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A-Z Glossary

Abdominoplasty

Also known as a tummy tuck, abdominoplasty is an operation that tightens the abdominal muscles, smoothens the stomach area and, in some instances, improves stretch marks.

Acne

Acne vulgaris is a skin condition caused by blockages in the follicles. It is characterized by red skin and breakouts of various sizes and depths on the body.

Acne Scars

Scars resulting from acne breakouts that can range in severity from changes in color and texture to marks or pits in the skin.

Age Spots

Often called liver spots, these brown, gray or black spots are caused by sun exposure, combined with the aging process.

Alopecia

The loss of hair from the head or body, resulting in baldness or bald spots.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids are derived from foods, such as fruits and milk; they can improve the texture of skin by removing layers of dead cells and by promoting cell regeneration.

Anesthesia

A procedure used to inhibit pain or numb a body region during a medical or surgical procedure. Anesthesia may be used in various forms, including topical application or local, regional or general anesthesia.

Anti-viral

A medication that can be given prior to dermal filler injections to decrease the risk of developing viral sores in patients prone to outbreaks.

Artecoll

Also known as ArteSense, this collagen-based dermal filler contains suspended polymethly methacrylate microspheres and is only available outside the U.S. Not FDA approved.

ArteFill

A dual-acting injectable dermal filler containing 20% polymethyl methacrylate microspheres and 80% purified bovine collagen gel with lidocaine (an anesthetic). FDA approved.

ArteSense

See Artecoll.

Augmentation Mammaplasty

See Breast Augmentation.

Autologous Fat

Fat taken from a person’s body; this is commonly removed using liposuction and is then grafted to other areas of the same individual’s body, using fat-transfer techniques.

Axillary

The underarm or armpit area.

B

Bariatric Surgery

Dramatic weight-loss surgery performed to help obese patients lose weight by reducing the size of the stomach. Common procedures include gastric bypass and lap band (adjustable gastric band) surgery.

Belotero

Belotero Balance is a hyaluronic acid dermal filler used to help soften lines and wrinkles around the nose and mouth. FDA approved.

Betacaine

The brand name of a 5% lidocaine anesthetic cream that is applied topically. FDA approved.

Blepharoplasty

Eyelid surgery used to restore a more youthful, refreshed appearance to the eyelids by reducing the fatty bags beneath the eyes and removing wrinkled, drooping layers of skin in the upper eyelids.

Botox

Brand name of Botulinum Toxin Type A. This neurotoxin is FDA approved to treat select neurological conditions and to reduce severe underarm sweating. Botox Cosmetic is the brand name for cosmetic indications.

Botox Cosmetic

Brand name of Botulinum Toxin Type A. This neurotoxin is used for injectable cosmetic treatments. FDA approved.

Botulinum Toxin

A neurotoxin protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. Two specific strains, Type A and Type B, are used in minute doses to reduce painful muscle spasms or as cosmetic treatments.

Botulinum Toxin Type A

The form of botulinum toxin in Botox, Botox Cosmetic and Dysport (all FDA approved), as well as PureTox (not FDA approved). These products are used cosmetically to reduce the visible signs of frown lines and facial creases.

Botulinum Toxin Type B

The form of botulinum toxin in Myobloc. Not FDA approved for cosmetic injections.

Bovine Collagen

This highly-purified collagen is derived from cows and is used in the manufacture of Zyderm and Zyplast.

Brachioplasty

See Upper Arm Lift.

Brazilian Butt Lift

A procedure that increases the fullness, roundness and curvature of the buttocks using fat-transfer techniques. See Buttock Augmentation.

Breast Implants

A medical device consisting of a silicone envelope filled with saline (saltwater) solution or silicone gel. Breast implants are used to increase breast size or fullness, restore breast symmetry or shape, and/or reconstruct breasts after cancer surgery. Current implants come in a range of sizes, profiles and projections.

Breast Implant Replacement

Breast implants are not lifetime devices and may need to be replaced because of implant failure (rupture), capsular contracture (scar contracture) or natural changes in the body (such as weight-loss or childbirth). See Breast Revision to learn about reasons why women may have implant replacement.

Buccal Fat Pad

Buccal fat pads are localized pockets of fat situated above the jawline near the corner of the mouth. They can be contoured or removed in patients with excessively round faces to provide a more sculpted facial appearance (sometimes referred to as the “waif look”). In some individuals, removal of the buccal fat pads can lead to a drawn, hollow-cheeked look as aging progresses.

