Dr. Hricko's Blog

Is Social Media becoming the determining factor on who qualified to perform Plastic surgery?

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, sites like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have become the go-to destinations for information for many patients, especially the younger ones, and plastic surgeons are intensifying their efforts to compete with one another, with an increasingly dominating online presence of practitioners who aren’t specially trained in plastic surgery. This should cause most people concern, just because a surgeon has many followers and promotions does not make them the most qualified!
In one report, an estimated 40% of patients who say social media strongly influenced their choice of doctor for aesthetic plastic surgery, according to a study published in the April 2015 Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

While some plastic surgeons have embraced social media and say it has helped them reach patients. Board-certified Plastic Surgeons need to be more proactive and prominent on all social-media platforms. Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine found in a study published last month that less than 18% of the most popular surgery-related posts on Instagram were posted by plastic surgeons licensed by the American Board of Plastic Surgery!

In a time were perception is becoming reality, it is important to make sure before you have ANY surgical procedure to do your homework. Navigating cosmetic surgery providers’ credentials and experience can be daunting for even the savviest consumer. A dozen boards with similar names can indicate anything from six years of specialized training to a weekend course on injectables. Only one, the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, a nonprofit that oversees 24 medical specialty boards.

All this confusing marketing is putting people at risk,” says Clark Schierle, a board-certified plastic surgeon at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago and senior author of the recent study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Dr. Schierle adds that patients might not realize they are getting a doctor without a plastic surgeon’s training and experience. This could have serious repercussions and lead to major complications.

If you are interested in a cosmetic procedure, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Dr. Hricko is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and will answer all of your questions and ensure your surgical experience exceeds your expectations.

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Investing in Yourself

Plastic surgery is an investment. Literally speaking, you are investing money into your appearance and also an investment of time and energy to make sure your efforts pay off. These procedures have high patient satisfaction rates, and most are happy with their results years after surgery.

However, it’s important to understand that your results require upkeep to stay in shape, as nothing can fully stop the effects of aging. There are some things you can do to successfully maintain your results for years to come.

What you put in and on your body not only impacts your surgical results, it can make a huge difference in your overall health. For instance, most plastic surgeons require patients to quit smoking for at least a few weeks before and after surgery. Nicotine greatly impacts your body’s ability to heal, resulting in prolonged recovery times and, potentially, complications that can lead to pain, bleeding, and more visible scarring. Excessive alcohol consumption is another pitfall you’ll want to avoid.

While scarring is a necessary aspect of many surgeries Dr. Hricko will take care to place your incisions where they can be most easily hidden, making sure they heal optimally and fade nicely over time is partially in your hands. It is important to follow any postoperative activity restrictions; these rules will help you avoid straining your scars, which could cause them to become wider or more visible. Additionally, be sure to protect your incisions in the sun, keep the area clean, and use the topical scar care creams and ointments recommended.

Body contouring procedures can transform your curves, providing a more pleasing and proportionate look. While the results you see now can only last if you remain at a healthy weight. For instance, fat removal procedures such as liposuction will permanently rid you of targeted fat cells, but if you gain weight, you will see it in other areas as remaining fat cells expand.

The best way to maintain body contouring results is to continue exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. This will also help you feel great and improve your overall health, in addition to helping you retain the look you love after surgery.

The good news is that many patients feel so much better about themselves and are so inspired by their improved appearance that they find extra motivation to maintain healthy habits after a procedure. If you have not yet made the leap and are considering a plastic surgery procedure, contact Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, George Hricko, M.D. today and schedule a consultation. You’ll be glad you did!

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Thinking About A Facelift?

Even with the rise noninvasive options, Facelifts have continued to gain in popularity. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were over 28 percent more Facelifts in 2015 than in 1997 (BEFORE Botox). This procedure can improve help redefine the original bone structure of your face that can be lost over time as a result of the aging process and with a fresher, younger look. With today’s advances in Facelifts surgeons can now lift and reposition underlying muscles and not just simply pull back and cutting away lax skin. This can help achieve far more natural-looking results while minimizing scarring and downtime.

