Glossary

Ahh! So that’s what something-or-other-oplasty means!

Select a letter from the A-Z index below to see the glossary items beginning with that letter.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

A

Abdominoplasty

A surgical procedure to firm the abdominal area by removing excess fat and skin and tightening the abdominal wall. Also referred to as a tummy tuck. See the procedure article on abdominoplasty for more information.

Adhesions

Fibrous bands that may form between organs and tissue during the healing process.

Anaesthesia

Loss of bodily sensation with or without loss of consciousness achieved with the use of drugs. Some surgical procedures can be done under local anaesthesia, where the area affected by the procedure is without sensation and the patient is conscious. Under general anaesthesia the patient loses consciousness for the duration of the procedure.

Areola Reduction

A surgical procedure that reduces the size of the dark pigmented skin around the nipple. See areola reduction surgery for more information.

Arm Lift

A surgical procedure that reduces excess skin and fat from the underarm area. Also referred to as brachioplasty. See arm lift surgery for more information.

Autologous Fat Implants

A procedure in which an individual’s own body fat is used to plump up sunken or emaciated areas of the face or body. “Autologous” simply means using one’s own fat.

B

Belly Button Rejuvenation

A cosmetic surgical procedure that changes the size, shape or position of the belly button to improve the aesthetics of the abdomen. The procedure is also known as belly button reshaping and umbilicoplasty.

Belly Button Reshaping

A cosmetic surgical procedure that changes the size, shape or position of the belly button to improve the aesthetics of the abdomen. The procedure is also known as belly button rejuvenation and umbilicoplasty.

Blepharoplasty

A surgical procedure that removes fat and excess skin from the upper and lower eyelids. Also referred to as eyelid surgery. See our article on eyelid surgery for more information.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)

A condition in which a person feels such an excessive concern over their appearance that it interferes with daily life.

Brachioplasty

A surgical procedure that reduces excess skin and fat from the underarm area. Also known as an arm lift. See the procedure article on arm lift surgery for more information.

Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty

A surgical procedure that increases the size of the breasts by inserting breast implants. See the procedure article on breast augmentation for more information.

Breast Implants

Prostheses made of either a fluid (saline) or a gel-like material (silicone) that is placed under or over the pectoral muscle during a breast augmentation. Implants come in various shapes, sizes and textures. See breast augmentation for more information. Also see saline implants and silicone implants.

Breast Lift

Sometimes combined with breast augmentation, a breast lift is a surgical procedure to lift sagging breasts. Also referred to as mastopexy. See our breast lift article for more information.

Breast Reconstruction

A series of surgical procedures aiming to rebuild a naturally contoured breast after breast removalsurgery. It is also an option for women with breast abnormalities or who have suffered trauma to the breasts. For more information see our article on breast reconstruction surgery.

Breast Reduction

Also known as reduction mammoplasty. A surgical procedure to reduce breast size and to relieve the discomfort of having unusually large breasts.  See our article on breast reduction for more information.

Breast Removal

A surgical procedure, which involves the removal of one or both breasts, either fully or partially. Also referred to as mastectomy.

Breast Tissue Expander

An inflatable breast implant that is designed to stretch the skin and muscle to make room for a more permanent implant at a future date. See our article on Tissue Expanders for Breast Reconstruction for more information.

Brow Lift

A surgical procedure that minimises wrinkles by lifting the muscles and tissue of the area above the eyebrows. See the procedure article on brow lifts for more information.

Buccal Fat Reduction

A surgical procedure that reshapes the cheeks through the removal of fat. Also referred to as cheek reduction. See our article on cheek reduction for more information.

Buttock Augmentation

A surgical procedure used to enhance the buttock area by enlarging, lifting and shaping the buttocks. See our article on buttock augmentation for more information.

C

Cannula

A thin hollow tube inserted through an incision in order to loosen fat during liposuction.

Capsular contracture

Formation of excessive levels of scar tissue around the breast implant, which can result in making the implant change shape, become distorted and firm. This can cause a lot of pain.

Cartilage

A tough, elastic, fibrous connective tissue found in various parts of the body, such as the joints, outer ear, and larynx.

Cellulite

A fatty deposit causing a dimpled or uneven appearance. Usually appears around the thighs and buttocks.

Cheek Augmentation

A surgical or non-surgical procedure that reshapes the cheek area through the placement of a gel-like liquid or implant. See our article on cheek augmentation for more information.

