ABDOMINOPLASTY (tummy tuck) – Removal of excessive skin and fat of the
lower abdomen, often coupled with tightening of stretched muscles.
ALPHA-HYDROXY ACID – Mild acid derived from certain fruits and other foods that remove surface cells when applied to skin.
AMBULATORY SURGICAL FACILITY – Operating room outside of a hospital setting where patients can spend up to twenty-three hours.
ANESTHESIOLOGIST – A physician (M.D.) who administers all types of anesthesia.
ANESTHETIST (CRNA) – A trained and certified specialist (registered nurse) who may administer both general and twilight anesthesia.
AREOLA – Pigmented region around the nipple.
ARRHYTHMIA – Irregular heart rhythm.
ASSISTING SURGEON – A physician who helps the operating surgeon render medical and surgical services.
AUTOLOGOUS FAT GRAFTS – Wrinkle-filler made from a patient’s own fat taken from another body site.
BETADINE – Liquid disinfectant used to sterilize the skin prior to surgery.
BOARD-CERTIFIED SURGEON – One who has completed an accredited residency (or specialty) training program and who has passed a comprehensive examination in his/her field of study.
BODY CONTOURING – Umbrella term for a variety of procedures that reshape the body by removing or manipulating fat, skin, and muscle.
BONDING – Application of a white composite material to teeth to improve their color, shape, or alignment.
BOTOX / BOTULINUM TOXIN Poison derived from bacteria that causes botulism; injected to temporarily paralyze overactive muscles.
BOVINE COLLAGEN – Fibrous protein derived from cowhide that is used to fill lines and wrinkles.
BLEPHAROPLASTY – The removal of excess fat or skin from the upper and/or lower eyelids.
BREAST AUGMENTATION – Surgery to enlarge the breasts by inserting implants.
BREAST LIFT – Surgical procedure that removes excess skin, elevates nipples, and tightens breast tissue to restore a normal contour to sagging breasts; a.k.a. mastoplexy.
BUTTOCK-LIFT – Surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the buttock region and reshape remaining skin to make sagging buttocks tighter.
CANNULA – Blunt-ended hollow tube used to break up and vacuum fat during liposuction.
CANTHOPLEXY – Surgery to shorten horizontal length of the lower eyelids.
CAPSULAR CONTRACTURE – Condition in which a wall of scar tissue that normally grows around breast implants squeezes them, making the breasts hard, and in some cases, distorting their appearance.
CELLULITE – Visible manifestation of fibrous bands that tether skin to underlying muscle; more prevalent in aged, sagging skin.
CHEMABRASION or CHEMICAL PEEL – Use of chemicals on the face, which causes the top layers of skin to slough off, producing smoother, more youthful skin.
COLLAGEN – Strong fibrous protein that holds all the body’s tissues together.
COLUMELLA – Skin bridge separating the nostrils.
COMPOSITE FACE-LIFT – Face-lifting technique in which the skin and fibrous/fatty layer are lifted as one unit.
CONTOUR DEFORMITY – Defect in the skin, such as acne scars or wrinkles.
CORRUGATOR MUSCLES – Group of muscles in the forehead that, when contracted, produce vertical “frown lines” between the eyebrows.
COSMETIC CONTOURING – Reshaping the teeth with a slowly rotating grinding stone.
COSMETIC DENTISTRY – A range of dental procedures that enhance the teeth’s appearance without necessarily improving their function.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY – Procedures designed to enhance one’s appearance.
CROW’S FEET – A series of horizontal lines at the outer corners of the eyes that usually appear only when a person smiles; also know as “laugh lines.”
CYST – A non-cancerous lump that can form in the skin or any other bodily organ or tissue.
DERMABRASION – Facial sanding, or the use of an abrasive material to buff the top layers of skin, removing fine facial wrinkles and/or acne scars.
DERMATOLOGIST – A medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the skin.
DERMIS – The innermost layers of skin.
DYNAMIC WRINKLES – Lines or creases in the skin that are only visible when the face is animated.
ECTROPION – Basset-hound appearance in which the lower eyelids are pulled down as a result of an eyelid-lift, laser peel, aging, or scarring.
ELASTIN – Microscopic fibers in the skin that control the skin’s elasticity.
ELECTROCOAGULATION – Controlling bleeding during surgery by heat-sealing blood vessels with a high-frequency electrical current.
ENDOSCOPE – Tube-shaped probe fitted with a miniature video camera and tiny fiber-optic light source.
ENDOSCOPY – Surgical technique that allows the surgeon to operate remotely through small incisions with the aid of a camera.
EPIDERMIS – Outermost layers of skin.
EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA – Spinal block that numbs the lower half of the body.
EPINEPHRINE – Adrenaline.
EXCISE – To surgically cut away tissue from the body.
EXERCISE STRESS TEST – Diagnostic procedure that measures the heart’s activity during exercise and can detect heart disease.
EXFOLIATE – To remove the outermost layer of skin cells.
EYELID-LIFT – Surgery to tighten sagging, wrinkled, or hooded eyelids; also known as blepharoplasty.
