Medical terminology

  • Areola – Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
  • Augmentation mammaplasty – Breast enlargement by surgery.
  • Breast Augmentation – Also known as augmentation mammaplasty; breast enlargement by surgery.
  • Breast Implants – Medical devices placed in your body to enhance an existing breast size or to reconstruct your breast. Breast implants can be filled with either salt water (saline) or silicone (elastic gel).
  • Capsular contracture – A complication of breast implant surgery which occurs when scar tissue that normally forms around the implant tightens and squeezes the implant and becomes firm.
  • Capsulectomy – This is when the surgeon removes the surrounding tissue or capsule and the implant separately.
  • Capsulotomy – a procedure in which part of the “capsule” of scar tissue surrounding a breast implant is removed or the tissue altered or released in some way.
  • Closed Capsulotomy – There is also a non-surgical capsulotomy procedure called a closed capsulotomy, wherein a surgeon forcibly squeezes the breast in an effort to break up the capsule, or scar tissue, that has contracted and hardened around the implant.
  • Open Capsulotomy – An open capsulotomy involves surgically releasing the scar tissue, or capsule, contracted around the breast implant by scoring the capsule with small incisions.  Open capsulotomy may also involve partial removal of scar tissue.
  • En Bloc – En bloc removal is when the surgeon removes the surrounding tissue or capsule and the implant together and intact as one unit. Not all surgeons are skilled with this procedure.
  • General anaesthesia – Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Haematoma – Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Inframammary incision – An incision made in the fold under the breast.
  • Intravenous sedation – Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
  • Local anaesthesia – A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
  • Mammogram – An x-ray image of the breast.
  • Mastectomy – The removal of breast tissue, typically to rid the body of cancer.
  • MRI – Magnetic Resonance Imaging; a painless test to view tissue similar to an x-ray.
  • Periareolar incision – An incision made at the edge of the areola.
  • Saline implants – Breast implants filled with salt water.
  • Silicone implants – Breast implants filled with an elastic gel.
  • Submammary or subglandular placement – Breast implants placed directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle.
  • Submuscular or subpectoral placement – Breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle, which is located between the breast tissue and chest wall.
  • Sutures – Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
  • Transaxillary incision – An incision made in the underarm area.
  • Ultrasound – A diagnostic procedure that projects high frequency sound waves into the body and records the echoes as pictures.