This procedure rejuvenates the aging face, especially in the cheek and jowl areas, as well as redefines the neck and jaw line where excess skin and fat can settle over time. Usually involving a small incisions made along the hairline, which extend around the ears to the lower scalp. Performed by a skilled surgeon, scarring will be minimal and well hidden; they may even appear to be natural lines around the face.

To ensure the most optimal result find a board certified plastic surgeon that will evaluate the many variables such as bone structure, skin elasticity, and the effects of aging and other factors. A Facelift can also be with other cosmetic procedures such as eyelid or forehead surgery, or nose reshaping surgery.

Recovery is dependent on the individual, but most patients are back to work within 2 weeks. More strenuous activity is limited for 4-6 weeks. Bruising can last from 2-3 weeks and sun exposure should be limited. Healing is one of the most important aspects to good results you should be invested in taking care of yourself throughout the healing process. Do not try going through this alone. Have a friend or spouse that will be dedicated to helping you through the recovery period. Always consult with your plastic surgeon on whether or not it is safe to return to work.
Though it might be a while before you see the amazing results of your facelift, you will ultimately enjoy your more youthful face. We encourage you to schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Hricko to define your needs and help you to optimize your ideal look.

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May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. With 5.4 million cases in more than 3.3 million Skin-Cancerpeople diagnosed annually, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is vital to understand that anyone can get skin cancer regardless of skin color or age. Fortunately, when detected early, skin cancer including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer is highly treatable. According to research women are nine times more likely to notice melanoma on others than men, which means they could help save their partners’ lives by helping them spot skin cancer. This is especially important for men over 50 as they have an increased risk of developing melanoma compared to the general population.


When you expose your skin to sunlight, it reacts by producing more melanin. According to the Mayo Clinic, extra melanin can cause uneven pigmentation, commonly referred to as sunspots. Prolonged exposure to sunlight may also cause the delicate blood vessels in your face to stretch and expand, giving you a ruddy complexion.


Risk factors

  • Exposure to natural and artificial ultraviolet light.
  • Increased sun exposure in childhood.
  • Even one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence can nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma.
  • Experiencing five or more blistering sunburns between ages 15 and 20 increases skin cancer risk by 68 percent.
  • Exposure to tanning beds, especially in women 45 and younger.
  • Skin that burns easily; blonde or red hair; a history of excessive sun exposure, including sunburns; tanning bed use; immune system-suppressing diseases or treatments; and a history of skin cancer.
  • People with more than 50 moles, atypical moles, or large moles, as are those with light skin and freckles, and those with a personal or family history of melanoma.


Both doctors and patients play important roles in finding skin cancer. If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor.

  • Any change on the skin, the size or color of a mole, darkly pigmented growth or spot.
  • Scaling, oozing, bleeding, or a change in the appearance of a bump
  • The spread of pigmentation beyond its border- dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark.
  • A change in sensation, itchiness, tenderness, or pain.


Preventative Measures

Before you spend time outdoors plan your sun protection accordingly, using these tips:

  • Seek shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Stay hydrated. When the temperature rises, your body needs additional water to replenish what it has lost in sweat.
  • Cover up with clothing to protect exposed skin.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block as close to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays as possible.
  • Use sunscreen with broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection and a sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Sometimes it just the simple things that can lead to early detection and a cure. Just doing a regular skin check involves carefully examining all of the skin on your body. Starting at your scalp down to the soles of your feet and between your toes. During a skin check, don’t leave any area of skin unexamined. Parts such as your back and neck are difficult to see, so you may want to ask a partner or spouse to help.

Dr. Hricko is concerned for your overall health and wellbeing and to that end we offer in our office or online store a variety of skin care options to protect your skin from damage. Please call or come by and see what we can do to keep you safe from the sun’s harmful rays.



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When Should You Replace Your Implants

A common misconception is that breast implants need to be replaced every 10 years. This tends to deter some women from getting a Breast Augmentation because the concern regarding future surgeries and the additional costs associated. The manufacturer of silicone gel implants recommends that you have an MRI every 2 years, and it is a good idea to have an annual checkup with your surgeon. breastimplants

Breast implants come with a free lifetime product replacement policy. There are no guarantees when it comes to the average lifespan of implants. Some will last a lifetime, while others will have complications within a 7 year timeframe. The majority of implants last 10-20 years without complications on average. Some of the confusion may come from the fact that implant manufacturers offer a 10 year warranty to defray some costs of implant replacement surgery. Recent FDA reports indicate that about 20% of women will have their breast implants repaired or replaced within 10 years of the original surgery.

