Dr. Hricko's Blog

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

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.

EAT RIGHT

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.

ASK FOR HELP

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.

SKIP THE WORKOUT

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.

DO NOT SMOKE

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.

KEEP FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENTS

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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Hyperpigmentation and what you can do about it

With summer upon us chances are you’ll be spending more time in the sun. It is important to know what affect exposure to the sun can have on your skin. hyperpigmentation One side effect is Hyperpigmentation. This is characterized by a darkening of an area of skin caused by the overproduction of a pigment in the skin known as melanin. It is harmless, relatively common and can affect any part of the body including the face, hands, and neck, but a nuisance to those who have it.

Sun exposure stimulates the production of melanin. When you go out with proper covering your body or if the sun is directly hits your body skin gets the hyperpigmentation gradually. Hormonal changes are another cause of these growing skin spots.

Many doctors correlate the surge in hyperpigmentation to many individuals who do not wear sunscreen daily and follow the trend of tanning. Additionally, the recent increase in birth control usage and hormone replacement therapy they feel has contributed to the rise.

One of the most common misconceptions about discolored skin is that it will fade away by itself and that no treatment, of any kind, is necessary. The majority of discoloration needs to be treated with high-powered active ingredients and in-office treatments to fully eradicate spots on the surface. According to the latest article in New Beauty magazine: As aggravating as hyperpigmentation can be, understanding why it’s happening and how you can stop it (yes, it can be done) is rule number-one on the path to clear, even skin.

Melasma
Color: Light to medium brown
Where It Occurs: On the cheeks, sides of the face, upper part of the nose, forehead and above the lip
What It Looks Like: Splotchy patches that are inconsistent in shape and size
Caused By: A surge in hormones usually from pregnancy or birth control coupled with sun exposure
Treat It With: Hydroquinone and Retin-A; salicylic, lactic or glycolic acid peels; Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) plus vitamin C; or Cosmelan. (Melasma is hard to treat because of its potential to recur.)

Sunspots (aka Age or Liver Spots)
Color: Light to dark brown
Where It Occurs: On the face, chest and hands
What It Looks Like: Small, flat, dark spots
Caused By: The sun
Treat It With: Retinol + IPL; Fractional laser resurfacing

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Color: Pink, red or brown
Where It Occurs: Anywhere on the face
What It Looks Like: Flat spots
Caused By: Inflammatory acne
Treat It With: Light salicylic acid chemical peels; red light and blue light (if there is active acne)

Freckles
Color: Light to dark brown or even red or black
Where It Occurs: On the face, chest and arms
What It Looks Like: Concentrated small spots
Caused By: The sun
Treat It With: Fraxel, Nd:YAG laser

If you or someone you know is struggling with a form of Hyperpigmentation, schedule a consultation with us to see how we can help!

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Social Media Linked to Increase in Lip Augmentation

A record number of U.S citizens underwent lip surgery in 2015, according to a leading industry body, which is linking the surge to the rise of social media and the selfie photograph. The selfie – or self-portrait photograph – has been become ingrained in the national psyche of late. The word itself was even added to the English dictionary in August, 2013. lip augmentation boston

Lip augmentation was the second-fastest growing facial procedure in the United States since 2000, with only dermabrasion procedures – a type of skin-resurfacing – growing faster according to a press release issued by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). The society – which is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world, according to its website – also saw “staggering growth” in lip injections, it said.

Most Non-Surgical Procedures require little or no recovery time. For some patients Non-Surgical Rejuvenation procedures provide a faster and easier way of looking younger and more beautiful, without invasive surgery. The temporary nature of injections makes lips an easy place to start. If a patient is unhappy with look, within a few months it will wear off and everything will go back to normal. On the other hand, if they do like what injections do for their lips, they have to keep coming back every few months to maintain them.
The desire to have more natural-looking lips may be driving up numbers for lip reduction procedures, as well. According to the latest statistics from ASPS, there were 927 lip reduction surgeries in the United States last year, up more than 34 percent over 2013.

Make sure that you choose a qualified, board certified provider as they understand the entire asymmetry of the face and adhere to the highest level of safety standards Mistakes from less qualified providers disastrous.

To schedule a consultation or to learn more about the non-surgical treatments that we offer, please give us a call at 800-999-1639.

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Gynecomastia surgery

More men than ever are seeking to remedy male breast with surgery according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s latest statistics.

More men are seeking out aesthetic enhancements and refinements, particularly when it comes to ridding themselves of excess fat and tissue in the form of male breast reduction, for the treatment of gynecomastia. There was a 25% increase in the number of men undergoing this procedure from 2014 – 2015 according to ASAPS’ latest statistics.

gynecomastia

Gynecomastia, a condition of over-developed or enlarged breasts in men, is common in men of any age. It can be the result of hormonal changes, heredity conditions, disease or the use of certain drugs. It can cause emotional discomfort and impair your self-confidence. Some men may even avoid certain physical activities and intimacy simply to hide their condition.

Gynecomastia is characterized by:

  • Excess localized fat
  • Excess glandular tissue development
  • A combination of both excess fat and glandular tissue
  • Gynecomastia may be present unilaterally (one breast) or bilaterally (both breasts)

Gynecomastia surgery is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

This procedure is a good option for you if:

  • You are physically healthy and of relatively normal weight
  • You have realistic expectations
  • Your breast development has stabilized
  • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large

Adolescents may benefit from surgery, although secondary procedures may be needed in the future should breast development continue.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s (ASAPS’) preliminary survey findings from its procedural statistical data for the 2015 calendar year suggest that both surgical and nonsurgical procedures are on the rise. Both men and women are partaking in a variety of aesthetic procedures in steadily increasing numbers. Surgical procedures are up 7% with 1,912,468 procedures performed, nonsurgical procedures are up 22% with 10,879,909 procedures performed, and combined surgical and nonsurgical procedures are up 20% compared to last year’s data, with a total of 12,792,377 procedures performed.

