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Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Aspiration

The withdrawing of a fluid from the body by means of suction.

Asymmetry

Lack of proportion of shape, size, and/or position between the two breasts.

B

Biocompatible

The condition of being compatible with living tissues or systems without being toxic.

Breast Augmentation

A surgical procedure to increase breast size. The first time a breast implant is placed to increase breast size, it is called primary augmentation. All subsequent times the implant is replaced, it is called revision augmentation.

Breast Implant

An internal artificial device or implant intended to replace the breast. Breast reconstruction A surgical procedure to replace breast tissue that has been removed due to cancer or trauma or abnormality.

Breast Reconstruction

A surgical procedure that rebuilds a removed breast.

Buttocks Flap Reconstruction

A breast reconstruction operation that uses a flap from the buttocks that is transferred to the chest to create a breast mound.

C

Capsular Contraction

A tightening of the scar tissue surrounding an implant. May require an additional surgery to correct.

Capsule

Scar tissue that forms around the breast implant. Sometimes this capsule squeezes the implant, resulting in capsular contracture.

Capsulotomy (closed)

An attempt to break the scar tissue capsule around the implant by pressing or pushing on the outside of the breast. This method does not require surgery but is a known risk for rupture of the implant and is contraindicated.

Capsulotomy (open)

Surgical incision into the scar tissue capsule around the implant.

D

Deflation

Leakage of saline solution from the implant often due to a valve leak or cut in the implant shell with partial or complete collapse of the implant.

Rupture

A tear or hole in a silicone implant shell. Silicone implant ruptures may be silent or symptomatic. Ruptures can be intracapsular or extracapsular.

Delayed Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction that takes place weeks, months or years after a mastectomy.

F

Fibrous Tissues

Connective tissues composed mostly of fibers.

Flap

A portion of tissue, which may include muscle, fat and skin, with its blood supply moved from one part of the body to another.

Flap Reconstruction

Rebuilding of a removed breast using a flap to form the breast mound.

G

Glandular

Relating to a gland.

H

Hematoma

A collection of blood within a space.

Hemorrhage

Abnormal internal or external discharge of blood.

I

Immediate Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction that takes place during the same surgical procedure as a mastectomy.

Inframammary fold

The crease at the base of the breast and the chest wall.

Inframammary incision

An incision made in the fold below the breast.

Inpatient Surgery

A surgical procedure in which the patient is required to stay overnight in a hospital.

Intracapsular rupture

A type of rupture in which the silicone gel remains inside the scar tissue capsule surrounding the implant.

L

Latissimus Dorsi Flap Reconstruction

Breast reconstruction that utilizes the patient's own tissue transferred from the latissimus dorsi muscle, located in the back, to build a breast mound.

Lumpectomy

Surgical removal of a cancerous tumor along with a small margin of surrounding tissue.

Lymph Nodes

Structures in the lymphatic system that act as filters, catching bacteria and cancer cells, and that contribute to the body's immune system.

M

Mastectomy

The removal of breast tissue due to the presence of a cancerous or precancerous growth.

Mastopexy

Plastic surgery to move sagging breasts into a more elevated position.

Milk Ducts

Tubes for the passage of secreting milk.

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)

A radiographic examination that currently has the best ability to detect rupture of silicone gel-filled breast implants.

O

Opaque

Not transparent; impenetrable by visible light rays and x-rays.

Outpatient Surgery

A surgical procedure in which the patient is not required to stay overnight in a hospital.

P

Pectoralis Major

A muscle located in the upper chest that provides support for the breasts and is necessary for arm movements.

Periareolar

Around the darkened or pigmented area surrounding the nipple of the breast.

Postoperatively Adjustable Implant

An implant that allows the volume to be adjusted after implantation, within a specified range.

Prosthesis

Any artificial body part.

Ptosis

Refers to the drooping or sagging of the breast. Breast ptosis is usually the result of normal aging and the pull of gravity or changes caused by pregnancy or weight loss.

R

Radical Mastectomy

Removal of the breast, underlying muscles and underarm lymph nodes.

Rupture

A tear or hole in a silicone implant shell. Silicone implant ruptures may be silent or symptomatic. Ruptures can be intracapsular or extracapsular.

S

Saline

A solution that is made up of water and a small amount of salt. Approximately 71% of an adult's body weight naturally consists of this saltwater solution.

Sensory Nerves

The nerves that conduct afferent impulses from sensory receptors to the brain or spinal cord.

Sepsis

The presence of various microorganisms, their poisonous products or their toxins in the blood or tissue.

Silent Rupture

A breast implant rupture without symptoms and which is not apparent except through appropriate imaging techniques such as MRI. Most silicone breast implant ruptures are silent.

Silicone

A material that is widely used in medical implants and other consumer products composed primarily of silicon, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Silicone Gel

Silicone produced in a semisolid or semi liquid state, used as a filling in breast implants. Similar in consistency to normal breast tissue.

Simple Mastectomy

Removal of the breast only.

T

Texturing

The textured surface on the outside of some breast implants.

Thrombosis

The formation or development of a blood clot.

Tissue Expander

An adjustable implant that can be inflated with salt water to stretch the tissues at the mastectomy site.

Transumbilical incision

Incision made in the belly button or umbilical channel.