Cheek Reduction

Cheekbone reduction is a surgical procedure where bone is removed from the face. Cheek reduction, also known as buccal fat reduction, is a surgical procedure where fat is removed from the cheeks. See our article on cheek reduction.

Chin Augmentation

A surgical procedure where implants are inserted under the skin to increase the size of the chin. Also known as mentoplasty. See our article on chin surgery for more information.

Compression Garment

A tight fitting garment designed to reduce swelling and bruising after surgery. Depending on the body part involved, the compression garment could be a girdle, body suit, bra, vest, facemask, sock or tights.

Cosmetic Surgery

People have cosmetic surgery to improve the way they look, based on their own ideals of beauty.

D

Dermal Fillers

A thick gel like substance injected under the skin with a syringe to increase volume to an area of the face.

Dissolvable Suture

A stitch or series of stitches that close the edges of a surgical wound and later dissolve into the skin. See also: suture.

Dyspareunia

Pain in the vaginal area during sexual intercourse.

E

Ear Correction Surgery

A surgical procedure to correct ears that stick out from the head or deformities of the external ear. Also referred to as otoplasty. See our article on ear surgery for more information.

Excess Skin Removal

See panniculectomy.

Eyelid Surgery

A procedure that removes fat and excess skin from the upper and/or lower eyes. Also referred to as blepharoplasty. See our article on eyelid surgery for more information.

F

Facelift

A cosmetic surgical procedure that rejuvenates the appearance of the face by removing visible signs of aging through excess fat removal, tightening of the face muscles and re-draping of the skin on face and neck. See the article on facelift surgery for more information.

Fat Transfer

A surgical procedure, using fat, harvested from another part of the body to a part that needs enhancement, such as the breasts or buttocks. Fat is usually taken from the abdomen, thighs, lower back and hips. Fat is removed through liposuction, purified and reinserted into the new area. Also referred to as fat graft.

Female Genital Surgery

A surgical procedure performed on external parts of the female genitalia. Also referred to as labiaplasty. See our article on female genital surgery for more information.

Forehead Lift

See brow lift.

G

Gluteal Augmentation

See buttock augmentation.

Gynaecomastia

A medical term used for the condition in men having enlarged breasts due to breast tissue (not just fat); colloquially referred to as ‘man boobs’. Gynaecomastia is treated with male breast reduction surgery. See our article on male breast reduction for more information.

H

Hematoma

Abnormal pooling of blood beneath the skin due to a break in the wall of a blood vessel.

Hymenoplasty

A cosmetic surgical procedure that restores the female hymen. Also referred to as hymen repair, hymen reconstruction, hymen surgery or revirgination.

I

J

K

L

Labia Majora

Outer lips of the vagina.

Labia Minora

Inner lips of the vagina.

Labiaplasty

See female genital surgery.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal is a non-surgical, non-invasive cosmetic procedure that helps reduce undesirable hair growth from most parts of the body.

Lip Augmentation

A non-surgical procedure where dermal filler is injected into the lips. Also referred to as lip enhancement.

Lip Lift

A surgical procedure that reshapes the lips, making the pink area, known as the vermilion border, more prominent. See our article on lip lift surgery for more information.

Liposculpture

See liposuction.

Liposuction

Liposuction, sometimes called liposculpture, is the removal of fat from a layer below the skin. It can be performed on almost any part of the body. See our article on liposuction for more information.

M

Male Breast Reduction

A procedure to treat and correct enlarged breasts in men—a condition medically referred to as gynaecomastia, colloquially known as ‘man boobs’. See our article on male breast reduction for more information.

Mammoplasty

See breast augmentation.

Man Boobs

See gynaecomastia.

Mastectomy

See breast removal.

Mastopexy

See breast lift.

Mentoplasty

See chin augmentation.

N

Neck Lift

A surgical procedure that reduces excess skin and fatty tissue and lifts saggy skin on the neck, giving definition to the jaw line. Also referred to as platysmaplasty. See our article on neck lift surgery for more information.

Nose Job

See nose surgery.

Nose Surgery

A surgical procedure that reshapes the nose by changing the size, width of the bridge, position of the nostrils and tip of the nose to create a more pleasing profile. Also referred to as rhinoplasty; and colloquially as a nose job. See our article on nose surgery for more information.

Numbness

Stiffness and numbness of the skin, or paraesthesia. Paraesthesia can be any abnormal sensation, but usually refers to a feeling of pins-and-needles.