Call our office today at 508-655-7070 and schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Hricko and see if Breast Reduction surgery (Gynecomastia) is right for you.

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Top Five Reasons Patients Seek Rhinoplasty Revisions

rhinoplastyRhinoplasty is commonly called a nose job. More people than you might think are harboring desires to get their nose corrected. Commonly, people seek a first nose job to make their nose smaller, fix a deviated septum, correct bumps, fix funny angles, and more. The majority of people are satisfied with their new nose. However, some patients are unhappy with the results and seek a rhinoplasty revision to get the look desired.

Unhappy With Appearance
Surprisingly, a number of patients go under the knife several times to correct a previous rhinoplasty procedure that did not improve their appearance. Perhaps, the procedure did not produce the expected results. Often, people have an idea about the results. They want a nose that looks like their favorite celebrity or another popular figure. Even the best surgeon in the world might have difficulty producing those ideal goals.

Minor Revisions Required
Certainly, rhinoplasty is a very complicated procedure. It takes a highly skilled plastic surgeon to perform this very involved operation. Certainly, strict detail is involved every step of the way. Still, it might take two or three procedures to correct minor problems that require extra attention to get the desired results. For example, a nose that is angled incorrectly or oddly shaped.

Healing Issues
A number of people anticipate good results after the surgery. However, healing might complicate matters. For example, the patient discovers that their nose did not heal properly and they are having nasal issues. Many patients complain that bumps show up on their nose several months later. This leads to dissatisfaction with the first rhinoplasty. A revision is necessary to correct the problem.

Nose Changes
One surprising fact is that the nose will continue to change after the first nose surgery. Certainly, the majority of patients are not aware of this fact. The patient might become very dissatisfied with the changes. Therefore, the only alternative is to seek another rhinoplasty to achieve the results desired.

Unrealistic Expectations
The real deal is that a growing number of patients walk into a plastic surgeon’s office with unrealistic expectations. Many are also addicted to plastic surgery. The problem is that it is very difficult to achieve their unrealistic goals with the first surgery.

View our rhinoplasty photo gallery and contact us if you have any questions.

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Have Your Heard Of SculpSure

SculpSure_logo_HR-e1452551449664

Innovative technology to sculpt and define

SculpSure is the world’s first FDA-cleared laser treatment for non-invasive lipolysis of the flanks and abdomen. It’s a state-of-the-art, controlled light-based technology, ideal for patients looking to get rid of stubborn fat.

Flat, non-suction applicator design for consistent results
Treat multiple areas in 25 minutes
Simple and efficient attachment system

Overview
Bringing the science of light to the art of body contouring

The 1060 nm wavelength’s specific affinity for adipose tissue, coupled with minimal absorption in the dermis, allows SculpSure to efficiently treat areas of troublesome fat in just 25 minutes. Over time, the body naturally eliminates the disrupted fat cells with results seen as quickly as 6 weeks and optimal results usually seen in as few as 12 weeks.

Controlled hyperthermic fat reduction
• Elevates adipose tissue temperature between 42°C and 47°C
• No damage to dermal tissue
• Contact CoolingTM for patient comfort

Defined success: 24% fat reduction
• Clinically proven in multisite trials in over 100 patients
• Over 90% patient satisfaction rate
• Comfortable and well-tolerated treatment
• Can be used on all skin types

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When Considering Breast Augmentation

1. Be prepared to discuss what is bothering you about your breasts, including: breast volume, breast sagginess, asymmetry between the breasts, nipple location and cleavage.

2. Know the options for breast implants, including benefits and risks: silicone implants and saline implants as well as the different types of implants within those types.

3. Be familiar with the choices for breast implant techniques, benefits and risks, including: under the breast crease, through the nipple, under the armpit and through the belly button.

4. Breast implant placement location may be dependent upon the extent of existing breast tissue that is available to cover the breast implant on the patient. There are three choices, including: under the pectoral muscles, partially under the pectoral muscles and over the pectoral muscles.

5. Bring a complete list of medications, over-the-counter drugs, herbs, and supplements that you are taking to the plastic surgeon at least three weeks before you plan to have surgery. Some of these drugs may be required to be discontinued two to three weeks before surgery.

6. Stop smoking at least two weeks before breast augmentation. Know that smoking may play a role in the outcome of your procedure over time.

7. Inquire about the facility that the procedure will be performed in and the type of support you will receive following surgery.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask about the type of board certification that the plastic surgeon has and where the surgeon has hospital privileges to perform procedures.

Breast-Augmentation

Once you have asked your plastic surgeon about these items during an initial consultation, you will be able to make a better educated decision about breast augmentation. Plastic surgeons are happy to answer any questions you have to allow you to feel comfortable about your decision for surgery. A full understanding of the benefits, risks and alternatives to the procedure will help establish reasonable expectations for the outcome of the procedure. The beauty of breast augmentation generally results with an enhanced appearance, improved self confidence, increased self-esteem and a boost in social, professional and intimate activities.

To schedule an appointment with George M. Hricko, M.D., call 508-655-7070.

Recommended Sites
PlasticSurgery.org
WebMD.com
Wikipedia

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