Glossary

The language of plastic surgery can sometimes be unfamiliar and confusing. Below is an alphabetical list of the more common terms and phrases used.

Abdominoplasty – commonly termed a “tummy tuck,” removes excess fat and tightens skin and muscle, flattening the abdomen.

Anaesthesia – the use of drugs during surgery to remove pain.

Blepharoplasty – better known as an “eye lift,” removes puffiness from under the eye and tightens the upper lid.

Breast augmentation – or mammoplasty enhances breast shape or size.

Brow lift – removes drooping eyebrows and reduces frown lines.

Buccal fat pads – located around the jaw, they are removed to improve the contours of the face.

Buttock lift – Liposuction (see below) and skin tightening of the buttocks.

Cannula – A thin tube used in liposuction (see below) to remove fat.

Calf augmentation – Improves the size and definition of the calf using implants.

Capsular contracture – hardening of the breast caused by tightening of scar tissue around an implant.

Chemical peel – the chemical removal of dead skin in order to stimulate new growth.

Collagen – the protein responsible for giving skin its strength and stretch.

Dermabrasion – the use of rotating abrasive brushes to remove damaged skin.

Gynecomastia – the formation of breasts in a man due to hormonal changes.

Haematoma – or “bruise” caused by bleeding under the skin or in an organ.

Hypertrophic scar – a scar that remains, “angry,” red or raised, long after surgery.

Keloid scar – caused by the excessive production of collagen, it continues to grow beyond the original wound.

Liposuction – or lipoplasty is the removal of fat tissue from under the skin using a cannula to simultaneously disrupt and suck out the fat. Sometimes ultrasound is used to breakdown the fat, this is called liposelection.

Mastectomy – the partial or total removal of the breast due to disease.

Mastopexy – or breast lift is the removal of excess tissue and skin to improve the profile of the breast.

Maxiofacial augmentation – the use of implants to alter the profile of the cheeks and chin.

Otoplasty – or Pinnaplasty is surgery to the ears to improve their shape or change their angle of protrusion.

Ptosis – the term used to describe sagging of the body especially with reference to breasts and facial skin.

Reconstructive surgery – the use of surgery to return a deformed body part back to its normal appearance or function.

Rhinoplasty – or “nose job” is the surgical alteration of the size and shape of the nose.

Rhytidectomy – or “face lift” is the lifting and pulling back of the skin of the face to remove wrinkles, bags, crow’s feet and frown lines.

Septoplasty – is the repair or removal of excess cartilage in the nose to improve breathing. Breathing can be further improved by performing a special form of rhinoplasty where internal obstructions are removed. This procedure is called a septorhinoplasty.

Suture – is a thread used to stitch a wound together and may be made of dissolvable material.

Thigh lift – is the removal of excess fat and skin on the thigh in order to reduce cellulite.