Anatomical Implants – Implants that are shaped in the form of a breast.

Abdominoplasty (Also called tummy tuck.) – Procedure that reduces the abdominal area. In this tummy tuck surgery, the plastic surgeon makes a long incision from one side of the hipbone to the other. Excess fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen and the muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened.

Ablation – The removal, especially of organs, abnormal growths or detrimental substances from the body by mechanical means, usually by surgery.

Acus – A needle; specifically one used in a surgical procedures.

Acusector – A needle used for cutting tissue by means of a high-frequency electric current.

Adenectomy – Surgical removal of the adenoids.

Amputate – To cut off (all or part of a limb or digit of the body) through a surgical procedure.

Anaplasty – Reconstruction or restoration, specifically by plastic surgery, of a lost or injured part.

Anesthesia – lack of a normal sensation brought on by an anesthetic drug.

Angioplasty – The restoration of a blood vessel; done by inserting a balloon-tipped catheter to unclog it or by replacing part of the vessel with either a piece of the patient’s own tissue or a prosthetic device. For example – coronary angioplasty to widen an artery blocked by plaque.

Anomaly – a health problem or feature not normally present in a healthy individual; a deviation from the normal.

Apert syndrome – A craniofacial abnormality characterized by an abnormal head shape, small upper jaw and fusion of the fingers and toes.

Areola – A round area of different (usually darker) pigmentation around the nipple of the breast.

Asymmetry – lacking symmetry; parts of the body are unequal in shape or size.

Autologous tissue breast reconstruction – the use of the patient’s own tissues to reconstruct a new breast mound. The common technique is the TRAM (transverse rectus abdominous muscle) flap. A TRAM flap implies the removal of an area of fat, skin and muscle from the abdomen and stitching it in place to the mastectomy wound.

Acne – A skin condition characterized by the excess production of oil from sebaceous glands in which plugs the hair follicles.

Acne scar – Scars due to severe acne. They can range from deep pits to scars that are angular or wavelike in appearance.

Age spots – Small level pigmented spots that are most often seen on areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun over a period of years. Age spots usually occur after the age of 40.

Albinism – An inherited disorder in which there is no pigmentation in skin, hair or eyes, due to the absence of melanin, the substance that gives skin its color.

Alopecia – The complete or partial loss of hair.

Ametropia (Gr. ametros =disproportionate + ops =eye + -ia ) Any imperfection in refractive state of the eye- i.e. hyperopia, myopia or astigmatism.

Autologen – A substance used in lip augmentation to produce a look of fuller lips. Autologen is derived from your own skin and then injected into the lips.

Azelaic acid – A naturally occurring substance found on normal skin that can be used in skin care products to treat mild acne.


Biocompatible – The ability or something to be put into a person without causing your body to reject or attack it.

Bikini Cut – A horizontal surgical incision in the lower abdomen, often used for a hysterectomy or a Cesarean delivery; so called because it leaves a less noticeable scar than does a vertical incision.

Blepharoplasty (Also called eyelid lift) – procedure in which the physician surgically removes excess fat, muscle and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids to change the shape of the eye.

Breast augmentation (Also called augmentation mammaplasty) – A surgical procedure done to increase breast size. The shape of the breast can also be changed or it can be performed to reconstruct the breast following surgery.

Benzoyl peroxide – An antibacterial medication used to combat the bacteria that aggravates acne.

Beta hydroxy acid – An oil-soluble exfoliant derived from fruit and milk sugars that can be commonly found in skin-care products. Beta hydroxy acid is used to treat wrinkles, blackheads and photo-aging. Salicylic acid is an example of a beta-hydroxy acid.

Botox – A substance derived from botulinum toxin that works by preventing nerve impulses from reaching the muscle, forcing the muscle to relax.

Brow lift – A surgical procedure in which the skin of the forehead and eyebrows is tightened to eliminate sagging eyebrows or correct frown lines in the forehead.

