Glossary

Abdominoplasty (informally known as tummy tuck):

Surgical removal of excess fatty tissue and skin from the abdomen.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma:

A rare cancer involving cells of the immune system.

Anchor lift (also known as Inverted-T or Wise Pattern Lift):

A type of incision for a breast lift known for its nautical anchor shape. (see also breast lift)

Areola:

Darkened, pigmented area around the nipple.

Asymmetry:

Disproportion between two normally similar parts.

Authentic:

Not false or copied; genuine, real.

Autoimmune disease:

The body’s immune system begins to attack and damage a part of the body as if it were foreign.

Autologous Fat Transfer:

Transfer of fat from one location to another using the patient’s own fatty deposits.

Axillary:

Of or pertaining to the armpit.

Baseball boobs (see also capsular contracture):

A slang term for the external appearance of breasts with implants due to severe formation of scar tissue. Breasts appear hard and round.

Benelli Lift (also called Donut Lift):

A type of incision for a breast lift that removes a donut-shaped piece of tissue from around the areola.

Benign:

Not cancerous or malignant.

Biotoxins:

Microbes or living organisms in the body that produce poisons.

Body dysmorphic disorder:

Belief that one’s own appearance is unusually defective and worthy of being hidden or fixed.

“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.”
– Audrey Hepburn

Body image resilience:

Positive factors that promote body image satisfaction i.e. family social support, rejection of sociocultural pressures, and wellness.

Bottoming out:

Sinking of a breast implant down the chest wall usually due to gravity or an overly dissected pocket. (see pocket)

Breast augmentation: (also known as augmentation mammoplasty):

Breast enlargement by surgery.

Breast crease (also known as inframammary fold):

Natural boundary of the breast from below, where the breast meets the lower chest wall.

Breast dysmorphic disorder:

A distorted perception of the appearance of one’s breasts; they may see themselves as having no breast tissue when in actuality there is ample tissue present. (see also body dysmorphic disorder)

Breast implant (also known as prosthesis):

A medical device inserted into the body to increase breast size or restore the shape of a breast after surgical removal. The device is filled with silicone gel (a synthetic material) or sterile saltwater (saline).

Breast lift (also known as mastopexy and breast lift surgery):

Surgery to lift a sagging breast.

Breast mound:

Medical term for the part of the breast that women seek most to enlarge or augment; the portion of breast reconstructed after loss of tissue from cancer.

Breast reconstruction:

Surgery to restore a partially or completely removed breast. A breast implant, the patient’s own tissue, or both, may be used. The nipple and areola can also be re-created.

Breast reduction (also known as reduction mammaplasty):

Surgical removal of breast tissue to reduce the size of breasts.

Calcification:

Development of tiny calcium deposits in the breast; can by a concern of a cancerous growth or a benign side effect to fat grafting.

Capsular contracture:

Hardening of the scar tissue, or capsule, that forms around a breast implant.

Capsule (also known as fibrous capsule):

Scar tissue that forms around an implant as the body reacts to the foreign object.

Capsulectomy:

Surgical removal of scar tissue or capsule that’s developed around an implant.

“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart.”
– Anonymous

Capsulotomy:

Open: Surgical incision or scoring into a capsule to release its constriction around the breast implant.

Closed: Manual compression of the breast to “pop” the scar tissue open; no longer recommended as it may also rupture the implant.

Compression device:

A stocking fitted on a patient’s lower leg during surgery; inflates and deflates to help keep blood from pooling in the vessels.

Connective tissue:

A material made up of fibers forming a framework and structural support for body tissues and organs.

Conscious sedation:

A combination of medicines to help patient relax and to block pain during a medical procedure. Patient is awake but may not be able to speak.

Consciousness:

Awareness of something for what it is; internal knowledge.

Deflation:

A leak in the shell of a saline-filled implant.

DIEP flap technique:

A method of breast reconstruction requiring microsurgery where a Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator flap is detached from the abdomen and used to recreate a breast mound; abdominal muscle is left in tact; result is also a tummy tuck.

