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Glossary: A B C D E F G H L M P R S T V


(Also tummy tuck.) – a procedure that minimizes the abdominal area. In abdominoplasty, the surgeon makes a long incision from one side of the hipbone to the other. Excess fat and skin are surgically removed from the middle and lower abdomen and the muscles of the abdomen wall are tightened.

Lack of a normal sensation brought on by an anesthetic drug.

A health problem or feature not normally present in a healthy individual; a deviation from the normal.

Dark area of skin that surrounds the nipple of the breast.

Lacking symmetry; parts of the body are unequal in shape or size.

Augmentation Mammoplasty
See Breast Augmentation.

Patients own

Autologous tissue breast reconstruction
The use of the patient’s own tissues to reconstruct a new breast mound. The common technique is the TRAM (transverse rectus abdominous muscle) flap. A TRAM flap involves removing an area of fat, skin, and muscle from the abdomen and stitching it in place to the mastectomy wound.


(Also eyelid lift.) – a procedure in which the physician surgically removes excess fat, muscle, and skin from both the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye.

Breast augmentation
(Also augmentation mammaplasty.) – a procedure to reshape the breast in order to make it larger. The procedure can also be performed to reconstruct the breast following breast surgery.

Breast Lift (Mastopxy)
Frequently, a woman elects this surgery after losing a considerable amount of weight, or losing volume and tone in her breasts after having children. The plastic surgeon relocates the nipple and areola (the pink skin surrounding the nipple) to a higher position, repositions the breast tissue to a higher level, removes excess skin from the lower portion of the breast and then reshapes the remaining breast skin. Scars are around the areola, extending vertically down the breast and horizontally along the crease underneath the breast. Variations on this technique, in some cases, may result in less noticeable scarring.

Buttock Lift
Excess fat and loose skin in the buttock area can be reduced by performing a buttock lift in combination with lipoplasty (liposuction). Incisions required for skin removal can often be hidden in the fold beneath the buttocks.


A hollow tube attached to a high-vacuum device used to remove fat through liposuction. The plastic surgeon manipulates the cannula within the fat layers under the skin, dislodging the fat and “vacuuming” it out.

Capsular contracture
The most common complication of breast reconstruction surgery; occurs if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten.

Cellulite is the dimpled-looking fat that often appears on the buttocks, thighs and hips. While there is no treatment that will eradicate this problem, aesthetic plastic surgeons are exploring new techniques which may improve the condition. One method is to cut the fibrous tissue that binds the fat down in these areas and creates the lumpy appearance, and then to inject fact withdrawn from elsewhere in the body to smooth out the unevenness. Another technique, called the cellulite lift, surgically removes excess skin and fat, leaving a thin scar that may extend around the full circumference of the abdomen but is placed discreetly within bikini lines.

Clitoral Hood
A fibrous covering to the clitoris which is the exact equivalent to the male foreskin, having developed from the same initial tissue structure. Like the male foreskin it can sometimes be too thick or long to retract during sexual excitement and thus can prevent the stimulus to the clitoris needed for orgasm. It can be trimmed or removed by true female circumcision to enable proper stimulation of the clitoris.

A small organ in the female genitals which is the exact equivalent to the male penis, having developed from the same initial tissue structure. Like the penis it is the primary organ of sexual pleasure.

Collagen/fat injectable fillers
(Also soft-tissue augmentation.) – a plastic surgery technique used to correct wrinkles, depressions in the skin, and/or scarring.

Present at birth.

Congenital anomaly
A health problem present at birth (not necessarily genetic).

Contracture scar
A type of scar in which a permanent tightening of skin occurs, often in response to a burn. This type of scar may affect the underlying muscles and tendons, limiting mobility and possibly damaging the nerves.

An abnormal condition of a joint caused by a loss of muscle fibers or a loss of the normal flexibility of the skin.

Corrections of the labia
See Labiaplasty.

Corrections of the vagina
See Vaginoplasty.

Cosmetic plastic surgery
(Also aesthetic plastic surgery.) – one type of plastic surgery performed to repair or reshape otherwise normal structures of the body, primarily to improve the patient’s appearance and self-esteem.

Computed tomography scan
(Also called a CT or CAT scan.) – a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general x-rays.


The process of removing dead or devitalized tissue prior to reconstructive or cosmetic surgery.

The removal of hair.


Small, flexible tube with a light and a lens on the end used to look inside an organ or cavity such as the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon, or rectum.

Procedure in which a lighted viewing instrument (endoscope) is used to look inside a body cavity or organ to diagnose or treat disorders.

The outer layer of the skin. The epidermis is also the thinnest layer, responsible for protecting you from the harsh environment. The epidermis is made up of five layers of its own: stratum germinativum, stratum spinosum, stratum granulosum, stratum lucidum and stratum corneum.

