Shape Shift
Why local women choose the Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center
by Glori Gayster

When a woman feels good about the way she looks, she tends to experience several physical, emotional and psychological benefits. Local advances in cosmetic surgery have played a big role in helping women look and ultimately feel more confident, but as with any medical or surgical procedure, selecting the right doctor is critical.


“Patients should make this decision with care,” says Robert J. Skalicky, D.O., a board-certified plastic surgeon at Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center in Newtown. “Clearly, you want to find a doctor skilled in superior surgical techniques but also someone who is compassionate with a caring approach.”


Led by Dr. Skalicky, the Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center has been changing patients’ lives for 20 years, using the latest techniques in plastic and reconstructive surgery. From breast augmentation and tummy tucks to facial rejuvenation and full body sculpting, Dr. Skalicky understands the surgical and emotional components of enhancing a woman’s beauty and confidence.  


All Shapes and Sizes

Studies show that breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic procedures in the United States, and for a number of reasons. “Today, breast augmentation is a procedure for all ages,” says Dr. Skalicky. “It’s no longer just for younger women. We see patients in their early 20s well into their 60s.”


Women’s bodies come in all shapes and sizes, so a thorough consultation and exam is essential to the overall success of each breast-augmentation procedure. With the first visit, Dr. Skalicky encourages patients to bring pictures so he can have a clear sense of the breast shape and size they desire.


“Photos are important since bra sizes are not standard,” he says. “To simply say, ‘I want to increase from a B cup to a C cup’ is unrealistic because size can differ depending on which bra is used in the comparison.”


The next step is to gather measurements, including cup size and back and breast width, to evaluate the breast-to-body ratio and fine tune the photographic representation into a clearer set of expectations. “The ratio is important in creating a beautiful shape and preventing possible long-term adverse effects,” says Dr. Skalicky. “If the implant is too large for a woman’s frame and breast pocket, the breast tissue can thin over time and create irreversible changes. In general, most women desire a fuller size but one that gives a natural-appearing result.”


To achieve this “natural” look, the implant position is just as important as its size. At times, other procedures, such as a breast lift, may be recommended to add firmness and volume for the best possible result.


Making the Decision

“The first question often asked is about safety,” Dr. Skalicky adds. “Over the years, the scare of silicone implants has lessened and the newer versions are made with a cohesive gel approved by the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]. You can literally cut into them without leakage.”


Patients still have a choice of implants, though. The silicone shells are filled with either saline (saltwater) or silicone gel and, while the warranty on both styles is the same, there are advantages and disadvantages of each that patients need to understand when making their decision.


Saline implants offer the benefit of adjustability, creating symmetry for women whose breasts may not be the same size. The implants themselves are also generally less expensive. However, saline implants tend to be firmer, and the implant edge can sometimes be felt on the under surface of the breast.


Conversely, silicone-gel implants are softer and more natural to the touch. Many patients say they cannot tell the difference between the breast and the implant, according to Dr. Skalicky. The down side is that they are not adjustable and can be more costly.


Neither of the two types of implant will negate a woman’s ability to have a mammogram; future breast-cancer surveillance can still be accurately performed.


Speedy Recovery

In the hands of the right surgeon, breast-enhancement surgery is both safe and fast. A small incision is made to place the implant behind each breast, underneath either the breast tissue or the chest-wall muscle. The procedure lasts one hour and is typically performed with general anesthesia or sedation. Any discomfort can be described as “pressure pain” and patients are prescribed medication to relieve it.


“Recovery can take two to four days and most women can return to work within a week,” says Dr. Skalicky. “Those who exercise should be able to return to their regimen within two to four weeks.”

At the Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Skalicky provides an individualized care plan and follows patients routinely over the first post-operative year, seeing them five or six times and then as needed in the future.


Often, breast augmentation is performed at the same time as other cosmetic procedures. Liposuction or tummy tucks are two such popular procedures. Liposuction is recommended for patients who do not have preexisting loose skin; it removes the fatty tissue between the skin and muscle structure. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, actually removes skin and fatty tissue, and then tightens the muscle for a more sculpted look.


“My advice to those interested in breast augmentation or any cosmetic procedure is to be educated,” Dr. Skalicky says. “Patients should schedule multiple visits with me prior to their surgery so that all of their questions are answered. Before making a final decision, each patient should have a clear expectation of the surgical procedure and understand the complications, recovery period and long-term results.”


Bucks County Plastic Surgery Center is located at 104 Pheasant Run in Newtown, with appointments available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Skalicky, call 215-702-8600 or visit


Glori Gayster is a freelance writer based in South Jersey.

Kim Billingsley is a freelance photographer based in Doylestown.