Deep Skin Resurfacing vs. Plastic Surgery in Philadelphia

Many patients with aging skin know that they want to bring a youthful vitality back to their face, but they’re not sure which method would best suit their specific needs. Plastic surgery is a Philadelphia-area standard, with facelifts sitting among the top five most commonly performed cosmetic surgical procedures in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions. Deep skin resurfacing, however, is another option that can yield excellent aesthetic results.

Bala Cynwyd’s Dr. Timothy Greco is a facial plastic surgery expert who often hears from patients who want to know which procedure is best for them. He explains that not every patient is a candidate for a facelift, but may be a candidate for a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure. The ideal treatment varies from patient to patient depending on a range of factors, including medical history, the degree of correction desired, sun damage, facial structure, significant weight loss, and more. A person’s needs can change over time, too, so deep skin resurfacing may be suited for wrinkles, pigmentation changes, and laxity of the skin, while plastic surgery is more appropriate for sagging tissues, such as jowls and excessive skin.

Whether they’re considering plastic surgery or resurfacing, people are generally prompted to seek out an aesthetic treatment for one underlying condition: changes to the skin due to internal and external factors. Over time, we all experience a reduction in the collagen and hyaluronic acid. Collagen provides structural support for the skin, and hyaluronic acid retains moisture. Most commonly, environmental damage, such as burning from UV rays, coupled with the natural breakdown of these vital proteins and carbohydrates, causes skin to lose its supple, youthful character. This leads to wrinkling and sagging. Cheeks can flatten, hollows can form, and lines can deepen into creases.

As inevitable as these problems are, both plastic surgery and/or deep skin resurfacing can help to remedy them. Treatment is most often sought by patients in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and older. Patients seeking plastic surgery and related treatments have a desire to achieve an appearance that is years younger than their actual age. Basically, patients want to look as young as they feel.

Plastic surgery in the form of a facelift involves treating fat accumulation, sagging skin, and general laxity of the face, which occurs over time. The main goal of a facelift is to provide a fresher, rested appearance without looking distorted. Results from plastic surgery move a patient back on the conveyor belt of aging, but they do not stop it.

Since a facelift is plastic surgery, it offers significant, enduring, and dramatic results. The procedure involves incisions, sutures, and recovery time on the scale of two weeks. Many patients find the new contours to be worth the necessary recuperation period, but some prefer to choose the less-invasive resurfacing option with more subtle results and a shorter window of healing time required. The decision is a personal one, but a plastic surgery expert such as Dr. Timothy Greco can help anyone weight their options.

Laser resurfacing helps with wrinkles and pigmentation issues by removing the outermost and medium-level layers of skin to expose fresh, unmarked skin beneath. Heat energy from the lasers used for this treatment can resculpt existing collagen and trigger the formation of new collagen, tightening the skin to further smooth away wrinkles. This treatment is ideal for treating fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, sun damage, spots, uneven tones, and more.

Finally, consider that the two procedures are not mutually exclusive. Deep skin resurfacing can enhance the effects of plastic surgery, providing an aesthetic boost and adding to the longevity of facelift results when performed at six months to a year after the surgical procedure. It can also improve the skin that remains unresponsive after a facelift. While plastic surgery and deep skin resurfacing should not be performed simultaneously, they can yield optimal cosmetic results when performed sequentially.

Learn more about deep skin resurfacing, lasers, and plastic surgery for Philadelphia-area patients. Contact Dr. Timothy M. Greco’s Eastern Cosmetic Surgery Institute to arrange a consultation by calling the office in Bala Cynwyd at (610) 664-8830.

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