PLASTIC SURGERY GLOSSARY

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3D

3D Imaging

3D Printed Models

Created using 3D imaging or a patient FST scan to reproduce a soft tissue model. Using this information creates an accurate model of the soft tissue that ensures doctors know the existence, locations, and changing behaviors of soft tissue.

A

Abdominoplasty

Often referred to as a “tummy tuck” or body contouring, removes excess fat and skin in the abdomen. During an abdominoplasty, patients may also require repair of weakened abdominal muscles that sometimes results from pregnancy. A tummy tuck can be done in conjunction with liposuction if removal of additional fat from the upper abdomen or “love handles” is also desired. The resulting scar is very low on the abdomen, usually able to be concealed by panties or a bathing suit bottom. Its length is dependent on the amount of tissue that needs to be removed. Some patients are good candidates for a “mini” abdominoplasty, in which a relatively small incision is placed at a similar location as a c-section scar in order to remove excess fat and skin in the area below the belly-button.

B

Baseline

What a patient’s face or features presently look like today. This is often used to create a simulation of an anticipated outcome. A baseline model or scan is also used as the “before” when considering a patient’s “before and after” during consultation.

Bioprinting

Combines 3D printing technology and techniques with biomaterials (cells, growth factors) to manufacture biomedical parts that can be customized to a specific patient or imitate specific tissues of the human body.

 

Blepharoplasty

A type of eyelid surgery that involves removal of excess skin or fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids. The goal of blepharoplasty is to correct an aged or tired appearance, which can manifest as “bags under the eyes,” a fold of skin on the upper eyelid, or fine lines/wrinkles around the eyes. For the upper eyelid, the scars are camouflaged in the natural crease, making them virtually unnoticeable. For the lower eyelid, fat can be removed without any skin incisions. A lower eyelid blepharoplasty may involve removing excess skin from just below the eyelashes, without touching the muscle (orbicularis), which is important for the eye to close. 


Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Board certified doctors graduate from an accredited medical school and complete at least 5 years of additional training as a resident surgeon in a program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. The residency training must cover all areas of surgery, including at least 3 years devoted entirely to plastic surgery. Verifying certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery is a way for you, the patient, to confirm that the surgeon has met the training requirements and passed examinations covering all plastic surgery procedures.


Botox

Botox and Dysport are two non-surgical treatments used to correct fine lines and wrinkling which can contribute to an aged appearance. These are often noticed around the eyes (“crows feet”) and mouth, or in the forehead or neck. Both are injectable medications which temporarily paralyze the treated muscles causing them to relax, relieving the wrinkles. Sometimes the best results are achieved when Botox or Dysport is used in conjunction with another filler. The skin is numbed prior to injection to decrease discomfort. In addition to rejuvenating the face, fillers can be used for treatment of migraine headaches and excessive sweating.

Brachioplasty

An arm lift or brachioplasty restores the youthful appearance to the upper arm which can lose its shape from aging or changes in weight. Both extra skin and the deposit of fatty tissue can contribute to a sagging appearance of the arm. The goal of this procedure is to improve the contour of the upper arm by removing this excess tissue. With your doctor, you can decide whether you would benefit from having liposuction in conjunction with an arm lift for more dramatic results. Removal of any excess fat will allow for better draping of the skin over the arms and improved definition.

Brazilian Butt Lift

The brazilian buttock lift (“BBL”) is a type of buttock augmentation which enhances the size and curvature of the buttocks. This is achieved by taking a patient’s own fat from unwanted areas (belly, thighs, hips), and transferring this fat to the upper and outer portions of the buttock. The range of fat injected into each buttock varies depending on aesthetic goals and the amount of donor fat a patient has. In general, somewhere between 500-1000 mL of fat is used to augment each side.

Breast Augmentation

The process of increasing the size, shape, or fullness of the breast by placing a silicone or saline implant. Breast augmentation is one of the most popular procedures performed around the world. Although most often performed in younger women, older patients may also benefit from breast implants by helping to fill excess skin and improve the appearance of breasts that have begun to sag due to age, pregnancy, or weight gain. This sometimes will be done in conjunction with a breast lift procedure (mastopexy) described below. Incisions used for placement of an implant are most commonly under the breast or around the areola. Implants are typically placed underneath the chest (pectoralis) muscles in order to prevent them from moving and to achieve a more natural appearance. Breast augmentation is typically performed on an outpatient basis in one hour.

Breast Lift

A breast lift or mastopexy is achieved by lifting the breast and nipple to their proper position on the chest as well as removing excess skin that causes the breast to sag. Aging, pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss are common reasons that lead to skin stretching and a sagging appearance. In most cases, breast tissue is not removed, which creates a more youthful breast appearance without altering the volume of the breast itself. Depending on the amount of skin required to remove to achieve the optimal result, two different incision patterns are possible.


Breast Reconstruction

A procedure that uses many plastic surgery techniques to ultimately restore breast to normal size, shape, and appearance. Typically done after a mastectomy (a breast removal procedure). 

Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is a common surgery requested by women to improve the overall appearance of the breast and help relieve back, neck, and shoulder pain. During your consultation, your doctor will discuss your goals for surgery with you when determining the amount of breast tissue to remove. Typically, incisions will be made around the nipple, with a vertical line from the nipple to the crease of the breast – this is known as a ‘short-scar’ breast reduction technique. For patients with excessively large breasts, an additional incision may be required underneath the breast that is hidden in the natural crease of the breast (“anchor-scar”).

Brow Lift

A brow or forehead lift is a surgical procedure that corrects sagging or low-positioned brows. Bothersome creases can develop in the forehead and between or around the eyes as a result of gravity and aging. During a brow lift, the excess skin of the forehead is removed and redraped, restoring a smooth, youthful appearance. Repair of the muscles above the eyebrows is sometimes required as well. The removal of this excess skin will return the eyebrows to their proper position on the forehead, elevating sagging upper eyelid skin in the process. Eyelids will have some degree of improvement with just a brow lift, but it is often necessary to also do eyelid surgery for best results. 

C

Cleft Palate

A cleft, or separation, of the lip and/or palate (roof of mouth) is the most common congenital facial malformation, occurring in approximately 1.5 in 1000 births. In additional to disfigurement, children also have difficulty feeding, breathing, speaking, hearing, and often have dental abnormalities. The size of a cleft can vary widely and can affect one or both sides of the lip or palate. The clefts are repaired by rearranging the tissue in the lip and palate and suturing it into place, correcting the separation. The recommended age for cleft lip repair is 3 months of age, while the palate is repaired between 9 and 12 months. These repairs are done at a young age to assure optimal functional and aesthetic results. Revisions may be required at an older age. This procedure is performed at a children’s hospital with highly trained pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and pediatric nurses. A child usually remains in the hospital for 2-4 days for monitoring.

Cosmetic Surgery

A category within the plastic surgery field. An optional or elective procedure that is performed on the body for the sole reason to enhance appearance or to counteract visible signs of aging by reshaping the body. Cosmetic surgery procedures include, but are not limited to: face lift, blepharoplasty, rhinoplasty, and brow lift.

 D

Deviated Septum

A congenital deformity that occurs when the nasal septum, the wall dividing the nose, is sharply off center. This can lead to severe nasal obstruction and breathing complications. Breathing problems are also more severe on one side of the nose, usually the larger half. The deformity can also lead to chronic sinus infections and complications, among other symptoms. The most common treatment for a deviated septum is rhinoplasty. The procedure realigns the septum so that breathing can occur normally. 

F

FST Scan

A 3D scan, FST stands for facial soft tissue and is pronounced like the word “fast.” The scan is usually quite fast, especially compared to other scanning technologies that capture the human body; the scan takes only a couple of minutes, whereas a CT scan takes 15 to 30 minutes and an MRI takes 10 mins to over an hour. This scan can be taken on the MirrorMe App, or your plastic surgeon can take a 3D scan with a stereophotogrammetric camera or 3D laser scan.

Face Lift

A facelift or rhytidectomy is a procedure that aims to correct facial changes that occur secondary to the normal aging process, thus correcting the creases beside the mouth (nasolabial fold), the jawline (jowls), and folds/excess in the neck. Using an inconspicuous scar placed in the natural folds of the ear and scalp, patients can achieve a fresh, youthful look. To help achieve long lasting results, doctors often adjusts both the loose overlying skin as well as the underlying muscle layer (SMAS) in order to restore a well-defined jaw-line. Facelifts are typically performed on an outpatient basis.


Facial Aging

As humans age, a number of changes occur to our skin that are consistent with the aging process. Although this occurs in all of us, there are a number of factors that can accelerate the process, including smoking, sun damage, and environmental factors. Common signs of aging are skin wrinkles, sagging, and loss of facial volume. 


Facial Transplant

Face transplantation is a form of composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA), whereby a construct of various tissue types including skin, muscle, nerves, bone and blood vessels, from another human being are transplanted to a recipient. Two areas of CTA that are under active investigation include hand transplantation and face transplantation in patients with amputated hands or severe facial deformities, respectively. At present, patients undergoing face or hand CTA require life-long immunosuppression to prevent rejection of the transplanted composite tissue. 

Facial Rejuvenation

A cosmetic procedure done surgically or non-surgically to return a youthful appearance to the face. The invasiveness and desired outcomes of the treatment can vary. Rejuvenation can address concerns like wrinkles, scars, and elasticity. Surgical methods of rejuvenation may involve a face lift, blepharoplasty, or brow lift, while nonsurgical rejuvenation methods include peels, lasers, and fillers. 

Fat Transfer

As we age, our faces tend to lose fat, which helps creates a full, youthful appearance and prevent the development of lines and wrinkles. The transfer of small amounts of fat from one area of the body (such as the stomach or buttock) to the face, is a long lasting alternative to injections which are popular alternative options for treating this problem. This procedure, called autologous fat transfer, can be used to correct areas around the nose, eyes, mouth, and chin, as well as into the lips for a fuller appearance. In addition to lasting effects, the risk of sensitivity to the injected materials is avoided because it is the patient’s own tissue.

