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Medical Glossary

Have a look at our medical glossary for all the terms that you will need.



Abdominoplasty - surgery to remove excess fat and skin from the abdomen.

Acne - an inflammatory eruption involving the oil-producing sebaceous glands.

Aesthetic surgery - any surgery which will improve one’s appearance.

Aesthetician - a skin care specialist trained in methods to enhance appearance.

Age spot - flat, brown discoloration on the skin. It is a result from overexposure to the sun and aging. Its also called sunspot or liver spot.

Anaesthesia - loss of sensation in the body induced by an anaesthetic.

Anaesthetic - a compound that reduces the ability to perceive pain. It is used in surgery to block pain.

Anaesthetist – A person who adminsters an anaesthetic.

Antibacterial - any agent that is effective against bacteria.

Antibiotic - a drug that is effective against bacteria.

Areola Reduction – Surgery to remove excess skin or tissue from the areola.

Areola - the pigmented area around the nipple.

Asymmetric – A term used to describe an uneven appearance.

Augmentation/ mammoplasty (Breast Augmentation, Boob job) - the enlargement of the breasts using an artificial implant.


Beauty mark - a mole or nevus.

Biopsy - the process of removing tissue form living patients for diagnostic examination.

Birthmark - a mole or blemish that is on the skin at birth.

Blemish - any mark or discoloration on the skin that mars the appearance.

Blepharoplasty - any operation to correct a defect in the eyelids. In cosmetic surgery it is referred to as an eye lift, eyelid correction or eye lift.

Boob Job – surgical placement of breast implants to increase breast size and fullness.

Botox - a substance derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. It is used to temporarily relax the muscles and treat cross-eyed condition, muscle spasm, excessive sweating, and migraine headaches.

Brachioplasty - surgery on the arm. It is usually the upper arm to remove excess skin and fat.

Breast Augmentation (Boob Job) - surgical placement of breast implants to increase breast size and fullness.

Breast implant (Breast Prosthesis) - a silicone rubber shell filled with either silicone gel or inflated with a saline solution used to enlarge the breast (boob job).

Breast implant removal (BIR) - surgery to remove implants with or without replacement; for desired changes in proportions, or due to implant-related complications.

Breast lift (Mastopexy) - surgery to remove excess skin and raise the nipple for perkier, fuller breasts; to counteract gravity, loss of elasticity, and sagging. It is also called mastopexy.

Breast reduction - surgery to remove excess skin, breast, and fatty tissue for smaller, shapely breasts, and to reduce back and neck strain.


Canula or cannula - a small, hollow tube used during liposuction surgery to remove fat by suction.

Capillary - a tiny blood vessel that connects an artery to a vein.

Cartilage - a type of connective tissue.

Cellulite - a term used to describe an uneven, or dimpled texture to the skin overlying fat. It is sometimes treated with mechanical massage or mesotherapy.

Chemical peel - removal of the superficial layers of the skin with a chemical agent to remove wrinkles and age spots. It promotes the regrowth of fresh, clearer new skin.

Closed rhinoplasty - surgery of the nose without any visible external incisions.

Collagen - the major protein of connective tissue that makes up the foundation of skin and other tissues. It is used as an injectable filler to temporarily plump depressed areas or augment deficient areas of the skin.

Cosmetic surgery - an elective procedure performed to reshape normal structures in the body in order to improve appearance.

Crow’s feet - wrinkles at the outside corners of the eyes, resulting from aging and normal facial expression. It is usually temporarily corrected using Botox injections.


Dermabrasion (Microdermabrasion)- a technique of mechanical buffing or sanding of the skin to remove the superficial layers and improve imperfections such as wrinkles and scars.

Dietitian – A clinician that provides education on nutrition and good nutritional habits.


Ear surgery (Otoplasty) – pinning back of prominent ears or reducing and reshaping the ear.

Electrolysis – the process of elimination excess hair by inserting a needle into each hair follicle to destory the hair bulb with a weak current of electricity.

Endoscope - a surgical device for seeing inside of the body via small incisions, through a tube with an attached camera and light source.

Epidermis – the outer, protective layer of the skin.

Eyelid ptosis surgery (Blepharoplasty) – procedure to raise one or both droopy upper eyelids to restore an alert appearance and possibly improve visual fields.


Face lift – a surgical procedure to rejuvenate the appearance of the face and neck. The surgery reduces jowls under the cheeks and improves the jawline by repositioning muscle and removing excess skin.

Fat transfer – A procedure to remove fat from another part of the body. It creates a fuller appearance in the required area.

Female genital surgery/Gynaecology (Labiaplasty) – surgery to reshape the labia for increased confidence and enhanced sexual experiences.

Filler – a substance such as collagen, silicone, or one’s own fat that is injected beneath the skin to contour. It can also fill in wrinkles or scars.

FRCS – Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons. A professional qualification to practice as a surgeon in the UK and Republic of Ireland.


General Anesthetic – an anaesthetic administered to induce sleep; sometimes referred to as a “general”.

Genioplasty - surgery of the chin.

Glabellar lines – vertical forehead creases between the eyebrows.