C

Calcium Hydroxylapitite

Radiesse is a dermal filler composed of a microcrystalline form of calcium and phosphorus, similar to naturally-occurring particles of bone and other tissue. FDA approved.

Cannula

A hollow tube attached to a high-vacuum device used to remove fat during liposuction.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is the most common problem associated with breast implants. It occurs when naturally-forming scar tissue around the implant shrinks and tightens, making the breast feel firmer than normal and, sometimes, causing pain and an unnatural appearance in the breast.

Captique

This is an injectable, hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Carboxytherapy

A treatment wherein carbon dioxide is injected for cosmetic purposes (namely to treat cellulite). Not FDA approved.

Cellulite

The dimpled-looking fat that often appears on the buttocks, thighs, hips and sometimes on the abdomen or upper arm.

Cervicoplasty

See Neck Lift.

Circumferential Thigh Lift

A surgical procedure that removes excess skin on the thigh through a long excision that goes around the entire upper thigh.

Collagen

A connective-tissue protein component of the skin often used for cosmetic improvement. FDA-approved collagen dermal fillers include Cosmoderm and Cosmoplast (synthetically derived), and Zyderm and Zyplast (bovine collagen). Evolence (porcine collagen) is not FDA approved.

Collagen Injections

Collagen is an injectable protein that can be used to treat facial wrinkles. Patients to be treated with collagen should first be tested for any allergic reaction. The results of collagen injections are not permanent and treatments must be repeated periodically to maintain results.

Compounding

Combining one or more medications with other medications or inert ingredients to create a new drug. Compounded pharmaceuticals are not FDA approved.

CoolSculpting

The brand name of a noninvasive fat reduction treatment, manufactured by ZELTIQ® Aesthetics, Inc., which uses cryolipolysis technology. FDA approved.

Cosmetic Medicine

A term used to describe medically-based treatments that enhance or improve appearance.

Cosmoderm

The brand name for an injectable, collagen-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Cosmoplast

The brand name for an injectable, collagen-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Crows-feet

Wrinkles extending from the outer corners of the eyes that are associated with aging.

Cryolipolysis

A nonsurgical method of reducing fat cells by using a machine to target problem areas with controlled cooling. The cold will destroy fat cells and improve contours, while leaving overlying skin and tissue unharmed. FDA approved.

D

Dental Block

A local-injection anesthetic method that numbs the mouth and peri-oral area.

Depilation

Removal of hair from the body.

Dermablading

Dermaplaning or dermablading is a procedure, similar to dermabrasion, that is used to improve skin wrinkling and other skin imperfections. The surgeon uses a dermatome (a tool resembling an electric razor that is equipped with small blades) to remove the top layers of the skin.

Dermabrasion

A procedure in which a high-speed rotary wheel, similar to fine-grained sandpaper, is used to abrade the skin. It may be recommended when there is extensive sun damage and heavy skin wrinkling.

Dermadeep

This hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler contains added acrylic hydrogel (a non-resorbable component). Not FDA approved.

Dermagen

This mineral-based dermal filler is comprised of silica and oxygen. Not FDA approved.

Dermal Filler

An injectable substance, often containing hyaluronic acid, that is used to plump or shape the skin and to improve the appearance of wrinkles. See Fillers.

Dermalive

A hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler with added acrylic hydrogel (a non-resorbable component). Not FDA approved.

Dermaplaning

Dermaplaning or dermablading is a procedure similar to dermabrasion that is used to improve skin wrinkling and other skin imperfections. The surgeon uses a dermatome (a tool resembling an electric razor that is equipped with small blades) to remove the top layers of the skin.

Dermatitis

Any inflammation of the skin.

Dermatologist

A physician who specializes in treating disorders of the skin, hair and nails.

Deviated Septum

An abnormal shift or displacement of the nasal wall or septum that could cause difficulty breathing and otherwise affect health.

DIEP Flap

The deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap technique uses skin and fat, but no muscle, from the abdomen for breast reconstruction. The tissue is freed from the abdomen, transferred to the patient’s chest, reconnected using microsurgery and shaped to create a new breast. The complexity of this procedure makes it less popular than TRAM flap reconstruction.

Donor Site

A part of the body from which tissue is taken (harvested) and transferred to another part of the body for reconstruction. Often seen in fat transfer, skin grafting and hair transplantation.