Bypass – A surgical procedure in which a diseased or obstructed hollow organ is temporarily or permanently circumvented. For example – coronary bypass, gastric bypass, heart-lung machine or intestinal bypass.


Capsular contracture – the most common complication of breast reconstruction surgery; occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. This is a serious complication that may result in removing the implant.

Carpenter syndrome – A birth defect that typically includes traits such as abnormally short fingers, webbed toes, extra toes, underdeveloped jaw, highly arched palate, widely spaced eyes and/or low-set, deformed ears. 50% of patients with Carpenter syndrome also suffer from heart defects.

Chemical peeling – uses a chemical solution in order to improve the skin’s appearance. It can reduce or eliminate fine lines under the eyes and around the mouth, correct uneven skin pigmentation, remove pre-cancerous skin growths and soften acne or treat the acne scars.

Cleft lip – an abnormality in which the lip does not form completely. The degree of the cleft lip can vary greatly, from mild (notching of the lip) to severe (large opening from the lip up through the nose).

Cleft palate – occurs when the roof of the mouth does not completely close, leaving an opening that can extend into the nasal cavity. The cleft may involve either side of the palate. It can go from the front of the mouth (hard palate) to the throat (soft palate). It can also include the lip.

Collagen/fat injectable fillers (Also called soft-tissue augmentation) cosmetic surgery technique used to correct wrinkles, depressions in the skin and/or scarring.

Computed tomography scan (Also called a CT or CAT scan) – diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. CAT scans can show detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat and organs. CAT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.

Congenital – present at birth.

Congenital anomaly – a health problem present at birth (not necessarily genetic).

Contractures – an abnormal condition of a joint caused by a loss of muscle fibers or a loss of the normal flexibility of the skin.

Coronal suture – the joining line (suture) between the frontal and parietal bones of the skull; crosses the top of the skull from temple to temple.

Cosmetic plastic surgery (Also called aesthetic plastic surgery) – one type of plastic surgery performed to repair or reshape otherwise normal structures of the body, primarily to improve the patient’s appearance and self-esteem.

Craniofacial – pertaining to the head (skull) and face.

Craniosynostosis – a condition in which the sutures (soft spots) in the skull of an infant close too early, causing problems with normal brain and skull growth. Premature closure of the sutures may also cause the elevation of the pressure inside of the head and can cause the skull or facial bones to change from a normal, symmetrical appearance.

Crouzon’s syndrome – A birth defect characterized by abnormalities in the skull and facial bones. This condition often causes the skull to be short in the front and the back. Flat cheek bones and a flat nose are also typical of this disorder.

Chemexfoliation – See chemical peel

Cholasma – See melasma

Collagen – The major structural proteins in the skin that give it its strength and resilience.

Copper peptide – Common ingredient found in skin care products. It is used to promote and produce collagen and elastin in the skin.

Contracture scar – A type of scar in which a permanent tightening of skin occurs, often in response to a burn. This type of scar may affect the underlying muscles and tendons, limiting mobility and possibly damaging the nerves.

Crows feet – The fine lines found around the eyes. They are often caused by sun exposure; nonetheless, smoking also contributes to their formation.


Dehiscence – Separation of a wound or scar. Patients are more likely to have this if the incision is in the abdomen. In addition, factors like obesity, dehydration, malnourishment, smoking and coughing can provoke it as well.

Dermabrasion – a procedure that removes fine wrinkles and/or minimizes scars on the skin; involves the surgeon utilizing a high-speed rotating brush to remove the top layer of skin. The size and depth of the scars, as well as the degree of wrinkling, determine the appropriate level of skin that will be surgically removed.

Dermaplaning – a plastic surgery technique used to treat deep acne scars with a hand-held instrument called a dermatome.

Dermatome – an instrument that resembles an electric razor and has an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly “skim” off the surface layers of skin surrounding the craters or other facial defects.

Debriding – The process of removing dead or devitalized tissue prior to reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.

Depilation – The removal of hair.