Glycolic Peel (Chemical Peel) – the removal of skin surfaces using a fruit acid.

Graft – Tissue moved from one part of the body to another.

Gynaecomastia (Male Breast Reduction) – surgery for males to remove breast tissue using excision or liposuction. It is the correction of man boobs.

GMC – The GMC registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK.


Hirsutism – condition of excess bodily hair.

Hooding - an abnormal appearance of the upper eyelid caused by excessive sagging of the eyelid skin. It can be corrected using Blepharoplasty / Eyelid correction surgery.

Hyperhidrosis – a condition causing excessive sweating.

Hyperpigmentation – darkening of the skin through overproduction of melanin.


Implant – a surgically placed, permanent device or prosthesis that is used to correct an anatomical deficiency or to create a more desirable appearance.

Incision – a cut or surgical wound.

Inflammation – redness, swelling, and pain as a result of irritation, injury or infection.

Injectable filler – A substance used to plump up a depressed area of the skin or lips.


Labial – A term used relating to the labia/female genitalia.

Labiaplasty – surgery to reshape the labia.

Laser - acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Used to resurface skin and remove unwanted veins or hair.

Laser resurfacing (laser peel) – use of laser to vaporize damaged skin while leaving surrounding tissues undamaged; used to eliminate or modify unsightly skin defects.

Lip augmentation – A procedure that increases the size and definition of the lips. This is by using temporary or permanent fillers or implants.

Lip reduction – Surgery that reduces the size of the upper and / or lower lip by removing a thin strip of tissue.

Liposculpture – liposuction through very small cannulas to more precisely contour the site.

Liposuction – removal of fat lying under the skin through the use of a cannula and vacuum.

Local anesthetic – an anesthetic injected to numb the area being treated.


Mammaplasty – plastic surgery of the breast.

Mastectomy – Surgical removal of the breast tissue.

Mastopexy (Breast Uplift, Boob Job) - a surgical breast lift that removes extra skin and repositions the nipple in a higher position.

Melanin – a pigment in the skin or hair that gives it its tan, brown to black color.

Microdermabrasion – a technique using sand crystals and a vacuum to remove superficial skin cells and improve minor skin imperfections.

Mole – a benign growth on the skin that is usually pigmented; also called a nevus.


Nasolabial fold – the crease extending from the side of the nostril to the corner of the mouth; smile or laugh lines.

Neck lift (Cervicoplasty)- surgery to remove excess skin to raise the neckline, correct “turkey neck”, and improve one’s profile.

Nipple reduction – surgery to remove excess skin and tissue of the nipple.

Nipple inversion repair – surgery to correct flat or inverted nipples through a small incision around the areola.


Open Rhinoplasty – surgery of the nose involving an incision at the base of the columella between the nostrils.

Otoplasty (Ear Correction) – surgery of the ear to pin back prominent ears or reduce and reshape overly large or malformed ears.

Outpatient – a person who receives treatment and who does not need to stay overnight maybe for a check up or for actual daycase surgery; the term can also be applied to the facility itself.


Pectoralis - the primary muscles of the chest.

Postoperative – refers to a period of recovery and healing that takes place after a surgical procedure.

Ptosis - drooping or sagging, commonly referring to eyebrows, eyelids, and breasts.


Reconstructive surgery – surgical procedures performed on abnormal structures of the body, to improve function and approximate normal appearance.

Reduction mammoplasty (Breast Reduction) – surgically reducing the size of the breast by removing extra skin, fat, and breast tissue.

Rhinoplasty – surgery of the nose;surgery to reshape the nose for a more aesthetically desirable appearance.


Saline – salt water; used as replacement fluid during surgery, or in tumescent solution for anaesthesia.

Scar – a permanent mark containing connective tissue that results from the body’s response to injury.

Sclerotherapy - a technique for treating dilated veins by injecting a solution that irritates and collapses the vessel.

Septoplasty – reconstructive surgery of the nasal septum, used to repair a deviated septum; can improve breathing ability.

Skin resurfacing – a surgical procedure that removes upper skin layers to produce new skin.

Spider vein – non-essential superficial dilated veins that lie just beneath the skin.

Surgeon – A specialist in surgery.

Suture – to close a wound surgically; the stitch that joins together the edges of an incision.

Symmetric – equal and balanced when one side is compared to the other.


Tubular Breasts – A breast abnormality that prevents the breasts from developing normally and fully. Can be helped with a breast enhancement (Boob Job).

Tummy tuck (Abdominoplasty) – repair of abdominal muscle and removal of excess fat and skin to flatten the abdomen, especially beneficial after pregnancy or weight loss.


UVA – ultraviolet light type A, with a wavelength of 320-400nm; causes aging and damage to the elastin and collagen in the skin as well as tanning.

UVB - ultraviolet light type B, with a wavelength of 290-320; causes reddening and some tanning of the skin.


Varicose veins – abnormally dilated or enlarged veins.

Vaser – Liposuction using ultrasonic waves to break up and separate fat cells.


Wrinkle – a furrow, ridge, line, or crease in the skin.