Dimpling:

A pucker or indentation of the skin that might be a sign of breast cancer.

A permanent result that may occur at the donor site of fat grafting.

Donor site:

Area of the body from which tissue is taken or harvested.

Dysmorphic:

Malformed; pertaining to an abnormality in the shape or size of a body part.

-ectomy:

excision, surgical removal.

Ego:

Commonly used to express one’s inflated importance of self; measured by transcient factors such as physical appearance, possessions, and social status.

En bloc:

Method of breast explantation; breast implant and capsule are removed as one unit; purpose is to avoid further release or spilling of contaminates into the body.

Epidemic:

Extremely widespread, prevalent.

“There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.”
– Maria Mitchell

Explantation:

Surgical removal of breast implants.

Fat Grafting (also known as Autologous Fat Transfer):

Removal of fat from a patient’s abdomen or thighs and transferred to the breasts.

Fat necrosis:

Death of fat cells through injury or disease.

Flap procedures (also known as tissue flap procedures):

Used in breast reconstruction where a section of a patient’s own skin, fat, and/or muscle is used to rebuild their breast.

Fluffing:

Informal term referring to post-operative results of specific breast surgeries.

a. After implant removal, less constricted or compressed breast tissue “fluffs up,” similar to a sponge in water; an occurrence reported by patients themselves and not the surgeon.

b. After breast augmentation, breast tissue and muscle eventually relax; upper fullness decreases and lower fullness increases.

Girls:

Slang for female breasts.

Harvest:

To remove tissue from a donor site for implantation to another part of the body.

Hematoma:

Blood or tissue fluid that collects around an implant, causing pain, infection, or other complications; repeat operation may be necessary to correct the problem.

Holistic:

A practice of medicine that focuses on the whole patient, and addresses the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of a patient as well as their physical treatment.

Hypoplasia:

Underdevelopment of a tissue or organ.

Illusion:

Something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.

Incision:

Cut made during surgery.

Infra-:

Inferior to, below, or beneath.

Inframammary fold (see breast crease).

“A happy woman is a beautiful woman.”
– Anonymous

Invasive:

Involving puncture of the skin or insertion of an instrument or foreign material into the body.

Keloid (also known as keloidal scar):

An overgrowth of tissue in a scar at the site of surgical incision. The tissue is elevated, rounded, and firm.

Latissimus dorsi flap technique:

Method of breast reconstruction in which a muscle of the back and attached skin is tunneled into the breast area.

Liposuction (also known as lipoplasty or suction lipectomy):

Vacuuming or suctioning of fat deposits from beneath the skin to reduce fullness.

Local anesthesia:

A drug injected directly to the site of operation to relieve pain.

Lollipop Lift (also known as Vertical or LeJour Mastopexy):

A type of incision for a breast lift known for its lollipop shape; requires two incisions, one goes around the areola and the other down the lower midline of the breast; a compromise between the anchor and Benelli lifts.

Lumpectomy:

Surgery to remove a breast lump plus a margin of normal tissue.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):

A method of taking detailed pictures of the inside of the body using a powerful magnet to send radio waves through the body; used to detect ruptures in women with silicone–filled breast.

Mammography:

X-ray image of the breast in screening for breast cancer; may rupture a breast implant that has deteriorated or aged.

Mammary:

Pertaining or referring to the breast.

Mastectomy:

The surgical removal of a breast for treatment or prevention of breast cancer.

Mastopexy (see breast lift)

Microsurgeon:

A specialist who can perform microsurgery that involves dissection and manipulation of minute tissue structures under a microscope.

Mindfulness:

Maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.

“Be your own kind of beautiful.”
– Anonymous

Mommy Makeover:

A marketing term used for multiple cosmetic procedures performed in one operation that mothers seek after pregnancy; variations of these procedures include breast augmentation, lift, or reduction with a tummy tuck.

Myth:

A traditional but unfounded story that gives rise to a current custom or belief.

Necrosis (see fat necrosis).

Noninvasive:

Does not require puncture of the skin or entry into the body.

Objectify:

To present as an object.

