• Glossary
  • Glossary
  • Glossary
  • Glossary
  • Glossary

Glossary of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery Terms:

Acne: A skin condition in which the skin over-produces oil which can block pores and collect bacteria causing pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, and skin irritation. Those who experience severe acne may have acne scarring as a result.

Adult cleft lip and palate: Congenital defect present in an adult in which the soft tissue of the lip and roof of the mouth have fused improperly leading to a split in one or both sides of the lip and palate that can lead to tooth misalignment, breathing problems, and eating problems if not treated with adult cleft lip and palate surgery.

Artresia:Closure of the ear canal due to microtia or a defect in which improper development results in a malformed external ear.

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): A surgery that removes excess skin and fat that cause the appearance of drooping eyelids and under-eye bags that make patients appear older than their actual age and can impair vision.

Botox®: A dermal injectable made from purified botulinum toxin that relaxes the facial muscles around the forehead and eyes to reduce signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, furrowed brows, and forehead creases.

Brow lift/Forehead lift:  A procedure that lifts and tightens forehead skin and muscles, raising the eyebrows back to a more natural position and eliminating sagging skin and wrinkles in the forehead and brow area.

Chemical peels: Chemical solution applied to the skin to encourage the sloughing of the dead and damaged outer layer of skin. Each patient’s formula is customized based on his or her cosmetic needs and goals. Chemical peels can decrease the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, and sun spots as well as help reduce the appearance of scarring after surgery.

Chinplants: Chin implants, silicone implants used to enhance the chin.

Columella: The thin strip of tissue between the nostrils that covers the outward surface of the nasal septum.

Congenital disorder: A condition that exists before or at birth that can be the result of genetics, in-utero environment, infection, or other causes.

Cosmetic injectables: Injectable treatments that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without surgery. Injectables like Botox® and Dysport® work by relaxing the muscles that cause wrinkles.  Facial fillers like Juvederm®, Restylane®, and Perlane® reduce signs of aging by replumping areas of lost volume around the nose, mouth, and even in hands.

Crow’s feet: Small wrinkles that radiate out from the corners of the eyes from repeated facial expressions.

Dermal fat grafting: A process in which tissue and fat from a donor area is used to replump another area of the body to reduce signs of aging like skin laxity and lost volume.

Deviated septum: When the wall inside the nose that separates the nostrils is not properly aligned causing aesthetic and breathing problems.

Dysport®: Similar to Botox®, Dysport® is a purified form of the botulinum toxin that relaxes the muscles in the upper face that cause forehead wrinkles and furrowed brow lines.

Dorsal hump: The bump on the bridge of the nose typically addressed during rhinoplasty surgery.

Double chin: Excess fat and skin around the neck that sags and gives the appearance of a second chin.

Endoscopic Brow Lift:  Brow lift surgery that utilizes the “keyhole” technique to address wrinkles and deep creases isolated to the forehead with small incisions hidden within the patient’s hairline.

ENT:  Issues presenting from the ear, nose, and throat. Otolaryngologists, those certified in management and treatment of the head and neck, focus on alleviating conditions related to these areas.

Facelift: A procedure that tightens skin and muscles and eliminates loose skin and excess fat to reduce signs of aging in the face and neck including forehead lines, under-eye bags, creases along the nose and mouth, sagging jowls, and more.

  • Lower facelift: For those who want rejuvenation only in the lower face and neck, a lower facelift tightens the skin and muscles that cause sagging jowls and a lax neckline.
  • Mid-facelift: A facelift procedure in which sagging cheeks are smoothed and tightened, eliminating the appearance of nasiolabial folds or marionette lines.
  • Upper facelift: Similar to the brow/forehead lift, the upper facelift tightens the skin and muscles at the top of the head to smooth the forehead and eyebrow area.

Facial contouring: A facial reshaping procedure utilizing natural or synthetic facial implants and liposuction to balance the profile and silhouette.

Facial fillers: Dermal fillers like Perlane®, Juvéderm®, and Restylane® work with your skin to replump areas that have lost volume over time due to the effects of age, gravity, and sun exposure.

Facial Rejuvenation:  A cosmetic procedure or treatment designed to address the signs of facial aging.  Depending on the cosmetic needs of the patient, the treatment(s) may be non-surgical (i.e. dermal injectables, facial fillers, chemical peels, or laser resurfacing) or surgical (i.e. facelift, blepharoplasty, neck lift, etc.)

