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Glossary

This glossary provides a list of the most commonly used terms in aesthetic/cosmetic surgery.

Abdominal Reduction
The surgical removal of excess skin, unwanted scars, stretch marks and fat from the tummy, and sometimes tightening of the stomach muscles.
Abdominoplasty
Also known as tummy tuck, this procedure removes excess skin hanging over the abdomen often after dramatic weight loss.
Aesthetic
Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty, in cosmetic terms this is focused on improving the appearance of the patient through surgery.
Aesthetic Genital Surgery
Also known as ‘Designer Vaginas’, various surgical procedures designed to improve the appearance of the vagina area.
Alopecia
The complete or partial loss of hair
Anaesthetic
A drug given to prevent pain during surgery, a Local Anaesthetic enables patients to remain awake for simple procedure and a General Anaesthetic puts patients to sleep for more complex operations.
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL)
This is a very rare type of immune system cell cancer which has been seen in a small number of patients with breast implants, research is now being carried out to investigate the significance of this link and if necessary produce new advice for implant manufacturers and patients.
Apronectomy
A modification of the mini-abdominoplasty to remove any excess skin and fat hanging down over the pubic area.
Areola
The coloured area of skin surrounding the nipple.
Arm lift
Tightens loose skin under the arm that creates what many call a "bat wing" appearance, also known as brachioplasty.
Augmentation Mammaplasty
Surgery to enlarge the breasts using implants.
Bilateral Gynecomastia
A condition in men only where both breasts are over-developed or enlarged.
Biocompatible Materials
Synthetic or natural material used in facial implants and designed to function along with living tissue.
Blepharoplasty
Surgery to remove excess skin from the upper and/or lower eyelids, often to improve droopy eyelids or large eye bags.
Body Contouring
Procedure that alters the shape of the human body. It includes procedures that eliminate or reduce excess skin and fat that remains after massive weight loss, in a variety of places including the torso, upper arms, chest, and legs.
Boob Job
Also known as breast enlargement, implants are inserted to increase breast size, improve their shape or make them more even.
Botulinum Toxin
Also known as Botox, this is injected into the face to temporarily paralyze a muscle to eliminate wrinkles and frown lines.
Brachioplasty
Also known as an arm lift, this procedure removes and tightens sagging skin on the upper arms.
Breast Augmentation
Also known as Augmentation Mammaplasty; breast enlargement by surgery.
Breast Implant
A silicone rubber shell filled with either silicone gel or saline solution which is used to enlarge the breast.
Breast Lift
Also known as Mastopexy, this is surgery to lift the breasts.
Breast Reconstruction
This is achieved through several plastic surgery techniques that attempt to restore a breast to near normal shape, appearance and size following mastectomy.
Breast Reduction
A procedure to reduce the size and restore the correct shape to the breasts, usually to bring relief to women with very large heavy breasts. Also called Reduction Mammaplasty.
Brow Lift
A surgical procedure to correct a low-positioned or sagging brow. Smooths furrows across the forehead and between the brows.
Buccal Fat Removal Surgery
Procedure to remove the fat pads that augment the lower cheeks.
Butt Lift/Bum Lift
A buttock lift is a cosmetic surgery procedure to improve the shape and appearance of the bum.
Buttock Augmentation
Surgery to enhance the bottom and make it appear more rounded, achieved by inserting silicone implants.
Cancer
The uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, cancerous cells are also called malignant cells.
Capsular Contracture
A complication of breast implant surgery which occurs when a layer of scar tissue forms around a breast implant as it heals.
Capsulectomy
A procedure to remove the scar tissue layer around a breast implant.
Cheek Augmentation
A procedure to insert implants into the cheek area, also known as Malar Augmentation.
Cheiloplasty
Surgery to repair a cleft lip.
Cheiloschisis
The scientific term for a cleft in the middle of the upper lip.
Chemical Peel
A non-invasive treatment that penetrates the skin's surface to soften irregularities in texture and colour.
Circumareolar Breast Reduction
Where breast reduction is carried out through an incision made only around the areola, therefore leaving a scar only in that area.
Circumferential Thigh Lift
A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the outer and mid-thigh.
Cleft
A separation of the upper lip and/or the roof of the mouth.
Cleft Lip
The incomplete formation of the upper lip.
Cleft Palate
The incomplete formation of the roof of the mouth.
Collagen
A natural protein used as an injectable filler for soft tissue augmentation.
Columella
Tissue that separates the nostrils.
Conchal cartilage
The largest and deepest concavity of the external ear.
Constricted Ear
Also called a lop or cup ear, is when the ear has varying degrees of protrusion, reduced ear circumference, folding or flattening of the upper helical rim, and lowered ear position.
