Dr. Hricko's Blog

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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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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Helping the Healing Process from Plastic Surgery

helping-healingCosmetic procedures in most cases are exciting experiences for patients. Yet, once they have had surgery, patients are anxious to return to normalcy to enjoy these changes. Many patients can accelerate the recovery process, to return as quickly as possible to their daily life. Patients can significantly impact their recovery process, as one of the main variables affecting the length of recovery is how well they listen to and follow their surgeon’s post-operative instructions.  While this may seem simple, following instructions means even the minor directions they think are unnecessary. Many patients make a common mistake of jumping right back into their routine since they feel better physically, not realizing internal healing may still be taking place. Ignoring your surgeon’s recommendations could result in prolonged issues, such as infection, tearing or excessive bleeding, even reoperation.

In addition to following your surgeon’s instructions, here are a few things every patient can do to increase their odds of a successful recovery.


Rest is one of the most important things a patient can do, because the body needs to recover therefore expediting the healing process. Patients should avoid any and all vigorous activities and spend most of his or her time relaxing. Increased activity result in changes in blood pressure that can result in increased bruising and swelling. Also, making sure that they are getting at least 8 hours a sleep every night.


After surgery, many patients feel constipated or nauseous. Although they may not be hungry or want to eat, it is important to eat a healthy diet that promotes healing. Some patients have a reduced appetite for a few days following surgery so it is best to eat soft foods. Eating soft foods also allows a person to recover more quickly because it gives the digestive system a break. Additionally, it is important to drink lots of fluids during the recovery process because it is very easy to become dehydrated. The best types of fluids to drink are water and juice. Avoid Tea, coffee, caffeine-containing beverages and alcoholic drinks as these cause dehydration.

GET MOVING (carefully)

As soon as you are able to walk, you will likely be advised to do so by your surgeon to get the bowels moving and prevent blood clots. Continuing to move once you are home will help decrease the risk for these complications. Even if you don’t feel like going out for a long walk, taking a walk around your house or going outside for some fresh air is much better than doing nothing.


Don’t try to push through the pain. Keeping pain at a tolerable level is important, as too much pain lead to increased risk for developing a blood clot or pneumonia. When experiencing pain after a procedure, it is important to take the medication as prescribed by your surgeon. If you are in pain, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This can mean asking a family member or friend for assistance with daily tasks, or contacting your surgeon for help with pain management before the pain gets too severe.


Working out raises blood pressure, and elevated blood pressure can increase bruising and bleeding which leads to swelling and inflammation. To help speed up recovery, it is necessary for the patient to avoid rigorous exercise for approximately the first 8 weeks. This time will vary based on the type of surgery performed. The surgeon will give instructions regarding restarting exercise after surgery that is tailored specifically for each individual. Patients who engage in vigorous workout regimens too soon after surgery can experience serious complications, such as re-opening of incisions, which can result in worse post-operative scars. Even if the patient thinks they are ready, it is very important to stay out of the gym until their surgeon has given them the okay.


Smoking significantly delays the healing process, and can lead to serious complications during recovery. Nicotine causes blood vessels to constrict, making them smaller and decreasing the blood supply to the tissues. Blood clots are more common in people who smoke. Tissues that are not receiving an adequate blood supply may not heal correctly, which increases the risk of complications. All smokers should cease smoking eight weeks before any operation, and even though the surgery is over does not mean they are clear to light up again.


Although they may be feeling better, it is important for patients to keep their post-op appointment as the surgeon will be looking for things they may not be able to see, especially if your incision is internal. Follow-up blood work may also be done to ensure there is no infection, and adjustments to your medication that may be needed.

In closing, every surgery is different and each patient has their own medical history that needs to be taken into consideration. That is why it is very important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions to ensure a healthy and speedy recovery that allows your body to heal properly, and provide you with the best results.

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Considering Rhinoplasty Surgery?

rhinoplasty-boston Rhinoplasty or nose surgery can be one of the most “dramatic” procedures depending on your individual circumstances and desired result. Every year, half a million people seek consultation for enhancement of the appearance of their nose. Many are unhappy with the nose with which they were born or the way aging has changed their nose. For others, an injury may have distorted the nose and in many, there is the additional goal of improving breathing. As the nose occupies a central position on the face, the size and shape of the nose has a great impact on an individual’s appearance and self –esteem.