FACE-LIFT – Operation that removes excess skin and tightens the lower half of the face.
FACIAL PLASTIC SURGERY – A specialist whose practice is limited to plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face, nose, head and neck.
FACIAL TUCK – A procedure performed after a facelift to provide additional tightening of facial tissues.
FELLOWSHIP DOCTOR (Fellow) – A licensed physician who is participating in the highest level of training, after completion of an accredited residency.
FIBREL – Wrinkle-filling substance derived from pig collagen.
FLEXZAN – A sophisticated biomembrane that retains moisture, decreases pain, and hastens healing of surgical wounds.
FOREHEAD-LIFT – A facial rejuvenation procedure that smoothes forehead furrows, lifts sagging eyebrows, and minimizes frown lines between the eyebrows.
GENERAL ANESTHESIA – The patient is put to sleep by an anesthetist or an anesthesiologist who monitors and controls vital signs (breathing, blood pressure, etc.).
GLYCOLIC ACID – The most popular of the alpha-hydroxy acids; an ingredient in many skin-care products, glycolic acid is also used for ultralight chemical peels, also known as “lunch-time peels,” to rejuvenate facial skin.
GRAFT – Living tissue that is transplanted from one part of the body to another, from one person to another person, or from an animal to a human.
GYNECOMASTIA – An often transient condition in which one or both male breasts swell, usually due to a hormonal imbalance.
HAIR TRANSPLANTATION – Surgical transfer of hair bearing grafts to areas of baldness.HEMATOMA – Localized bleeding or blood clot under the skin.
HERPES – One of various conditions that produce small, often painful skin blisters.
HIGH LATERAL TENSION ABDOMINOPLASTY – Tummy tuck done through an incision across the lower belly angling sharply upward at the sides.
HYDROQUINONES – A class of chemicals used in skin bleaches.
HYPERTROPHIC SCAR – A thick, wide scar.
INJECTABLE FILLERS – Material that is implanted or injected beneath the skin’s surface to plump up lines, wrinkles, creases, and depressions, or to make the lips fuller.
IMPONDERABLE – An unforeseen event.
JOWLS – Loose skin and excess fat that hang off the sides of the lower jaw.
KELOID – An enlarged scar that extends beyond the boundaries of the original injury or incision site.
LASER PEEL – A facial rejuvenation technique that uses a pulsed carbon dioxide laser to vaporize outer skin layers and tighten the underlying collagen.
LASER SURGERY – The use of an intensified beam of light to vaporize tissue.
LIDOCAINE – The most commonly used local anesthetic.
LIP AUGMENTATION – An autologous fat transplant or implant into the lips to make them more plump.
LIPOSUCTION – A procedure that removes excess fat by suctioning it out of the body; also know as “lipectomy,” “liposculpture” and “lipoplasty.”
LIQUID SILICONE – An injectable filling agent that was used in the past but is now illegal due to serious safety concerns.
LOCAL ANESTHESIA – Anesthetic agents administered into or onto the tissues to be operated to numb them.
MALAR BONES – Cheekbones.
MAMMOGRAPHY – A low-dose x-ray of the breasts designed to detect breast cancer.
MAMMOPLASTY – Altering the size and shape of the breast.
MASTECTOMY – Surgery to remove all the breast tissue.
MASTOPLEXY – The breast lift operation.
MELANIN – A pigment in the skin that protects the body from ultraviolet light.
MELANOCYTE – A melanin-producing skin cell.
MELANOMA – A potentially fatal form of skin cancer.
MENTOPLASTY – Otherwise known as chin augmentation, this procedure involves building up the chin, often using an implant or the patient’s own bone.
MICROABRASION – Removal of superficial stains from tooth enamel using a low-speed polishing tool.
MICROPIGMENTATION – Cosmetic tattooing, such as permanent eyeliner.
MILIA – Tiny whiteheads on the skin caused by clogged pores.
MOLE – A non-cancerous tumor of the pigment-producing cells of skin; also known as nevus.
NASOLABIAL FOLDS – Deep vertical creases that run between the nostrils and the corners of the mouth. Also called “nasal-labial folds.”
NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS – A class of drugs including ibuprofen, diflunisal, fenoprofen, and meclofenamate, which kills pain and reduces inflammation.OPHTHALMOLOGIST – A medical doctor who specializes in diseases of the eye.
ORBITAL SEPTUM – A membrane within the eye socket that holds in place a series of protective fat pads.
OTOLARYNGOLOGY – A field of medicine and surgery that deals with conditions of the nose, ears, head and neck, including plastic and reconstructive surgery.
OTOPLASTY – Reshaping the cartilage of protruding ears.
OUTPATIENT SURGERY – Any operation that allows the patient to go home in twenty-three hours or less; also known as “day surgery” and “ambulatory surgery.”
PARROT BEAK – A deformity in which abnormal fullness forms above the tip of the nose; also known as “polly beak.”
PECTORALIS MUSCLE – A chest muscle responsible for moving the arm forward and inward.