Contracture
A puckering or pulling together of tissues; a potential side effect of cleft surgery.
Contractures
Scars that restrict movement due to skin and underlying tissue that pull together during healing and usually occur when there is a large amount of tissue loss, such as after a burn.
Cosmetic Surgery
A surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the body.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
The formation of a blood clot (thrombus) within a deep vein.
Dermabrasion
Mechanical polishing of the skin to remove the uppermost layer (epidermis) and reveal newer skin below.
Designer Vagina
This is surgery to improve the appearance of the vagina area.
Deviated Septum
When the septum (wall in the nose that divides the nostrils) is not located in the middle of the nose where it should be.
Donor Site
An area of your body where the surgeon harvests skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct your breast - commonly located in less exposed areas of the body such as the back, abdomen or buttocks.
Dual Plane Augmentation
A breast surgery technique where the implant is placed partially under the muscle. Just the top portion of the implant is put under the chest muscle, while the rest of the implant is only under the glandular tissue.
Ear Axis
The main line of ear growth.
Elastin
A protein found with collagen in the dermis that is responsible for giving structure to the skin and organs.
Endoscopic Facelift
Less invasive than a traditional facelift, this procedure aims to give patients a more youthful appearance through a small incision and use of an endoscope.
Endovenous Laser Ablation
Vascular laser used for larger varicose veins.
Epidermis
The uppermost portion of skin.
Excessive Sweating
Also known as Hyperhidrosis, excessive sweating in areas of concentrated sweat glands even when cold.
Excision
To remove the skin.
External Incisions
Surgical incisions made on the surface of your skin.
Fat Contouring
A procedure done during liposuction that involved massaging fat into other locations to improve the overall result.
Fat Injections
Human fat is harvested from your own body and used as an injectable filler for soft tissue augmentation.
Fat Transfer
Surgery to reposition fat from one area of the body to another.
Flap Techniques
Surgical techniques used to reposition your own skin, muscle and fat to reconstruct or cover your breast.
Frozen Section
A surgical procedure in which a cancerous lesion is removed and microscopically examined by a pathologist prior to wound closure to ensure all cancerous cells have been removed.
General Anesthesia
Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
Genioplasty
Surgery to improve the appearance of the chin area.
Grafting
Tissue taken from one part of the body to another.
Gynecomastia
Male breast reduction to correct abnormally large breasts or ‘man boobs’ caused by hormone imbalance or being very overweight. This can also be done to remove sagging skin after major weight loss.
Haemoglobin
A substance in red blood cells that combines with and carries oxygen around the body and gives blood its red colour.
Hair Graft
A thin strip of hair-bearing scalp is removed, separated into smaller pieces and then implanted onto hairless areas.
Hand Surgery
Hand Surgery is surgery of the hand, the wrist and the peripheral nerves of the upper limb. It also encompasses reconstructive surgery that improves upper limb function.
Hematoma
Blood pooling beneath the skin.
Hydrogel
A new type of breast implant that is bio-compatible with the body, it has the safety of saline with the benefits of silicone gel.
Hyfrecation
A skin treatment where electric current burns the skin to cauterize vessels, often used to treat spider veins or remove skin tags.
Hyperhidrosis
Excessive sweating in areas of concentrated sweat glands even when cold.
Hyperpigmented Scar
A scar that is darker in color.
Hypertropic Scar
Thick clusters of scar tissue that develop directly at a wound site.
Hypopigmented Scar
A scar that is lighter in color.
Incision
A surgical cut made in skin or flesh.
Injectable Fillers
Substances used to restore volume and a youthful appearance.
Intraoral
Inside the mouth.
Intraoral Incisions
Surgical incisions made inside the mouth.
Intravenous Sedation
Sedatives that are administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
Keloids
Large scars that can be painful or itchy, and may also pucker anywhere on your body, developing more commonly where there is little underlying fatty tissue, such as on the breastbone or shoulders.
Labiaplasty
This is surgery to reduce the size and/or re-shape the labia, the flaps of skin either side of the vagina.
Laser Eye Surgery
A surgical procedure with a laser to improve the patients vision.
Laser Resurfacing
A method to change to the surface of the skin that allows new, healthy skin to form at the scar site.
Laser Therapy
An intense beam of light passed over the skin, often to eliminate spider veins on various parts of the body.
Laser-assisted Liposuction
Removes excess fat and skin using a laser instead of a vacuum.
Light Therapy
(Intense Pulsed Light) Pulses of light that can be used to treat discoloration and texture changes of the skin.
Lip Augmentation
A procedure either of injections of natural or synthetic materials, implants or surgery to create fuller/plumper lips, which can decrease wrinkles and lines around the mouth.
