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)


Darkened, pigmented area around the nipple.


Disproportion between two normally similar parts.


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.


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.


Not cancerous or malignant.


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.


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.


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

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


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.


Awareness of something for what it is; internal knowledge.


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.


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.


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


excision, surgical removal.


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.


Extremely widespread, prevalent.

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


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.


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.


Slang for female breasts.


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


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


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.


Underdevelopment of a tissue or organ.


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


Cut made during surgery.


Inferior to, below, or beneath.

Inframammary fold (see breast crease).

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


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.


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.


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


Pertaining or referring to the breast.


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

Mastopexy (see breast lift)


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


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.


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

Necrosis (see fat necrosis).


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


To present as an object.


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


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

Open Capsulotomy (see capsulotomy).


Slang term for breast implants placed over the pectoral muscle.


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.


The highest degree of a quality.


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


Tending to build up tissues or restore a body part.


Word suffix, molding or forming surgically.


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).


Describing any psychological interaction with emotions.


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.


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


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


Salt water


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


Slang term for breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle.


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


An undivided or unbroken completeness with nothing wanting.