Expander/implant breast reconstruction
The use of an expander to create a breast mound, followed by the placement with a permanently filled breast implant.

Eye lift
See Blepharoplasty.


Face lift
See Rhytidectomy.

Facial implant
Cosmetic plastic surgery to change the shape of the chin, check, or jaw. This procedure is typically done to enhance certain facial features, or to bring a certain aspect of the face into proportion with the rest of the facial structures.

Fat Injections
Fat withdrawn from one body site can be injected into another — for example, to smooth lines in the face or build up other features such as the lips. In most cases, a percentage of injected fat is resorbed by the body, and the procedure must be repeated. Injection of fat to enlarge the breasts is a dangerous procedure and is not recommended because of the possibility of dense scarring that may seriously hinder accurate interpretation of both breast self-exams and mammograms.

Female genital cosmetic/plastic surgery
A general term that is usually used in the media and public to refer to elective alterations to the internal or external female genitalia. In reality surgeries may often be performed for a combination of medical and cosmetic reasons, and in many cases similar techniques are used regardless of whether the procedure is for aesthetic or medical reasons.

Flap surgery
One type of surgery that involves transporting healthy, live tissue from one location of the body to another – often to areas that have lost skin, fat, muscle movement, and/or skeletal support. There are several different types of flap surgery methods that may be utilized, depending upon the location of the flap and the structures that need to be repaired.

Forehead lift
The surgical removal of excess fat and skin, as well as a tightening of the muscles in the forehead area. It can correct sagging brows or deep furrows between the eyes. It is often done in conjunction with a facelift in order to create a smoother facial appearance overall.

Area beneath the vaginal opening where the labia minora meet.


The Grafenberg spot, or G-spot, is a small area in women behind the pubic bone, surrounding the urethra and accessible through the anterior wall of the vagina. It is putatively an erogenous zone that when stimulated leads to high levels of sexual arousal and powerful orgasms.
The term G-spot was coined by Addiego in 1981. It is named after the German gynaecologist Ernst Grfenberg who is claimed to have first hypothesized the existence of such an area in 1950. The G-spot didn’t enter public consciousness until a year later with the publication of the book ?The G Spot and Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality.?

G-Spot Aplification
(Also GSA, G-Spot Intensification, G-Spot Augmentation) is a simple, nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can augment the Grafenburg spot (G-Spot) in sexually active women with normal sexual function. Injection of autologous fat or hyaloronic acid enlarges the G-Spot.

Glands of Bartholin
The glands of Bartholin are two tiny ducts located on each side of the opening of the vagina. It is here that the mucus, which serves as the lubrication for intercourse, is produced upon stimulation.

A procedure in which healthy skin and/or muscle is removed from one area of the body to another area damaged by disease or injury.


Blood that collects under the skin or in an organ.

Hyaluronic Acid
A substance found in the connective tissue of the body that cushions and lubricates. Hyaluronic acid also creates volume in differtr parts of the body, giving it a healthy, youthful appearance.

The hymen (name for the Greek God of marriage and weddings, Hymenaeus, later also the Greek word for membrane; (also called maidenhead) is a fold of mucous membrane which surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. It forms part of the vulva, or external genitalia. Some girls are born without a hymen. The most common formation of the hymen is crescentic or crescent-shaped, although several other formations are possible. After a woman gives birth she may be left with remnants of the hymen called carunculae myrtiformes or the hymen may be completely absent.
The hymen has no known anatomical function. In societies which value chastity, the greatest significance of the hymen is a traditional belief that an intact hymen indicates a state of intact virginity.

(Also Hymen Reconstruction) can repair and recreate the hymen to a “pre-sexual” state.

The fatty layer of skin, home of sweat glands and fat and collagen cells. The hypodermis is responsible for conserving your body?s heat and protecting your vital inner organs.


Labia Majora
The labia majora are lip-like structures comprised mostly of skin and adipose tissue, which extend on either side of the vulva, and after puberty are naturally covered with pubic hair. When standing or with the legs together, they usually entirely or partially cover the other parts of the vulva. The color of the outside skin of the labia majora is usually close to the overall skin color of the individual, although there is considerable variation.

Labia Minora
The labia minora (obsolete: nymphae) are two soft folds of skin within the labia majora and to either side of the opening of the vagina. The clitoris is anterior to the vulva where the labia minora meet superiorly. The visible tip of the clitoris, the clitoral glans, is entirely or partially covered by a “hood” of tissue (the clitoral hood).