Dermalogen – A product derived from human donor tissue that is used in lip augmentation to produce a look of fuller lips.

Dermatitis – An inflammation of the skin caused by an allergic reaction or contact with an irritant. Typical symptoms of dermatitis include flushness and itching.

Dermatologist – A physician who specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of skin and skin-related problems.

Dermis – The middle layer of the skin; the dermis is a complex combination of blood vessels, hair follicles and sebaceous (oil) glands. Here, you’ll find collagen and elastin. The dermis is also where wrinkles occur.

Deviated septum – A condition in which the septum (the wall inside the nose that divides it into two sides) is not located in the middle of the nose where it should be. This condition is commonly treatable with surgery.


Ectropion – turning outward of an edge; generally refers to a rare condition of the eyelid in which the lining of the eyelid is exposed.

Endoscope – small, flexible tube with a light and a lens on the end used to look inside an organ or cavity such as the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon or rectum.

Endoscopy – procedure in which a lighted viewing instrument (endoscope) is used to look inside a body cavity or organ to diagnose or treat disorders.

Expander/implant breast reconstruction – the use of an expander to create a breast mound, followed by the placement with a permanently filled breast implant.

Eczema – A skin condition characterized by itchy, irritated and inflamed skin. It comes in many forms and can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies, environmental factors or family history. The raised, inflamed skin can appear anywhere on your body, including your face, legs, arms or neck.

Elastin – A protein found with collagen in the dermis that is responsible for giving structure to your skin and organs.

Electrolysis – A hair removal procedure in which chemicals or heat is used to destroy the hair follicle.

Ephelides – See freckles

Epidermis – The outer layer of the skin. It is also the thinnest layer, responsible for protecting you from the harsh environment. The epidermis is made up of five layers of its own – stratum germinativum, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum and stratum corneum.

Exfoliate – To remove the top layer of skin. Chemical peels and dermabrasion are examples of methods in which the skin is exfoliated.

Eye lift – See blepharoplasty

Embolism – Obstruction (blockage) of a blood vessel by foreign substances. This substance could be fat, an air bubble or any of a number of substances. Blood clots are the most common type of embolus.

Excision – The act of cutting away or taking out.


Facial implant – cosmetic plastic surgery to change the shape of the chin, cheek or jaw. This procedure is typically done to improve certain facial features, or to bring a certain aspect of the face into proportion with the rest of the facial structures.

Flap – A mass of partially detached tissue. A skin flap contains only skin. Flaps of hair-laden scalp can be used to treat baldness.

Flap surgery – one type of surgery that involves transporting healthy, live tissue from one location of the body to another – often to regions that have lost skin, fat, muscle movement and/or skeletal support. There are several different types of flap surgery techniques that may be utilized, depending upon the location of the flap and the structures that need to be repaired.

Fibrous Cysts – Fluid filled masses in the breast that 25-30% of women experience at one time in their lives. Some women develop more cysts than others which might affect the decision to get breast implants.

Forehead lift – the surgical removal of excess fat and skin, as well as a tightening of the muscles in the forehead area. It can correct sagging brows or deep furrows between the eyes. It is regularly performed in conjunction with a facelift in order to create a smoother facial appearance overall.

Face lift See rhytidectomy

Fascia – A type of connective tissue used in lip augmentation to produce fuller lips. This product is made from human donor tissue.

Freckle – A light or moderately brown spot that appears on the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. Freckles are most common in people with fair complexions.


Gynecomastia – a condition in which the male’s breast tissue enlarges. Gynecomastia literally means “woman breast.” This increase in tissue usually occurs at times when the male is having hormonal changes, such as during infancy, adolescence and old age.

Grafting – A procedure in which healthy skin and/or muscle is removed from one area of the body to another area damaged by disease or injury.

Graft – A full thickness graft, usually circular, for transplanting skin containing hair follicles to a bald area (such as a scalp).

Glandular – Relating to a gland or a part of the body that makes fluid. For example – a sweat glad, or salivary gland. Glands are the region of the breast that make milk.