PERIORAL – The area around the mouth.
PERIOSTEUM – A thin but strong layer of tissue that covers the bones.
PHENOL PEEL – A deep chemical skin peel using carbolic acid.
PHOTOAGING – Accelerated skin aging that results from the cumulative effects of unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
PLASTIC SURGEON – A specialist who practices plastic and reconstructive surgery of the entire body (face, breasts, abdomen, and so on).
PLASTIC SURGERY – A field of surgery comprised of both cosmetic (aesthetic) and reconstructive procedures designed to enhance, restore and/or reconstruct body parts.
PLATYSMAPLASTY – A surgical repair of the neck muscles that involves sewing the two ends of the muscles together, creating one continuous muscle instead of a pair of prominent cords (“turkey-gobbler neck”).
PORCELAIN VENEERS – Custom-made porcelain shells that are attached to the front of teeth to make the smile whiter and more uniform.
POWER BLEACHING – A strong tooth-whitening technique that combines home and office bleaching applications.
RECONSTRUCTIVE PLASTIC SURGERY – Procedures designed to restore the body to a “normal” state.
RECTUS MUSCLES – The straight, vertically oriented abdominal muscles.
REDUCTION MAMMOPLASTY – Reducing the size of the breast by removing excessive tissue.
RESTRICTIVE GARMENT – A tight girdle that is worn after certain kinds of surgery to reduce swelling and bruising.
RHINOPLASTY – A procedure used to change the width, size and/or shape of the nose (often combined with a septoplasty to improve breathing).
RHYTIDECTOMY (the facelift operation) – The removal of excess skin and the tightening of sagging muscles and connective tissue in the face and neck.
SALINE BREAST IMPLANT – Silicone-rubber bag filled with salt-water used to enlarge the breasts; currently the only legal breast implant in the United States.
SCALP FLAPS – A repositioning of large portions of hair-bearing skin to areas of baldness.
SCLERODERMA – A rare autoimmune disease that can attack the skin and internal organs. Symptoms include ultrasensitivity to cold and hardening of the tissues.
SCRUB NURSE – An operating room nurse who is cleansed and dressed appropriately to work within a sterile operating field.
SEPTAL RECONSTRUCTION – A surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum severe enough to cause breathing problems.
SEPTUM – The wall made of cartilage that separates the nostril chambers; when it is off the midline, it is called a “deviated septum.”
SHINGLES – A skin infection that affects the nerves that supply specific areas of the skin. Also known as herpes zoster, shingles stems from the same virus that causes chickenpox.
SKIN NECROSIS – A post-surgical complication in which skin cells die because they were robbed of their blood supply.
SKIN RESURFACING – Any procedure that removes old skin to allow new, younger-looking skin to grow back in its place.
SLIDING GENIOPLASTY – Surgical correction of a severely undersized chin by cutting the chin bone and moving it forward, backward, up, or down with metal plates and titanium screws.
SPF (sun-protection factor) – A number that indicates the strength of a sunscreen or sun block; the higher a product’s number, the more protection it provides from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
STATIC WRINKLES – Lines or creases in the skin that are visible when the facial muscles are relaxed.
SUBMALAR IMPLANTS – Pieces of solid silicone placed just under the cheekbones to plump up hollow cheeks.
SUBPERIOSTEAL FACE-LIFT – A face-lifting technique that undermines the skin and all underlying tissues clear to the level of bone.
SUBMENTAL LIPECTOMY – Surgery designed to eliminate a double chin.
SUCTION LEPECTOMY – Reshaping the cartilage of protruding ears.
SURGICAL REJUVENATION – Cosmetic surgery that makes people look like they did when they were younger.
SURGICENTER – A freestanding medical facility where outpatient surgery is performed.
THIGH-LIFT – A surgical procedure that tightens sagging skin on the inner thighs, outer thighs, or both.
TRANSCONJUNCTIVAL EYELID-LIFT – Lower eyelid-lift done through an incision inside the lid.
TRICHLORACETIC ACID – A chemical used for light face peels; also known as TCA.
TUMESCENT LIPOSUCTION – A liposuction technique in which an epinephrine-containing anesthetic solution is first injected under the skin.
TUMMY TUCK – An operation to flatten the protruding belly by removing excess skin and fat and, if necessary, sewing the abdominal muscles together to create an “inner girdle”; also known as abdominoplasty.
TWILIGHT ANESTHESIA – The patient is heavily sedated during surgery and local anesthetics are used to eliminate pain in the operative sites.
ULTRAPULSED LASER – A specialized laser that delivers high energy light in tiny bursts.
ULTRASOUND-ASSISTED LIPOSUCTION (UAL) – A fat-suctioning technique in which ultrasonic waves are used to emulsify fat before it is vacuumed away.
UNDERMINE – Lifting one layer of tissue from an underlying layer of tissue or bone.
VASOCONSTRICTOR – Any drug whose main effect or side effect narrows blood vessels.
ZOVIRAX – An antiviral drug used in the treatment and prevention of herpes breakouts.