Lipofilling
Surgical transfer of fat to areas of the body to fill body contours, reduce skin wrinkles or remove other defects in appearance.
Lipoplasty
Another term for liposuction - removal of deposits of excess fat from specific areas of the body.
Liposculpture
A more precise method of liposuction involving body contouring.
Liposuction
Also called Lipoplasty, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin's surface to improve overall tone and smoothness.
Local Anesthesia
A drug is injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
Local Flap
A surgical procedure used for skin cancer in which healthy, adjacent tissue is repositioned over the wound.
Lower Body Lift
Surgical procedure to correct sagging of the abdomen, buttocks, groin, and outer thighs.
Lump and Bump Removal
Also known as wart, mole, skin tag removal.
Macrotia
A rare condition where a patient has overly large ears.
Malar Augmentation
A procedure to insert implants into the cheek area. Also known as Cheek Augmentation.
Mammogram
An x-ray image of the breast.
Mastectomy
The removal of a breast, typically to rid the body of cancer.
Mastopexy
Also known as a breast uplift, surgery to lift or re-shape the breasts.
Maxillofacial surgery
Specialises in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region.
Medial Thigh Lift
A surgical procedure to correct sagging of the inner thigh.
Melanoma
A skin cancer that is most often distinguished by its pigmented blackish or brownish coloration and irregular and ill-defined borders. It occurs in the deepest portion of the epidermis, and for this reason, melanoma is the most likely form of skin cancer to spread quickly in the skin and to other parts of the body.
Microsurgery
High magnification to repair or reconnect severed nerves and tendons, common in trauma cases and often used to reattach severed fingers or limbs.
Microtia
A complex congenital ear deformity where the external part of the ear is underdeveloped, with some parts of the ear completely missing.
Mohs surgery
A precise surgical technique that's used to treat skin cancer, thin layers of skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.
Mole Removal
Laser or surgical removal of growth on the skin.
Moles
A common type of growth on the skin often appearing as small, dark brown spots and are caused by clusters of pigmented cells.
Mommy Makeover
A combination of procedures designed to restore various parts of the body after pregnancy.
MRI
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is a painless technique that uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues in the body.
Nasolabial Fold
Deep creases between the nose and mouth.
Nevus
A birthmark or mole on the skin.
Nose Job
Also known as a Rhinoplasty, this is the surgical reshaping of the nose, and is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures.
Obturator
An intraoral device your child may wear prior to repair of the cleft lip which may assist in feeding and maintain the arch of the lip prior to repair.
Oculoplastic Surgery
A wide variety of surgical procedures that deal with the orbit (eye socket), eyelids, tear ducts, and the face. It also deals with the reconstruction of the eye and associated structures.
Oculoplastics
A wide variety of surgical procedures that deal with the orbit (eye socket), eyelids, tear ducts, and the face. It also deals with the reconstruction of the eye and associated structures.
OMFS
Specialises in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region.
OMS
Specialises in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Specialises in treating many diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral (mouth) and maxillofacial (jaws and face) region.
Otoplasty
Ear correction surgery to improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear, or to pin them back if they stick out.
Palatoschisis
The scientific term for a cleft palate in the roof of the mouth.
Pinnaplasty
Ear correction surgery to improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear, or to pin them back if they stick out.
Pinning Back the Ears
Ear correction surgery to improve the shape, position or proportion of the ear, or to pin them back if they stick out.
Plagiocephaly
Known as flat head syndrome, is a condition characterised by an asymmetrical distortion (flattening of one side) of the skull. It is characterised by a flat spot on the back or one side of the head caused by remaining in a supine position for too long.
Plastic Surgery
A surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the body.
PMMA
A widely used implant material formed into tiny microspheres and suspended in a collagen gel for use as a wrinkle filler.
Polydactyly
The presence of extra fingers.
Post-Pregnancy Surgery
A combination of procedures designed to restore various parts of the body after pregnancy. Also known as a Mommy Makeover.
Pulmonary Embolism
A blockage in the pulmonary artery, the blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the lungs.
Reduction Mammaplasty
Also known as a breast reduction, this procedure aims to reduce the size of breast and improve the overall shape.
Resurfacing Laser
Laser resurfacing is a treatment to reduce facial wrinkles and skin irregularities, such as blemishes or acne scars.
Reticular Veins
Larger, darker leg veins that tend to bulge slightly, but are not severe enough to require surgical treatment.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
A disabling disease that can cause severe inflammation in any joint of the body. In the hand, it can deform fingers and impair movement.
Rhinoplasty
Also known as a ‘Nose Job’, this is the surgical reshaping of the nose, and is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures.