Most plastic surgeons will not be eager to change them out unless you are experiencing a complication. Here are some examples:

  • Deflation of a saline implant: If you have a saline implant, any leak, will result in a gradual deflation. You will then notice a marked difference in the size of your breasts.
  • Rupture of a silicone gel implant: This is a bit harder to diagnose. Because the silicone is not absorbed by our bodies, the breast will most likely look at feel the same even though the device is compromised. Thus the need to get a breast MRI’s at every 2 after surgery.
  • Capsule contracture: This is caused by scar tissue that forms around the implant thickens and contracts, causing the implant to feel firmer. Your breast will feel hard and may even be uncomfortable. This involves removing the scar tissue causing the problem and replacing with a fresh implant of the same type and size.
  • Asymmetry: If there is a shape problem that concerns you, which can include issues relating to the first implant surgery such as incorrect pocket creation, unsuitable implant selection, issues due to weight loss or pregnancy, malposition or displacement of the implant, rippling/wrinkling or visibility of the implant, and drooping of the breast.
  • Desire to change implant size: If you do not have the proper size implants for your breasts, then changing to a different size may be suggested. Your surgeon is best qualified to make that determination. When considering getting larger implants, you run the risk overstretching your breasts and creating a whole new set of problems, including the development of uncorrectable deformities.

If you are happy with the way your breasts look and feel, and are having any of the issues mentioned above, then there is no reason to re-operate on them.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Hricko to discuss any additional questions or concerns you may have regarding replacement of your breast implants.

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Deciding between Silicone or Saline implants is a personal choice

Making the decision to undergo a breast augmentation surgery is only the first step in the cosmetic surgery journey. There are many additional decisions patients will need to make, including the shape, size, and type of implant. siliconebreastimplants
There are two types of implants, silicone and saline. Dr. Hricko’s practice offers both types, because saline and silicone have mutually exclusive advantages that make one or the other more suitable for specific goals and preferences. The fundamental difference between these two types of breast implants is that saline implants contain a sterile solution of water and salt, while silicone implants contain a more dense silicone gel. After extensive testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that both saline and silicone implants are safe for use.
Saline is a mixture of water and salt placed inside a silicone shell at the time of surgery. A saline implant requires a small incision because the shell is inserted into the breast area and then filled with saline once inside.
Silicone breast implants are made with synthetic polymers. Polymers are thick and sticky, and placed in a silicone shell that closely resembles the feel of human fat. The incision for a silicone implant is larger than the incision for a saline implant because the silicone implant is filled before insertion into the body.

Whichever implant you choose Dr. Hricko a board certified plastic surgeon will guide you through your journey to ensure an optimal outcome.

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Are You Considering Liposuction?

Many of us resolve each New Year to lose the extra weight and get back in shape. You may find that despite all your best efforts to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay active, some stubborn pockets of fat just won’t budge. Liposuction is an effective way to put the finishing touches on your hard work!

Liposuction is a proceduliposuctionre that reshapes and slims targeted regions of the body through the removal of excess fat deposits. Liposuction is one of the most popular procedures. Liposuction is popular in part because of its ability to improve body proportion and contours. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that last year alone, well over 200,000 men and women underwent liposuction.

For those who are unfamiliar with this procedure, Liposuction is a surgery that essentially removes fat in a way that is minimally invasive from select areas of the body. A long, thin tube is used to remove fat from the problem area, resulting in loss of fat and inches around the waistline and other problem areas.

Although liposuction can be effective in helping get rid of stubborn fat, there are limits to its effectiveness. Specifically, it cannot be used as a treatment for obesity or function as a substitute for proper exercise and diet.

Liposuction can be used in conjunction with other procedures such a Facelift or Abdominoplasty to create an optimal result. Allowing your body time to recover is also significant to the success of this or any procedure.