Dysport

Brand name of Botulinum Toxin Type A used for cosmetic injectable treatments. FDA approved.

E

Eczema

A chronic form of dermatitis or inflammation that causes itchy, red, dry skin.

Elastin

A protein found in skin that helps restore shape or elasticity after skin stretching.

Electrolysis

A method of hair removal that uses electrical currents sent directly into the follicle to stop hair growth permanently. It is commonly used for patients with very light hair or those who are not candidates for laser hair removal.

Elevess

This is a hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Emla

This topical anesthetic cream contains a 2.5% concentration of lidocaine and prilocaine. FDA approved.

Epidermis

The outermost layers of skin.

Evolence

A porcine (pig)-based collagen dermal filler. FDA approved.

Excision

Removal by cutting.

F

Facial Plastic Surgeon

A physician who focuses on reconstructive and cosmetic procedures of the face, head and neck. A facial plastic surgeon is first trained as an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, throat) and has additional fellowship training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Fascia

Layer of connective tissue covering, binding or separating muscles, organs, blood vessels and nerves.

Fat

The common term for adipose or human fatty tissue.

Fat Injection

Removing a person’s fat from areas of excess (such as the abdomen, buttocks and thighs) filtering the fat to remove blood and other elements and reinjecting into other areas to enhance or reshape soft tissue.

FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. All medical devices and pharmacological agents (medications) must obtain FDA approval to be legally administered in the U.S.

Fine Lines

Superficial lines on the skin that are not fully-formed wrinkles, but could potentially lead to deep creases if left untreated.

Forehead Lift

Also known as brow lift, a forehead lift is designed to correct or improve skin wrinkling, the loss of tone in the brow areas as well as the sagging of the eyebrows that often occurs as part of the aging process.

G

General Anesthesia

A sensation of total unconsciousness, so that no pain or discomfort is felt while under the influence of anesthesia. Administered intravenously via inhalation .

Glabella

The space between the eyebrows and above the nose, where muscle movement commonly results in vertical frown lines.

Gluteoplasty

See Buttock Augmentation.

Grafting

To move tissue from one area of the body to another, such as autologous fat grafting or to graft hair follicles for hair transplantation.

Granuloma

A small bump that can be seen or felt beneath the skin that can result from particle-based dermal fillers.

H

Hematoma

A collection or pooling of blood and fluid in the tissue outside of blood vessels.

Hyaluronic Acid

Also called Hyaluronan or Hyalronate, a chief component of cellular matter, particularly connective tissue, in the human body. Synthetic hyaluronic acid is the chief component of the FDA-approved dermal fillers Restylane, Hylaform, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Elevess and Perlane.

Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers

These fillers, commonly referred to as HA, are derived from a sugar found naturally in human skin. A major benefit of this filler class is that allergic reactions are extremely rare and no pretreatment skin testing is necessary. These compounds bind water similar to the way a sponge absorbs water. Because of this, they hydrate the skin in the treated region and act as a cushion. They are eventually absorbed by the body and so injections are needed every three months for up to a year.

Hyaluronidase

A family of enzymes that degrades hyaluronic acid. Used to diminish the results of hyaluronic acid injections in a shorter period of time than the natural absorption process of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. FDA-approved injectable hyaluronidase includes the brand names Vitrase, Amphadase, and Hylenex.

Hydrelle

A hyaluronic acid-based filler that was approved as Elevess in 2007. The product was re-launched in July 2009 with the name Hydrelle and approved for injection into the mid-to-deep dermis to correct severe facial wrinkles and folds. It is sometimes used to enhance volume in the face, such as the undereye, cheeks, chin and jawline. Contains lidocaine.

Hydroxyapatite Granules

Hydroxyapatite granules are a bone substitute made from coral that can be used to enhance facial contours, such as forming more prominent cheekbones. The substance also has reconstructive uses in craniofacial surgery.

Hyperhidrosis

A medical condition of excessive perspiration.

Hyperpigmentation

Excess pigment, coloring or spots on the skin.

Hypertrophic Scar

A raised scar that is usually the result of a deep, traumatic injury and then becomes red and thick and could be itchy or painful. These scars develop due to an excessive amount of collagen, often contain nerves and blood vessels, and can be restrictive if formed near a joint. Some people have the genetic tendency to develop this type of scarring, but there are preventative and therapuetic treatments as well.

Hypopigmentation

Lack of pigment or coloring in the skin.

