Dr. Hricko's Blog

Why do we devote an entire month to Breast Cancer Awareness?

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Pink is the color, and the pink ribbon has become the symbol to focus on efforts to bring this to the public.
Breast cancer can affect everyone, it doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t respect age, gender, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status or a healthy life style. Women and men can be affected, although less than 1% of patients with breast cancer are male. 1 in 8 women in the U.S. developing an invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Early detection and intervention can save lives. For those women who carry the BRCA gene, their personal risk of developing breast cancer is approximately 60-80%.
Breast cancer awareness campaigns offer information and support to those affected by breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness has been around for almost 30 years! When the entire month of October was designated ‘National Breast Cancer Awareness Month’ in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and a pharmaceutical company that produces several anti-breast cancer drugs, the initial aim was to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.
Breast cancer usually starts in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. From there, it can spread to other parts of the body. The exact cause remains unclear, but some risk factors make it more likely. Some of these are preventable.
Age, Genetics, History of breast cancer or breast lumps, Dense breast tissue, Estrogen exposure and breast-feeding, Body weight, Alcohol consumption, Radiation exposure, and Hormone treatments are the main risk factors.
If you are diagnosed with Breast Cancer the treatment plan depends on the stage of cancer if detected. It may consist of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. To learn more about breast cancer reconstruction, visit our website or call 508-655-7070.

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Why Now is a Perfect Time to Schedule your Cosmetic Procedure

Now that it is back-to-school time, say goodbye to summer and hello to a new you! You spent all summer taking care of your kids, now it’s your turn. Your house is a probably a lot quieter and your days are a little more open. If you have been considering undergoing any type of plastic surgery, back-to-school season along with the extra peace and quiet, is the perfect time to plan your surgery.

One of the most common questions asked during a consultation for plastic surgery is; “when is the best time to have my procedure done?” One thing that rings true for most is that summer tends to be a less than ideal time of year to pursue elective surgery. Now that summer has passed this might just be the perfect time for you to start planning your surgery.

Most plastic surgery patients are fully recovered two weeks after surgery. During this time, you will need to avoid strenuous physical activity such as exercising and anything that involves heavy lifting. You also need to get as much rest as possible during the initial phase of recovery. Having the kids back in school gives you the opportunity to sleep and rest during the day, two key factors in a successful recovery.

Just in time for the holidays. Another benefit of having a procedure done during the fall is to allow for full recovery before all of the holiday festivities and family gatherings. The back-to-school season is quickly followed by the holiday season, a time that keeps many hard-working mothers preoccupied and busy. This is another reason why the fall season is the perfect time for a cosmetic procedure. With the initial recovery period occurring the first week after any procedure, your body will need several months to completely heal. For example, if you choose to have a breast augmentation, it will take several months for your implants to settle into a lower, more natural position. Also, it takes at least six months for scars at your incision sites.
Additionally, the weather start to cool off during the fall months, allowing more clothing options to hiding swelling, bruising and compression garments. Wearing long sleeves and pants won’t look out of place this time of year. By having a cosmetic procedure now, you will have ample time to properly heal just in time for the holidays.

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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 procedureliposuction 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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