Fat transfer: A procedure in which the patient’s own liquid fat is harvested from one area with liposuction, purified, and then transplanted into another area of the body to naturally refill areas that have lost volume over time like the hands and around the nose and mouth.

Genioplasty: Surgery meant to improve the appearance of the chin and the overall facial profile. Genioplasty can include chin reduction, augmentation, and rounding.

Hemangioma:  large, redish birthmark that typically fades with age.  Severe cases that don’t fade with age may require skin grafting to eliminate.

Hyperpigmentation: Dark, splotchy patches of skin caused by an increase in melanin as the result of extended sun exposure, hormones, medication, or other diseases.

Hypoxia: Below normal oxygen level.

Juvéderm®: A facial filler that reduces fine lines and wrinkles around the nose, mouth,  and other facial areas.  Juvéderm® utilizes hyaluronic acid to help restore skin’s natural suppleness and elasticity.

Laser skin resurfacing: The use of lasers to remove the damaged external layers of skin while leaving surrounding skin intact, laser skin resurfacing can also be used to help minimize post-surgery scarring.

Liposuction: Also known as lipoplasty, liposuction involves the removal of fat from a treatment area using small incisions through which fat is suctioned with cannulas (small metal tubes).

Microtia: A congenital deformity in which the external ear is underdeveloped and smaller than is natural or aesthetically normal. More severe cases of microtia can affect hearing ability.

Muscular Torticollis: Involuntary contraction of the neck muscles that causes a limited range of motion and results in an asymmetrical physical appearance of the head and neck.

Neck lift: A neck lift surgically tightens loose skin and muscles and eliminates excess tissue under the chin and along the jawline.

Nasolabial folds: Commonly known as “smile lines” or “laugh lines,” nasolabial folds are the creases the run along the cheeks from the nose to the mouth.

Olfactory Receptors: Tiny, finger-like receptors responsible for the detection of odor molecules. When activated by exposure to specific molecules in the air, they transmit chemical signals up to a central processor in the brain called the olfactory bulb, which registers the scent.

Otolaryngology: The branch of medicine and surgery dealing with the management and treatment of conditions of the ear, nose, and throat and associated anatomy of the head and neck.

Otoplasty: Surgery of the outer ears to correct congenital disorders.

Perlane®: A facial filler that adds volume to areas around the nose and mouth that may have lost elasticity over time. Perlane® particles are larger than those in Restylane® so as to work for deeper wrinkles.

Platysma Muscle: Extending from the upper portion of the chest to the lower jaw, this muscle is found at the front of the neck, under the chin.

Restylane®: A facial injectable that refills areas that have lost fullness due to the effects of age, gravity, sun exposure and more. Restylane® smooths wrinkles by working with your body’s natural hyaluronic acid to reduce the appearance of fine lines.

Revisionary Rhinoplasty:  Nose surgery performed to enhance the cosmetic results of a previous surgery or to fix plastic surgery complications from a previous procedure.

Rhinophyma: An advanced form of rosacea in which the patient’s nose appears enlarged, bulb-shaped, and red.

Rhinoplasty: Corrective surgery of the nose in which the shape of the nose can be changed for aesthetic purposes and/or the function of the nose can be restored for easier breathing.

Skin elasticity: The ability of skin to stretch and then quickly return to its original location.  This ability decreases with advanced age.

Skin Neoplasms: a new and abnormal growth of tissue in some part of the body, especially as a characteristic of cancer.

Sterno-cleido-mastoid muscle: The muscle in the neck that connects from the base of the neck to beneath the ear and allows patients to flex and rotate their heads normally.

Turbinates (Nasal Concha): A network of bones, vessels, and tissue that stretches across the entire nasal passageway, responsible for warming, humidifying, and filtering the air we breathe. If swollen due to a cold or allergies, severe congestion can result. Nasal turbinates can be reduced in size with rhinoplasty procedures.

Ulthera: A facial rejuvenation system that utilizes ultrasound technology to tighten lax skin like drooping eyebrows and sagging neck tissue by heating the underlying layer of collagen and encouraging growth.

UV (Ultraviolet) Rays: A type of ray found in sunlight that damages skin’s cells and is often linked to skin cancer and aging.