I

Injection Lipolysis

See mesotherapy.

Injector

Commonly-used term to identify an individual who provides cosmetic injections. Although injections may be provided by a registered nurse (RN) or physician’s assistant (PA), they may legally only be prescribed by a physician.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL)

IPL is technology that uses wavelengths of light for hair removal and to improve skin conditions such as sun damage, rosacea, broken capillaries and blood vessels and hyperpigmentation.

Intravenous

The delivery of a liquid medication or other medical substance directly into a vein.

Intravenous Sedation

Also known as IV or twilight sedation, patients receive a mild dose of general anesthesia to block the pain, but do not need breathing tubes and will instead be in a relaxed, sleepy state, with minimal sensation during surgery.

J

Juvederm

The brand name for an injectable hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

K

Keloid Scar

A scar that grows past the injury site and develops into firm, shiny, and rubbery nodules that result from an excess of collagen. While the keloid itself is benign, the almost tumorous-like growth can cause pain and itchiness and become infected. There is a hereditary tendency to develop keloids, but there are preventative measures and treatments if they develop after surgery or injury.

L

LMX

An over-the-counter, topical anesthetic cream containing 4% lidocaine. FDA approved.

Latissimus Dorsi Flap Technique

A form of breast reconstruction in which the surgeon takes tissue from the latissumus dorsi in the back and relocates it to form a breast mound after mastectomy.

Lecithin

Lecithin is a fat-like substance, called a phospholipid, commonly used in mesotherapy. It is produced by the liver and protects cells from oxidation and largely comprises the protective sheaths surrounding the brain. It is FDA approved for human consumption, but it is not FDA approved for injection.

Lidocaine

A common anesthetic agent. Exposure to excessive quantities can result in neurological events such as dizziness, tremor, or seizure, or cardiac events such as hypotension (drop in blood pressure), arrhythmia or cardiac arrest.

Lip Lift

A technique that surgically lifts the corners of the aging mouth and eliminates the pronounced droop and unhappy facial expression that often develops with advanced age. By cutting away small diamonds of skin just above the corners of the mouth, the vermilion (border of the lips) is raised into a slight smile.

Lip Reduction

To reduce the lips, a small strip of the mucosa (the lining of the lip) is surgically removed to narrow the lips to the desired proportion. The small scars on the outside of the lips are barely noticeable.

Lipoatrophy

The medical term for fat loss. Facial lipoatrophy can be one of the complications of HIV.

Lipodissolve

The brand name for a cosmetic procedure (injection lipolysis) in which various non-FDA approved drug mixtures, often including phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylcholine sodium deoxycholate, are injected through a series of treatments to purportedly reduce fat. Not FDA approved.

Lipolysis

The breakdown of fat stored in the fat cells.

Lipoplasty

Another term for liposuction.

Lipostabil

The brand name for a cosmetic procedure (injection lipolysis) in which various non-FDA-approved drug mixtures, often including phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylcholine sodium deoxycholate, are injected through a series of treatments to purportedly reduce fat. Not FDA approved.

Liposuction

Also known as lipoplasty (“fat modeling”), liposculpture, or suction lipectomy (“suction-assisted fat removal”). A surgical procedure for fat removal from different areas of the body. The plastic surgeon manipulates the cannula within the fatty layers under the skin, dislodging the fat and “vacuuming” it out. Liposuction equipment must be FDA approved.

Local Anesthesia

Blocks the sensation of pain or discomfort in a specific local area.

M

Malar

Of or relating to the cheekbone area.

Mammaplasty

Plastic surgery of the breast.

Mammogram

A diagnostic x-ray test to examine the breast for signs of breast cancer. Annual screening is recommended for women over the age of 40 or earlier for those with a family history.

Mastectomy

The removal of one (unilateral) or both breasts (bilateral), usually to treat breast cancer.

Mastopexy

Another name for a breast lift.

Melanoma

A dangerous form of skin cancer that leads to tumor growth, caused by excessive exposure to UV light. Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing melanoma, but most forms are able to be treated and cured, if detected early.

Melasma

A skin condition that consists of brown or gray patches on the face, usually on the forehead, chin, nose and upper lip.

Mentoplasty

The technical name for a chin augmentation. This procedure can increase the projection of a receding chin and create a more balanced facial appearance. The procedure does not affect the patient’s bite or jaw.

Mesoderm

The middle layer of cells or skin. This is the area primarily injected in mesotherapy treatment.