Hematoma – A pocket of blood, or a clot, in the body. Following surgery, larger hematomas need to be removed since they can become infected.

Hemangioma – A type of birthmark characterized by concentrations of small blood vessels. They commonly referred to as strawberry marks and often disappear after a few months or years.

Hypodermis – The fatty layer of skin, home of sweat glands and fat and collagen cells. The hypodermis conserves your body’s heat and protects your vital inner organs.

Hyperpigmentation – A skin condition in which there is excessive pigmentation, often seen as dark spots on the skin such as café-au-lait spots.

Hypertrophic scar – A raised and red scar, similar to a keloid scar, but different in that it stays within the boundaries of the injury site.

Hypopigmentation – A skin condition in which there is a lack of pigmentation


Incision – A cut on the body.

Inpatient Surgery – A surgery in which the patient is required to stay overnight in a hospital.

Iridectomy – Excision of part of the iris.


Jejunectomy – Excision of part or all of the jejunum.

Jejunostomy -An artificial opening from the jejunum through the abdominal wall, created for the drainage of jejunal contents or for feeding.


Keloid scar – A type of scar that continues to grow beyond what is needed at the site of an injury. This type of scar is caused by too much collagen forming while the skin is being repaired. The tendency to develop keloid scars is genetic.

Keloids – More common in African-Americans, this is an expansion of the scar beyond normal boundaries from the wound site. Regularly found on the ears and on the chest.

Keratin – This dominant protein is your skin’s main material, as well as in hair and nails. Keratin is what gives your skin its rigidity.

Kojic acid – A skin treatment product derived from a fungus that studies have shown is effective as a lightening agent and in inhibiting the production of melanin.

Keratectomy –  Excision of part of the cornea.

Keratoplasty – Plastic surgery performed upon the cornea; specifically in a corneal transplantation.

Keratotomy – Incision of the cornea.


Lancet – A small surgical instrument, usually sharp-point and two-edged; used for making small incisions, opening abscesses, etc.

Liposuction – a procedure that removes excess fat through a suctioning process. Although liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, it is a way of changing the body’s shape and contour.

L-ascorbic acid – L-ascorbic acid is the only form of Vitamin C that the body or skin can use as far as topical treatments are concerned. It is the only antioxidant that has been proven to stimulate the synthesis of collagen.

Lentigines – See age spots

Lip augmentation – A procedure done to improve deflated, drooping or sagging lips, correct their symmetry or to reduce fine lines and wrinkles around them. This is often done through injections or implants.

Lipoplasty – See liposuction

Lipectomy – The surgical removal of fatty tissue.

Lesion – An injury or wound.

Lumpectomy – The surgical removal of a breast cyst or tumor.


Macrodactyly – an innate problem in which there is an abnormal growth of a finger.

Mastectomy – surgery to remove parts of or all of the breast.

Maxillofacial – pertaining to the jaws and face.

Macrodactyly – A condition that affects children in which the fingers or toes grow abnormally large.

Macular stain – A small birthmark that is often nothing more than a small, mild, red blemish on the skin.

Mammoplasty – Any reconstructive or cosmetic surgical procedure that alters the size or shape of the breast.

Mastopexy – Also called a breast lift; this procedure removes excess skin in order to lift up sagging or drooping breasts.

Melanocytes – A pigment producing cell found in the skin, hair and eyes that gives them their color.

Melanoma – The most hazardous form of skin cancer. Melanoma can spread rapidly and be fatal if not treated or detected.

Melasma – A condition in which pigmentation of the cheeks of the face darkens into tan or brown patches. This condition occurs in half of all women at some point in their pregnancy period.

Mentoplasty – Surgery of the chin, whereby its shape and/or size is altered.

Micropigmentation – A form of tattooing commonly used to apply permanent makeup by injecting iron oxide pigment into the middle layer of your skin (dermis).

Milk Ducts – Tubes that allow milk to run to the nipple.

Mondors Disease – A surface breast vein that has become clotted or inflamed.