O

Otoplasty

See ear surgery.

P

Panniculectomy

Surgical removal of excess fat and skin folds remaining in the pelvic and abdomen area following dramatic weight loss.

Paraesthesia

See numbness.

Pectoral Implants

A surgical procedure that inserts implants to firm up, sculpt and increase the size of the chest area in men. See our article on pectoral implants for men for more information.

Pectoral Muscles

Two large chest muscles (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor) that contribute to the movements of the shoulder and upper arm.

Penile Lengthening

A procedure that enlarges the penis by increasing its length. See penis enlargement for more details.

Penis Enlargement

A surgical procedure to enlarge the penis by increasing its length or increasing its girth. Each procedure can be performed separately or together. Also known as phalloplasty. See our article on penis enlargement for more details.

Phalloplasty

See penis enlargement.

Platysmaplasty

See neck lift.

Polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE Implants)

An implant option called polytetrafluoroethylene (or ePTFE for short) is made of GoreTex and is porous, to allow existing tissue to ‘grow’ onto the implant. The ePTFE implant is much stronger and more solid than silicone.

Primary Augmentation

Altering the size, form and feel of the breasts. Also see revision augmentation.

Primary Reconstruction

A surgical procedure to replace tissue lost due to damage, trauma or disease.

Q

R

Revision Augmentation

Augmentation surgery that is performed to correct the outcome of a previous augmentation surgery.

Rhinoplasty

A surgical procedure that reshapes the nose by changing the size, width of the bridge, position of the nostrils and tip of the nose to create a more pleasing profile. Also referred to as nose surgery; and colloquially as a nose job. See our article on nose surgery for more information.

Rosacea

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting adults that causes redness in the face, including forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.

S

Saline Implants

A prosthetic device made of medical grade saline enclosed in a flexible sac. Read our articles on breast augmentation and buttock augmentation for examples and more information. See also breast implants.

Scar

Scars are fibrous tissues that replace normal skin following an incision or wound. See our article on scar healing treatments for more information.

Septum

A dividing partition between two tissues or cavities. Eg. Septum of the nose divides the two sides of the nose.

Silicone Implants

Prosthetic devices that are filled with a semi-solid silicone gel. Read our articles on breast augmentation and buttock augmentation for examples and more information. See also breast implants and polytetrafluoroethylene implants.

Skin Redness

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting adults that causes redness in the face, including forehead, nose, cheeks and chin.

Spider veins

A group of widened veins that can be seen through the skin surface. The name derives from their wheel and spoke shape resembling a spider. The condition is also known as spider telangiectasia.

Suture

A stitch or series of stitches used to secure the edges of a surgical wound. Could also refer to a strand of material used for closing wounds.

T

Thigh Lift

A surgical procedure that tightens and smooths loose skin around the thighs and buttocks and removes fatty tissue through liposuction. Sometimes referred to as thighplasty or a leg lift. See our article on Thigh Lift surgery for more information.

Tissue Expander

A balloon like object inserted under tissue and filled gradually by injecting saline solution to help stretch the tissue, including skin, in preparation for implants.

Tissue Expansion

A technique used by plastic and restorative surgeons that cause the body to grow additional skin, bone or other tissues. It is useful in the reconstruction of the breast, eyelids and lips.

Tubular breast

A congenital deformity of the breasts affecting young women at and beyond puberty, which becomes obvious when the breasts begin to develop. Tubular breasts are underdeveloped and have a long tubular shape. The fleshy and large areolas are set too far apart, resulting in an unnaturally wide cleavage.

Tummy Tuck

See abdominoplasty.

U

Umbilicoplasty

A cosmetic surgical procedure that changes the size, shape or position of the belly button to improve the aesthetics of the abdomen. The procedure is also known as belly button rejuvenation or belly button reshaping.

V

Vaginal Rejuvenation

A surgical cosmetic procedure to tighten vaginal muscles stretched during childbirth or because of aging. The procedure is also referred to as vaginoplasty or ‘tightening of the vagina’.

Vaginaplasty

A surgical procedure that tightens the muscles of the vagina.

Vaginoplasty

A surgical cosmetic procedure to tighten vaginal muscles stretched after childbirth or because of aging. The procedure is also referred to as ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ or ‘tightening of the vagina’.

Varicose veins

Gnarly, enlarged veins that may or may not cause medical problems. Although any vein may become varicose, veins on the legs and feet are the most commonly affected.

W

X

Y

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