Mesotherapy

Also known as injection lipolysis. With this procedure, various non-FDA approved drug mixtures, often called PCDC (including phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylcholine sodium deoxycholate), are injected into areas of the body to remove fat. Commonly purported to be an anti-aging treatment, this procedure is not FDA approved.

Micropigmentation

Cosmetic tattooing, or micropigmentation, can be used to apply permanent eyeliner, eyebrows, and lip color or, less frequently to apply permanent blush and eyeshadow. Other uses by plastic surgeons include recreating the fascimile of the areola around the nipple following breast reconstruction; restoring the color of dark or light skin where natural pigmentation has been lost because of vitiligo, cancer, burns, or other scarring; eliminating some types of birthmarks or previous tattoos. Micropigmentation should be performed only under medical supervision by appropriately-trained personnel.

Microspheres

Spherical particles composed of various natural and synthetic materials, with diameters in the micrometer range.

Migrate

To move from one region of the body to another.

MRI

Magentic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test performed by a radiologist that uses magnetic fields, rather than x-rays, to produce computer images of organs, muscle, tissue and other bodily structures. MRIs can be used to discover tumors, infections, injury, implant rupture and other abnormalities.

Myobloc

The brand name for a Botulinum Toxin Type B injection. Not FDA approved for cosmetic purposes.

N

NASHA

The acronym for Non-Animal, Stabilized Hyaluronic Acid.

Nasolabial Folds

The lines or creases that run from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth.

Necrosis

The accidental death of cells and living tissue. There are many causes of necrosis, including prolonged injury, infection, or inflammation.

Nerve Block

A form of anesthesia that involves the injection of a local anesthetic or a neurolytic agent into or near a peripheral nerve, a sympathetic nerve plexus or a local pain-sensitive trigger point, to numb a region of the body.

Numbing Cream

A form of anesthetic, topical creams are used to numb tissue prior to injections or laser procedures.

Nurse Injector

A common term for a registered nurse who provides cosmetic injectable treatments. Some states restrict or forbid nurse injectors to practice.

O

Off-label

The practice of prescribing drugs or medical treatment for a purpose similar to, but specifically not defined by, a drug’s FDA-approved label.

Ophthalmic Plastic Surgeon

An ophthalmologist with a subspecialty in plastic surgery and reconstruction of the orbits and eyelid region.

Oral Block

A form of local anesthetic used to numb regions in the mouth.

Otoplasty

A procedure in which ear cartilage (supporting tissue) is reshaped to reposition a patient’s ears closer to the head. This is usually accomplished through incisions placed behind the ears so that subsequent scars will be concealed in a natural skin crease. Otoplasty can be performed on children as early as age five or six.

P

Palmar

Related to the palms of the hands.

Particle-based

Containing microscopic particles or spheres.

Pectoralis Muscles

The muscles underlying the breasts and attached to the chest region.

Periareolar Incision

Placing a breast implant through an incision around the outer border of the areola. This technique is commonly used during a breast lift when repositioning the nipple is necessary.

Perlane

The brand name for an injectable hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Phalloplasty

See Penile Enlargement.

Phenol

A phenol chemical peel solution is sometimes used for full-face peeling when sun damage or wrinkling is severe. It can also be used to treat limited areas of the face, such as deep wrinkles around the mouth, but it may permanently bleach the skin, leaving a line of demarcation between the treated and untreated areas that must be covered with makeup.

Physician’s Assistant

A physician’s assistant (PA) is a licensed health professional who practices medicine under the supervision of a physician.

Plastic Surgeon

A doctor who specializes in cosmetic and/or reconstructive surgery with the goal of improving the function and/or appearance of a body part. Board certification in plastic surgery is granted by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Platsymaplasty

See Neck Lift.

Platysma

The muscle which, when tight and firm, gives the neck and jawline its youthful contour. The platysma muscle can be tightened during a facelift or as a separate procedure.

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA)

This nonbiodegradable, chemically inert compound is used in medical implants and as a semi-permanent dermal filler to treat deeper wrinkles, folds and scars. It is the primary ingredient in ArteFill. FDA approved.

Poly-L-lactic Acid

A biodegradable, biocompatible synthetic polymer from the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) family that has been widely used for many years in dissolvable stitches, bone screws, and facial implants. It is the primary component of Sculptra.