Microsurgery – Any of various surgical procedures performed under magnification and with small specialized instruments; this allows for very delicate operations, as the reconnection of severed blood vessels and nerves.


Nasal – relating to the nose.

Neoplasm – A tumor

Nevus flammeus – See port-wine stain

Necrosis – Tissue death; can cause inflammation.


Otoplasty (Also called ear surgery) – a type of cosmetic surgery procedure used to set prominent ears closer to the head or reducing the size of larger ears.


Partial abdominoplasty – a “mini tummy tuck.” This procedure is perfect for individuals who have fat deposits limited to the area below the navel.

Pectoralis Major – A muscle located in the upper chest; it provides support for the breasts and is necessary for arm movements.

Pfeiffer syndrome – A birth defect characterized by abnormalities of the skull, hands and feet.

Pigment – Any organic coloring in blood or a derivative of it. Hemoglobin (a protein that contains iron) when combined with oxygen gives blood its crimson color.

Pigmentation – Coloration caused by deposits of pigment.

Plastic – Concerned with or pertaining to the remedying or restoring of malformed, injured, or lost parts – Example – a plastic operation.

Plastic surgery – the surgical specialty that deals with the reconstruction of facial and body tissue that requires a reshaping or remolding due to disease, a defect, or disorder – in order to approximate a normal appearance or to repair working ability.

Polydactyly – a congenital problem characterized by an increase in the number of fingers or toes.

Photoaging – The changes that occur to the skin due to exposure to the sun. This includes wrinkles and age spots.

Port-wine stain – A type of hemangioma characterized by a mark on the skin that resembles the rich red color of port wine. These stains are caused by an abnormal concentration of capillaries. This type of birthmark is also referred to as nevus flammeus.

Ptosis – The drooping of a body part, especially the eyelids or the breasts.


Reconstructive plastic surgery – type of plastic surgery that is performed on abnormal structures of the body that may be caused by trauma, infection, developmental abnormalities, congenital defects, disease and/or tumors. This type of surgical treatment is usually performed to improve function, but may also be performed to approximate a normal appearance.

Rhinoplasty – the surgical repair of a defect of the nose, including reshaping or resizing the nose. It may be performed to change the size of the nose, change the shape of the nose, narrow the nostrils and/or change the angle between the nose and lips. It can also involve the re-sculpting of the bone and cartilage.

Rhytidectomy (Also called facelift) – surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess facial fat, the tightening of facial muscles and the stretching of facial skin; the objective of this surgical procedure is to create a smoother, firmer appearance. It can be performed on either the face, neck or both.

Retinol – A derivative of Vitamin A commonly found in many skin care creams.

Rosacea – A skin disease of unknown causes that causes a collection of symptoms, including redness and puffiness on several areas of the face, on the cheeks and nose. Rosacea cannot be cured but treatment should be sought since the condition can worsen over time if not treated correctly or promptly.


Saline – A mixture of water and a little salt. Very similar to ocean water and can be safely absorbed by the body.

Saethe-Chotzen – A birth defect characterized by an unusually short or broad head. Additionally, the eyes may be spaced wide apart and have droopy eyelids; fingers may be abnormally short and webbed.

Scar – the body’s natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. A scar is usually composed of fibrous tissue. They may be formed for many different reasons, including as a result of infections, surgery, injuries or inflammation of tissue.

Scalpel – A small, light, usually straight knife used in surgical and anatomical operations and dissections.

Septoplasty – the surgical correction of defects and deformities of the nasal septum (the partition between the nostrils).

Sepsis   – Bacteria, or other small organisms, in the blood; can also be caused by the small substances produced by bacteria.

Set – To put (a broken or dislocated bone) back in position.

Skin Planing – See Dermabrasion.

Skin grafts – a skin graft may be used to cover skin that has been damaged and/or is missing. This surgical procedure implies the removal of healthy portions of skin from one part of the body to restore normal appearance and/or function to another portion of the same body. The location where the skin is removed is called the donor site. There are various types of skin grafts that may be utilized, depending upon the size and location of needed skin.