Rhytidectomy
Also known as a Facelift, to reduce sagging of the mid-face, jowls and neck, to pull back the skin and make the face appear tighter and smoother.
Saline Implants
Breast implants filled with a salt water solution.
Scar
A lasting blemish remaining as a trace of or resulting from injury.
Scar Revision
A range of treatments to remove top layers of skin to reduce scars. This can include both surgical and superficial scar removal therapies such as laser, radiotherapy, silicone, and injectables to reduce and minimise the appearance of scars.
Sclerotherapy
A medical procedure to eliminate varicose and spider veins by injecting them with a solution to make them collapse and fade from view.
Septoplasty
The surgical straightening of the partition dividing the inside of the nose in half (the septum), to improve breathing difficulties.
Seroma
A pocket of clear serous fluid that sometimes develops in the body after surgery.
SGAP Flap
Tissue taken from the buttock to create breast tissue as part of reconstructive surgery.
Silicone Implants
Breast implants filled with an elastic gel solution.
Simple Laser Treatment
Vascular Laser used for spider veins and small varicose veins that are just below the skin's surface.
Simple Linear Veins
Veins which appear as thin, separate lines, and are commonly seen on the inner knee or on the face.
Skin Graft
Healthy skin is removed from one area of the body and relocated to a wound site.
Skin Resurfacing
Treatment to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of skin.
Skin Tags
Small, soft, skin-coloured growths that hang off the skin and look like warts.
Soft Tissue Augmentation
The use of injectable fillers to restore volume and youthful appearance.
Spider Veins
Small clusters of red, blue or purple veins that appear in the skin on the thighs, calves and ankles.
Stahl's Ear
An ear that is distorted in shape due to an abnormal fold of cartilage.
Stretch Marks
Streaks or stripes on the skin, especially on the abdomen, caused by distension of the skin.
Suction Lipectomy
Another term for liposuction.
Support Hose
Special stockings that compress your legs, typically used for varicose veins and post-surgical conditions.
Sutures
Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
Symmastia
A rare abnormality where soft tissue connects the breasts across the sternum that can be present from birth or can happen after breast augmentation.
Syndactyly
When fingers are fused together.
Tattoo Laser Removal
Tattoo ink is removed by using a light which passes through the skin and is absorbed by the ink. This rapid absorption of light energy causes the tattoo ink to break down, where it is then removed by the body's natural filtering systems.
Tattoo Removal
A procedure done to try to remove an unwanted tattoo. Common techniques used for tattoo removal include laser surgery, surgical removal and dermabrasion.
Tendon
A tough cord or band of dense white fibrous connective tissue that unites a muscle with some other part.
Tenolysis
A surgical procedure to free a tendon from surrounding adhesions.
Thigh Lift
This involves the removal excess skin, fat, and tissue to tone and refine the upper legs.
Thighplasty
This involves the removal excess skin, fat, and tissue to tone and refine the upper legs.
Thrombus
A blood clot.
Tissue Expansion
A procedure that can substitute for skin grafts. An inflatable balloon called a tissue expander is placed under the skin near the scar site to stretch additional skin to be used to revise a scar.
TRAM Flap
The Transverse Rectus Abdominus Musculocutaneous Flap, a surgical technique that uses muscle, fat and skin from your own abdomen to reconstruct the breast.
Transaxillary Incision
An incision made in the underarm area.
Trigger Finger
An abnormal condition in which flexion or extension of a finger may be momentarily obstructed by spasm followed by a snapping into place.
Tumescent Liposuction
Also known as Wet Liposuction, requires an infusion of saline solution with adrenaline and possibly anesthetic prior to removal of excess fat.
Tummy Tuck
A surgical procedure to correct the apron of excess skin hanging over your abdomen also known as an Abdominoplasty.
Ultrasound
A diagnostic procedure that projects high-frequency sound waves into the body and changes the echoes into pictures.
Ultrasound-assisted Lipoplasty
Uses ultrasonic energy to liquefy excess fat prior to surgical suctioning, also known as Vaser Liposuction.
Umbilicoplasty
Procedure during abdominoplasty where the belly button skin and contour are shaped.
Unilateral Gynecomastia
A condition in men where only one breast is over-developed or enlarged.
Varicose Veins
Abnormally swollen or dilated veins.
Vascular Laser
Laser treatment to reduce the appearance of unsightly venous conditions.
Z-Plasty
A surgical incision technique that creates small triangular flaps of tissue that help to close wounds over areas of the hand where bending or flexing is essential to function, such as around the knuckles.
Z-Plasty for Scar Revision
A surgical technique to improve the appearance of scars, that creates angled flaps on either side of the original scar site that can reposition or change the scar direction, interrupt scar tension and improve scar flexibility.
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