Today there are multiple surgical techniques that can repair breathing or damage as well as perfect the aesthetics of the nose. According to Real Self (an online forum) Rhinoplasty has an 89% “worth it”* rating (*this did not include those who were “not sure”).

Rhinoplasty is arguably the most intricate and demanding plastic surgical procedure out there. There are a number of factors can affect the outcome, such as your bone structure, skin thickness, healing process, and more importantly the experience of the surgeon. When researching, there are certain critical aspects about the doctor and his or her practice that you must look into.

Your surgeon’s approach should be in line with what you want to achieve. Find a surgeon with expertise, experience, and a portfolio of positive results. To see a collection of Dr. Hricko’s work, come into our office or visit our before and after photo gallery. Viewing images of patients with a nose similar to yours is an effective way of evaluating the surgeon’s ability to correct your specific problem.

Most plastic surgeons who perform rhinoplasty are board certified. Board certification is an additional credential that certifies that the individual has met all the requirements set forth by the board. It is also a requirement for a medical license and hospital privileges.

Schedule a consultation visit and discuss alternatives and any probable outcomes. Make sure to ask your surgeon relevant questions and listen to his/her answers. A good surgeon will give detailed answers, spend time with you, so that you can envision the ultimate goal of the procedure.

Contact our office today and schedule a consultation and see if a Rhinoplasty procedure is right for you!

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Plastic Surgery Can Increase Self Confidence

self-confidenceIt is no secret that the better you think look the better you feel about yourself. It has long been recognized that personal appearance is linked to self-esteem. An increasing number of people are getting plastic surgery to maintain or change their appearance and body image. They rely upon their physical appearance to maintain their confidence and self-esteem. Changing your physical attributes can undoubtedly change your outlook on life. If you feel more comfortable in your own skin then your viewpoint on life is bound to change as well. In general, you will be much happier and you will be able to focus more on the quality of your personal and professional life.

In recent survey conducted by Allergan, women who were open to aesthetic enhancement, such as fillers and BOTOX to smooth away wrinkles, are taking the plunge not only to improve their appearance but also to boost their self-confidence.

Also, research published in Clinical Psychological Science reports that plastic surgery patients could experience more joy in life, a higher sense of satisfaction and greater self-esteem.
When comparing the results of the psychological tests of the surgical patients to those who had not had plastic surgery, people who went under the knife had higher self-esteem, experienced less anxiety and felt healthier overall. Additionally, those who opted for the procedure reported that they were happier with their bodies as a whole, not just the area on which they had work done.

Large breasts can make both woman and men very self-conscious and cause a lot of psychological trauma. Also, Male breast reduction (Gynecomastia) is a popular plastic surgery procedure that can set this right. Women can also improve the way they look and their self-confidence with many procedures. Small and undeveloped breasts can be enhanced through breast augmentation with implants. Similarly, a tummy tuck would help to remove excess fat and skin that accumulated in the region of the abdomen following pregnancy.

In one of the largest research projects ever undertaken in medical aesthetics (“The Changing Face of Beauty: A Global Report”), pollsters tallied the opinions of nearly 8,000 women in 16 countries. A few of their key findings:

  • For women seeking aesthetic treatments, a desire to boost self-confidence (42 percent) is equally important as improving the look of sagging skin (42 percent).
  • Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of women make the effort to look good primarily for themselves. Partners (37 percent) and friends (15 percent) have less influence.
  • General “beautification” (63 percent) is a bigger motivator than addressing the signs of aging (50 percent), except in China, where changing or enhancing a specific feature was the key trigger for seeking beauty treatments.
  • 65 percent of women agree that facial fillers are more socially acceptable than they were five years ago.

Always remember, before you make any decision regarding a procedure that you expectations are realistic and you are doing this for you. Most importantly you need to find the right surgeon to perform your plastic surgery procedure.

Dr. George Hricko is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with many years of experience to ensure safe and effective and optimal results. Call today to schedule your consultation and take the first step in being the best version of you!

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