Objective:

A sign of a medical condition that can be seen, heard, or felt; easily observed and measurable.

Obsession:

The domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, and desire.

Open Capsulotomy (see capsulotomy).

Overs:

Slang term for breast implants placed over the pectoral muscle.

Pandemic:

A widespread epidemic that affects whole countries or the entire world.

Pectoralis muscles:

Pectoralis minor: smaller triangular muscle of the upper chest wall.

Pectoralis major: a large fanlike muscle that covers the front of the chest wall and upper arms.

Perfection:

The highest degree of a quality.

Peri-:

Encircling or around.

Periareolar incision:

A surgical cut around the natural border of the areola. (see also incision)

“The human body is the best work of art.”
– Jess C. Scott

Plastic:

Tending to build up tissues or restore a body part.

-plasty:

Word suffix, molding or forming surgically.

Pocket:

Space in the chest wall surgically created for a breast implant.

Positive body image:

Ability to appreciate one’s own natural body shape and understands that physical appearance says very little about character and value as a person.

Prothesis (see breast implant).

Psychoemotional:

Describing any psychological interaction with emotions.

Ptosis:

Sagging or drooping of the breasts.

“Is she kind as she is fair? For beauty lives with kindness.”
– Shakespeare

Quality of life:

A person’s general sense of wellbeing and ability to do what matters most.

Reconstruction (see breast reconstruction).

Recipient site:

Area of the body into which fat is injected or transferred.

Revolution:

A marked change in something; a radical and pervasive change in society.

Rupture:

A tear or hole in the outer shell of the breast implant.

Saline:

Salt water

Self-esteem:

A person’s overall emotional evaluation of their own worth.

Seroma:

A mass or swelling caused by the localized accumulation of serum within a breast after augmentation.

Serum:

The clear yellowish fluid separated from the solid components of blood.

Sexualization:

A person’s value comes only from her/his sexual appeal or behavior to the exclusion of other characteristics; a person is sexually objectified for another’s sexual use.

Silent Ruptures:

A tear in a silicone gel-filled implant causing silicone leakage that is not usually detected except through Magnetic Resonance Imaging.

Silicone:

A gel used in breast implants; it can be hardened into a rubber-like state using a platinum-based cure system to form the shell of both saline and silicone implants.

Siliconosis (also known as silicone immune disease):

A proposed autoimmune condition allegedly linked to leakage of silicone out of the shell or implant; silicone migrates throughout the body, causing a systemic reaction.

Stem cell:

An unspecialized cell that has the potential to develop into specialized cells or divide to produce other stem cells.

“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful.”
– Sophia Loren

Subglandular implants:

Breast implants placed directly behind the natural breast tissue and in front of the pectoral muscle.

Subjective:

Referring to a symptom or condition perceived only by the affected person and not perceived by the examiner or anyone else.

Submuscular implants:

Breast implants placed under the chest or pectoral muscle.

Symmastia (also known as bread-loafing or uniboob):

Occurs when two implants touch one another in the center of the chest.

Symptom:

A change in the body caused by an illness or condition as described by the person experiencing it.

Systemic:

Affecting the entire body, rather than a single organ or body part.

Tattoo:

Specialized artwork in the recreation of an areola in breast reconstruction.

Tissue:

A collection of cells in the body that work together to perform a particular function.

Tissue Expander:

An inflatable device inserted into a tight breast pocket to help create additional skin; this surgery is eventually followed by breast augmentation with implants.

Transaxillary incision:

An incision made in the underarm area.

Transcient:

Not lasting, enduring, or permanent; passing with time.

Transumbilical or Umbilical Breast Augmentation (TUBA):

Breast implants are inserted through an incision at the belly button (navel) rather than the chest or armpit.

Tubular or Tuberous Breast:

Developmental of breast shape and growth in which the breast tissue is extra dense and assumes a constricted shape.

Unders:

Slang term for breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle.

War:

A prolonged conflict; an absence of war is usually called peace.

Wholeness:

An undivided or unbroken completeness with nothing wanting.