Polyacrylamide

Highly-water-absorbent, soft-formed gel that is used in making contact lenses, as a thickener or as a suspending agent. Not FDA approved as a dermal filler.

Porcine Collagen

Derived from porcine (pig) tendons, a highly-purified collagen used in the manufacture of Evolence.

Post-bariatric Surgery

Plastic surgery after dramatic weight-loss, either from diet and exercise or as a result of weight-loss (bariatric) surgery, such as gastric bypass.

Prevelle Silk

A hyaluronic-acid dermal filler with added lidocaine (anesthetic). FDA approved.

Prilocaine

A local anesthetic agent often used in dentistry, as intravenous regional anesthetic and as a component of topical anesthetic cream.

Ptosis

Sagging or drooping of a body part, such as the breasts or the eyelids.

Puragen

The brand name for an injectable non-animal, hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler derived from bacterial fermentation and used for wrinkle correction. Not FDA approved.

PureTox

The brand name for an injectable Botulinum Toxin Type A, used for wrinkle correction. Not FDA approved.

R

Radiance

See Radiesse. FDA approved.

Radiesse

The brand name for an injectable calcium hydroxylapatite-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Reconstructive Mammaplasty

See Breast Reconstruction.

Reduction Mammaplasty

See Breast Reduction.

Regional Anesthesia

Blocking pain or other discomfort to a specific region of the body, such as a limb.

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse (RN), is a healthcare worker responsible for providing patient care. Registered nurses work as patient advocates for the care and recovery of the sick and maintenance of the healthy.

Reloxin

The brand name for an investigational injectable Botulinum Toxin Type A used for wrinkle correction. Approved in Europe and FDA approved in the U.S. under the name Dysport.

Restylane

The brand name for an injectable hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Restylane SubQ

The brand name for an injectable hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler used for the correction of deep facial folds and treatment of lipoatrophy. Not FDA approved.

Restylane Touch

The brand name for an injectable hyaluronic-acid-based dermal filler used for the correction of very fine lines and wrinkles. Not FDA approved.

Retin-A

A topical cream or lotion derived from Vitamin A that may be applied to enhance the overall texture of the skin and is often prescribed as a pre-treatment, prior to a facelift or chemical peel.

Retinol

Animal form of Vitamin A used to make skincare products that help to improve acne, skin redness and bumps.

Rhinoplasty

See nose surgery procedure.

Rhytidectomy

A rhytidectomy or facelift is a surgery performed to rejuvenate and improve facial contours, while reducing sagging skin on the face and neck.

Rosacea

A skin condition characterized by redness in the face (head and neck included) that can lead to dilated blood vessels, bumps, acne and a red, bulbous nose.

S

Salicylic Acid

A topical beta hydroxy acid commonly found in acne treatments.

Saline-filled Implants

Saline implants consist of a solid silicone envelope that is filled with sterile salt water. Because saline implants are filled at the time of surgery, they may be inserted through a smaller incision than that required for insertion of silicone gel-filled implants. Saline implants allow for minor modifications in implant size at the time of the operation. If saline implants deflate, this occurrence is immediately obvious.

Sclerotherapy

The injection of a solution into the vein to treat spider veins, usually in the thighs, legs or ankles. See more at Spider Veins.

Sculptra

The brand name for an injectable poly-L-lactic-acid-based dermal filler (FDA approved in 2004 for treatment of lipoatrophy). In 2009, it was shown to correct shallow-to-deep nasolabial folds (smile lines), contour deficiencies and other facial wrinkles.

Sebaceous Glands

A gland or pocket connected to the hair follicle that secretes sebum (oil) onto the skin. While the sebum keeps hair and skin moist and supple, too much can cause greasiness (seborrhoea) or skin conditions such as acne and odors.

Silicone

Inorganic and organic polymers combined for a myriad of moisture-resistant uses, including cosmetics and breast implants. When injected, silicone is permanent. Not FDA approved for cosmetic injection.

Silicone Gel-Filled Implants

Silicone gel-filled implants consist of a solid silicone envelope that is filled with cohesive silicone gel. If silicone implants rupture, it may not be immediately obvious. Current FDA recommendations include getting an MRI every other year, starting with the third year, to look for silent ruptures. With the recent FDA approval of form-stable implants often referred to as “gummy bear” implants, all women over 22 years of age seeking cosmetic breast augmentation and women seeking breast reconstruction surgery will be able to select among a wide range of sizes, shapes and projections of silicone gel-filled breast implants.