Surgery that changes the shape and size of the labia minora and/or labia majora, most often making the labia minora (or inner lips) smaller. This may be done using different techniques. The procedure is done using a local anesthetic and on an outpatient basis.
Labiaplasty may be undertaken for functional reasons, aesthetic reasons, or a combination of the two. The procedure is frequently performed to reduce the size of one or both sets of labia. It may also be used to repair the labia following disease or injury, especially from childbirth. A hoodectomy may be performed to expose the clitoris in order to address clitoral phimosis. Hoodectomy is sometimes used to address sexual dysfunction such as lack of orgasm

See Liposuction

A fat grafting technique, used to restore the fullness that is lost due to aging. It can be used to rejuvenate and enhance all areas of the face including the chin, nose, neck, jawline, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, brow, upper eyelids, temples, lips, breasts, buttocks, and areas of the lower body.

A procedure that removes excess fat through a suctioning process. Although liposuction is not a substitute for weight loss, it is a way of changing the body’s shape and contour.


Any reconstructive or cosmetic surgical procedure that alters the size or shape of the breast.

Surgery to remove portions of or all of the breast.

Also called a breast lift, this procedure removes excess skin in order to lift up sagging or drooping breasts.

Pertaining to the jaws and face.

Mons pubis
The mons pubis (Latin, pubic mound), also known simply as the mons, is the soft mound of flesh present in both genders just above the genitals, raised above the surrounding area due to a pad of fat lying just beneath it which protects the pubic bone. It is anterior to the symphysis pubis.
The size of the mons pubis varies with the general level of body fat, and is typically much more distinct in women then in men.
In females the mons pubis is sometimes called the mons veneris (Latin, mound of Venus).
Among the colloquialisms that exist for the mons pubis is the British punning appellation, “fanny hill”, where “fanny” is a Briticism for the female genitals and Fanny Hill is a famous pornographic novel by John Cleland.


Partial abdominoplasty
A “mini tummy tuck.” This procedure is ideal for individuals who have fat deposits limited to the area below the navel.

Area between the vagina and the anus.

The changes that occur to the skin due to exposure to the sun. This includes wrinkles and age spots.

Plastic surgery
The surgical specialty that deals with the reconstruction of facial and body tissue that requires a reshaping or remolding due to disease, a defect, or disorder – in order to approximate a normal appearance or to repair working ability.

A fold of skin formed by the labia minora.

Procedures to enhance sexual arousal
These procedures are mainly vaginal rejuvenation, vaginal tigthening, G-Spot Aplification (also GSA, G-Spot Intensification, G-Spot Augmentation) and corrections fo the clitoris and clitoral hood.

The drooping of a body part, especially the eyelids or the breasts.


Reconstructive plastic surgery
one type of plastic surgery that is performed on abnormal structures of the body that may be caused by trauma, infection, developmental abnormalities, congenital defects, disease, and/or tumors. This type of surgery is usually performed to improve function, but may also be performed to approximate a normal appearance.

(Also called facelift.) – a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess facial fat, the tightening of facial muscles, and the stretching of facial skin – to approximate a smoother, firmer appearance. The procedure takes place on either the face, neck, or both.


The body’s natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. A scar is usually composed of fibrous tissue. Scars may be formed for many different reasons, including as a result of infections, surgery, injuries, or inflammation of tissue.

Skin grafts
A skin graft may be used to cover skin that has been damaged and/or is missing. This surgical procedure involves removing healthy portions of skin from one part of the body to restore normal appearance and/or function to another portion of the same body. The location where the skin is removed is called the donor site. There are various types of skin grafts that may be utilized, depending upon the size and location of needed skin.

A term referring to below the skin.

The stitches used to hold tissue together or to close a wound.


Thigh Lift
A thigh lift can be performed to tighten sagging muscles and remove excess skin in the thigh area. Because a thigh lift leaves noticeable scars in the inner or outer thigh area that some patients find undesirable, it is not a frequently performed procedure.

Tissue expansion
A surgical procedure that involves inserting a balloon-like device (called an expander) under the skin. The expander then slowly secretes liquid into the area to be repaired to actually stretch and expand the skin. This serves the function of “growing” extra skin to repair nearby lost or damaged skin.

Tummy Tuck
See Abdominoplasty.


Vaginal rejuvenation
A surgery that rejuvenate the vagina by tightening the vaginal canal. In this procedure the vaginal canal is essentially narrowed by removing tussue, tightening of muscle or fat injections, the result can be an experience of tighter vaginal muscles an enhancement of sexual pleasure

Vaginal tigthening
See Vaginal Rejuvenation.

An umbrella term that is used to describe a variety of procedures that change female internal and external genitalia. Vaginoplasty may also describe surgical procedures done to repair the area after disease or injury, or fix vaginal conditions that may be congenital (something a person is born with). More recently the term vaginoplasty has come to include cosmetic procedures include vaginal rejuvenation surgery.

Space where the vagina opens.

A woman’s external sex organs, including the clitoris, the labia (majora and minora), the opening to the vagina (introitus), and two Bartholin’s glands.