Syndactyly – a congenital problem characterized by a union of fingers or toes.

Salicylic acid – See beta hydroxy acid

Sallowness – A term used to describe a yellowish color of the skin.

Sebaceous glands – The glands of the skin that emit oil into the hair follicles.

Septoplasty – A surgical procedure done to improve the flow of air to your nose by repairing malformed cartilage and/or the bony portion. It is often performed along with a rhinoplasty.

Sclerotherapy – A medical procedure used to eliminate varicose veins and “spider veins.” During the treatment, an injection of a solution (generally sodium chloride) is placed directly into the vein.

Serum – clear,watery fluid

Spider vein – A widened vein that can be seen through the surface of the skin.

Strip – To remove (a vein) by pulling it inside out through a small incision, using a long, hooked instrument.

Stratum corneum – The outer most layer of the epidermis.

Subcutaneous – A term referring to below the skin.

Sun protection factor – Commonly seen on suntan ingredients as SPF; the sun protection factor is the amount of the protection a suntan product provides. The higher the SPF, the greater the protection.

Suture – The stitches used to hold tissue together or to close a wound.

Surgeon – A doctor who specializes in the treatment of disease, injury or other disorders by performing operations that involve cutting body tissue, such as the skin or other organs.

Subgaldular – An area underneath a gland. For Breast Augmentation surgery, this is an area under the breast tissue, but above the chest muscles.

Subpectoral – Under the pectoralis muscle. Also referred to as submuscular breast augmentation.


Tissue expansion – a surgical procedure that implies the insertion of a balloon-like device (called an expander) under the skin. The expander then slowly secretes liquid into the area to be repaired to actually stretch and expand the skin. This serves the function of “growing” extra skin to repair nearby lost or damaged skin.

Tissue  – A group or collection of similar cells that perform a particular function. For example, epithelial tissue which forms the skin and mucous membrane that line the respiratory system and other internal body areas.

Tretinoin – A prescription drug related to vitamin A used to treat acne and other skin disorders.

Thrombosis – The formation or development of a blood clot.

(TUBA)-Trans-Umbilical Breast Augmentation – A bellybutton incision with a faster recovery than some other approaches. This technique only allows sub-glandular placement of the implant and also needs additional incisions to treat serious complications.


Ulcer – An open sore or lesion of the skin or mucous membrane accompanied by sloughing of inflamed dead skin.

Ulceration – Creation of an ulcer.


Varicose veins – twisted, widened veins caused by swollen or enlarged blood vessels. The blood vessels enlarge due a weakening in the vein’s wall or valves.

Vaginoplasty – vagina rejuvenation, is a procedure that can usually correct the problem of stretched vaginal muscles resulting from childbirth(s) and is a direct means of enhancing one’s sexual life once again..

Vitiligo – A condition in which smooth white patches appear on the skin due to a loss of pigment producing cells.

Venous – Pertaining to the veins or blood passing through them.


Wadding – Any large dressing made of cotton or a similar absorbent material that is used to stanch the flow of blood or dress a wound.

Winter itch – A condition in which the skin becomes irritated due to a loss of moisture. Winter itch is called so due to the fact that it is common in the winter season when the air is drier.


Xenograft – A graft obtained from a member of one species and transplanted to a member of another species. Also called “heterograft.”

Xyster – A surgical instrument fro scraping bones.



Zooplasty – The transplantation of living tissue to the human body from an animal of another species.

Linda Bell

Linda Bell is in the fortunate position of being able to combine doing something she loves with spending a lot more time with those she loves. She and her family occupy an unassuming cottage in the midst of splendid chaos AKA ‘the garden’ in England. Somewhere in that garden lurks the family dog and a feline with a penchant for getting into trouble. Linda loves researching and writing about health and fitness, something that is dear to her heart after some years spent working in a fitness center overseas.

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Linda Bell

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