It is very important to find a board certified plastic surgeon to perform this procedure. An experienced surgeon will take the time to understand your expectations and provide you with the necessary procedure information, enabling you to make an informed decision regarding your options.

If you are interested in losing that stubborn fat in problem areas call to set up a consultation with Dr. Hricko, a board certified plastic surgeon and take the first step on the path to self-confidence.

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Skin Care needs this Holiday Season

This time of year the weather can wreak havoc on your skin and your schedule. At Advanced Cosmetic Surgery we are dedicated to taking care of all your Skincare needs.

Creating a beautiful complexion often requires several products to cleanse, nourish, and moisturize your delicate skin. We offer an array of products, allowing you to create a specialized routine to get the most out of your complexion.Our easy to navigate online store make it convenient for you to take advantage of all of our cosmetic and skin care products designed to protect and enhance your skin, featuring many of the products used in our exclusive Skin Fitness Program. All of our products are formulated for maximum skin health and protection.

We carry:
Elta MD
Eye Treatments
Skin Fitness Program Products
Specialized Products

You can find moisturizers, night creams, serums, and nourishing cosmetics in our online store. Help to encourage your skin’s moisture retention, minimize dehydration, and improve elasticity, paving the way for a healthier complexion. For a full list of our products, visit: http://store.ghricko.com/

Also, check out our Products of the Month page for special promotions, and receive Free Shipping on order over $50.00!

Advanced Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center is dedicated to achieving the optimal you. Located in Natick, Massachusetts, we proudly provide the greater Boston area with cosmetic surgery procedures and customized skin care programs. The director of our Center, George M Hricko, M.D., FACS, is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in Cosmetic procedures and Skin Care.

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Plastic Surgery and the Holiday Season

shutterstock_217448521What makes this time of year so popular for plastic surgery? Many want to look their best for the seasonal events, while others want a fresh start for the upcoming year. Either way, for anyone who might be contemplating undergoing plastic surgery over the holidays, timing is just one thing to think about.

December holiday breaks are a perfect time for many patients to undergo surgery because their children are on break from school and the demands on their schedule are lessened. Making the most of traditional time off, and using this downtime to recover privately. The holidays are also a discreet time to take vacation from work without explaining that you need recovery time for your surgical procedure. Additionally, there is usually extra family and friends around to help with recovery. Also, it is easier to conceal swelling or bruising with winter sweaters and uncover your newly enhanced and healed body once spring weather returns.

Potential patients will want to identify what procedures they are interested in. The most popular procedures are Rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, as well as dermal fillers and Botox. Minimally invasive treatments like skin resurfacing with lasers and peels, and lip, chin and cheek enhancement with fillers and fat also top wish lists.

Since the demand for the services of plastic surgeons is high, patients who want to schedule their procedures for a specific week during the holidays often do so months in advance to ensure that they can have time off to recover.

It is important to note that cosmetic surgeries are real surgeries. Like any medical procedure, they do carry certain risks, and not everyone will be a suitable candidate for every treatment.

Call our office at (508) 655-7070 today to arrange your complimentary consultation with Dr. Hricko an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.

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Breast Cancer, Early Detection is Key

cancerAs many of you now know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Breast cancer is the 5th leading cause of death among women over the age of 40.  About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. Men also get breast cancer, but it is not very common. Less than 1% of breast cancers occur in men.

More than 249,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer every year, and nearly 41,000 die from the disease.

Although screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. When breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100%. Early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams, and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms. Getting a mammogram regularly can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that if you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram.

According to the American Cancer Society, there is significant importance of finding breast cancer early. By having regular screening tests for breast cancer will enable doctors to find it before it causes symptoms (like a lump that can be felt). Screening refers to tests and exams used to find a disease in people who don’t have any symptoms. Early detection means finding and diagnosing a disease earlier than might have happened if you’d waited for symptoms to start.

Breast cancers found during these exams are more likely to be smaller and still confined to the breast. The size and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the outlook of a woman with this disease.

Many doctors feel that early detection tests for breast cancer help save thousands of lives every year, and that many more could be saved if all women and their health care providers took advantage of these tests. Following the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for the early detection of breast cancer improves the chances that breast cancer can be found early and treated successfully.

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