Silikon 1000

The brand name for sterile, non-pyrogenic, clear, colorless silicone oil, FDA approved only for use during vitreoretinal surgery. Use as a permanent silicone dermal filler is not FDA approved.

SilSkin

The brand name for a permanent silicone-based dermal filler. Not FDA approved.

Skin Graft

Skin that is transplanted from another area of the body, from another person or as synthesized material.

SMAS

The superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) is a layer of tissue that covers the deeper structures in the cheek area and is in continuity with the superficial platysma muscle that covers the lower face and neck. Some face-lift techniques lift and reposition the SMAS as well as the skin.

Soft Tissue Filler

See Fillers.

Spider Veins

Near the surface of the skin, these small, dilated blood vessels generally develop on the face and legs and are treated with sclerotherapy, IPL and laser treatments.

Subcutaneous

Meaning “beneath the skin,” subcutaneous is also referred to as the hypodermis. The main location for fat storage.

SubQ

Abbreviation for subcutaneous, meaning beneath the skin. Also see Restylane SubQ.

Superficial Syringe Liposculpture

Use of a syringe to withdraw fat, instead of using a cannula and suction equipment. This approach produces less blood loss and speedier postoperative recovery. Superficial syringe liposculpture is performed on the layer of fat just beneath the skin.

T

TCA

Trichloroacetic acid is used for peeling of the face, neck, hands and other exposed areas of the body. It has less of a bleaching effect than phenol and is excellent for “spot” peeling of specific areas. It can be used for deep, medium or light peeling, depending on the concentration and method of application.

Tetracaine

A potent local anesthetic, often used topically.

Thighplasty

A thigh lift can be performed to tighten sagging muscles and remove excess skin in the thigh area. A thigh lift leaves noticeable scars in the inner or outer thigh area, which are objectionable to some patients.

Tissue Expansion

Tissue expansion is a technique in which an adjustable implant is inflated with saline to stretch the overlying tissues. It can be of particular value in performing breast reconstruction or breast enlargement to expand the area to receive a permanent implant or to treat male pattern baldness.

Topical Anesthetic

A local anesthetic agent applied to numb a tissue surface, such as skin or gums.

TRAM Flap

Transverse rectus abdominis myocutaneous (TRAM) flap technique uses a flap of the patient’s own lower abdominal tissue (skin, muscle, blood supply, connective tissue) to build a breast for breast reconstruction. The TRAM flap can be a pedicle flap in which the tissue is moved while still attached to the blood supply or it can be a free flap, in which the flap is totally separated from its donor site, moved to its new location and reconnected using microsurgery. Removal of abdominal tissue can coincide with a tummy tuck.

Transaxillary Incision

An incision hidden in the armpit area. In tranasaxillary endoscopic breast augmentation, an incision is placed in the armpit in order to insert the breast implant.

Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty

Transconjunctival blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is performed by making an incision inside the lower eyelid. It avoids any scarring on the lower lid. It is a useful technique when only fat, and not skin or muscle, needs to be removed from the eyelid area.

U

Ultrasound-assisted Liposuction

Ultrasound-assisted liposuction (UAL) is a procedure in which ultrasonic energy is transmitted through a special hand piece to loosen and melt fat. This is best for larger areas, dense or fibrous fat or male patients.

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Ultherapy

A brand-name procedure for nonsurgical skin tightening using an ultrasound device. FDA approved.

V

Valtrex

The brand name for an anti-viral drug, commonly used to slow the spread of herpes. FDA approved.

Varicose Veins

Enlarged veins with malfunctioning valves that can be unsightly, bulging and painful. Sclerotherapy, radiofrequency or laser ablation are common therapies.

VASER

The VASER is a variation on ultrasound-assisted liposuction. This equipment employs an ultrasonic cannula with several grooves to more-evenly disperse the energy, thereby improving fat disruption and removal. When used correctly, it can minimize the risk of injury to the skin or other structures and tends to target fat cells preferentially.

Vitrase

A sheep-derived (ovine) form of injectable hyaluronidase. FDA approved.

Z

Zeltiq

The brand name of a noninvasive fat reduction treatment, also called Cool Sculpting, that uses cryolipolysis technology. FDA approved.

Zyderm

The brand name for an injectable bovine-collagen-based dermal filler. FDA approved.

Zyplast

The brand name for an injectable bovine-collagen-based dermal filler. FDA approved.