetic surgeons in a number of procedures, including endoscopic facial plastic surgery, rhinoplasty, facelifting, and minimally invasive aesthetic procedures.
For Philadelphia patients seeking a facelift, Dr. Greco prides himself on encouraging realistic expectations for patients seeking his medical expertise. Dr. Greco promises he will draw on his experience, knowledge, and compassion to achieve the best possible results for your particular needs.
Dr. Greco encourages his patients not to view facial aesthetic treatments as a panacea for life's problems, but more realistically, as a means of presenting your best possible face to the world. He will work with you to develop a realistic treatment plan to achieve your goals.
Dr. Greco will answer all your questions and help determine whether a facelift is the procedure for you.
During your consultation at the institute's Bala Cynwyd facility, you will be asked to fill out patient forms addressing your medical history, including history of facial trauma; past facial surgery; and health problems such as high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, and any emotional or psychiatric problems. It is imperative that you provide accurate and up-to-date information on these forms, and for patients over the age of 50 we recommend a visit with your primary healthcare provider prior to your surgery to ensure you are in good medical condition to undergo your surgery.
Some patients who visit Dr. Greco for a facelift from Philadelphia and New Jersey may benefit from endoscopic facelift surgery. This minimally invasive facelift technique involves the use of lighted scopes and several small, well-concealed incisions for access to perform the surgery.
Patients who are younger, typically in their 30s, 40s, or 50s, and have more moderate concerns about wrinkles and sagging might opt for highly focused procedures, such as a neck lift or S-lift, which is less invasive than a more traditional facelift. The endoscopic facelift is also a viable option for Philadelphia patients who would like to focus on a region of their midface (cheeks) that might be difficult to access during more conventional facelift procedures.
During your consultation with Dr. Greco, you will discuss your facial enhancement goals, and he will create a customized plan to meet your needs. This plan may include other aesthetic procedures, including a chin implant to further enhance the lower third of the face, laser skin resurfacing to treat wrinkles, or a brow lift combined with a facelift for both upper and lower facial rejuvenation.Back To Top