Fillers 

Fillers are naturally derived substances which are injected into the face to correct wrinkles, lines, or other depressions in the skin that form when natural volume is lost. The skin is numbed prior to injection to decrease discomfort. In addition to rejuvenating the face, fillers can be used for treatment of migraine headaches and excessive sweating.

G

Genioplasty

Chin shaping surgery or genioplasty can improve the appearance of either a receding or overly protruding chin which results in a less aesthetic facial profile. This surgery aims to improve contrast and definition to one’s face and better complement other facial features. A receding chin can be enhanced by placing a permanent implant (alloplastic genioplasty) or by adjusting the underlying bone that is already present (osseous genioplasty).

L

Lip Augmentation

A procedure done to improve the appearance of the lips. The procedure can modify the shape, structure, and volume of the lips. Lip augmentation can be done either surgically or nonsurgically through the use of fillers. 

Liposuction

The removal of excess fat that can accumulate in many areas of the body. The most common areas treated include the abdomen, thighs, buttocks, neck, and back of the arms. Removal of excess fat allows for improved proportions of the body and can re-contour one’s silhouette, giving a slimmer overall appearance. This procedure is ideal for patients who feel they have areas that are stubborn to fat loss despite a healthy diet and exercise program. There are multiple techniques for performing liposuction but they all aim to break up the layers of fatty tissue and remove it with small instruments called cannulas. The cannulas are inserted through very small incisions placed in hidden areas. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with operative time varying greatly depending on the number of areas treated and the amount of fat removed.

M

Mammoplasty

The group of surgical procedures that modify the appearance of the breast. Types of mammoplasty include: breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction.

Morph

See simulation.

N

Neck Lift 

A neck lift uses similar techniques as a face lift to improve the appearance of an aging neck, which typically includes a sagging appearance of the skin and bands in the neck. Certain individuals are also genetically predisposed to having fatty deposits under the chin. A surgeon will examine both the skin and the underlying muscle to determine what is necessary to restore a youthful looking neck. Surgical correction of these signs of aging may include repair or tightening of the neck muscle (platysma) and removal and mobilization of excess skin and fat. Liposuction of the chin and neck may also be necessary to improve contour. The required incisions vary based on individual needs, but are hidden under the chin and possibly just in front of or behind the ear.

O

Otoplasty

Ear reshaping surgery, or otoplasty, aims to correct an abnormal size, shape, or projection of the ear. The abnormality can be naturally occurring or due to injury. Natural occurring abnormalities can be due to improper development of the curvature of the upper ear (the superior crus of the antihelix) or the cupped portion (the concha) of the ear. This surgery can be performed in children (5-6 years old) if correction is desired prior to schooling, or can be addressed later on in life as an adult.

P

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery comes from the Greek word “plastikos” meaning to mold or reshape. This surgical specialty involves the restoration, reconstruction, or alteration of the human body either for aesthetic or reparative purposes. It can be further divided into two more areas: cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

R

Reconstructive Surgery

A category within the plastic surgery field where surgery is used to repair, reconstruct, restore, or return normal function to the body due to congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma, infection, tumors or disease. Reconstructive surgery procedures examples include, but are not limited to: breast reconstruction, cleft palate surgery, and periorbital surgery. 

Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty, or “nose job,” is one of the most common procedures performed in the United States. Depending on the desires and needs of the patient, this procedure may aim to reduce a hump, narrow the nasal width, reshape the tip of the nose, or change the angle between the tip of the nose and the mouth. Breathing problems, often due to a deviated septum or abnormal anatomy of the nose, can also be addressed during surgery. A rhinoplasty may involve incisions inside the nose only (closed rhinoplasty), or require a small incision underneath the nose (open rhinoplasty). Your doctor may offer either a closed or open rhinoplasty, depending on the specific requirements of the patient. Rhinoplasty is typically performed on an outpatient basis in one to two hours.

S

Secondary Rhinoplasty

Secondary rhinoplasty refers to performing a rhinoplasty on someone who has already undergone a previous rhinoplasty procedure. 


Simulation

Also known as a “morph,” simulation using 3D imaging and FST scans is an extremely valuable tool for patients and surgeons during a consultation. Simulation is useful for seeing the anticipated end result of a procedure. This technology can help the patient understand his or her underlying functional anatomy. A simulation can also help ensure that the surgeon’s treatment goals are tailored to the patient and that both the surgeon’s and patient’s expectations and goals are aligned. 

Soft Tissue

Soft tissue is made up of connective tissue: tendons, ligaments, fascia, skin, fibrous tissues, fat, and synovial membranes and non-connective tissue: muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Soft tissue connects, supports, and surrounds structures and organs in the body. 


Supratip

The nasal region where the front of the nose (inferior region of the nasal dorsum) meets the tip of the nose. This is often a focus for patients considering rhinoplasty, or nose job.

T

Tummy Tuck

Also referred to as an abdominoplasty, this procedure removes excess fat and skin in the abdomen.