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Weight loss Surgery Glossary




Cosmetic Surgery After Weight loss Glossary

Abdominoplasty ( tummy tuck) – Cosmetic Surgery to remove excess skin and fat from the abdomen created by weight loss, aging or pregnancies

Abdominoplasty Bariatric surgery – Following surgery to create weight loss patient frequently develop excess skin on their trunk and abdomen benefiting from excision

Abdominal Binder – Compressive binder used following some abdominal procedures to maintain uniform abdominal pressure around the abdomen

Abdominal Laxity – Excess skin and fat on the abdomen usually created by weight loss, aging or pregnancy

Arm Lift – A plastic surgery procedure to recontour the shape of the arms by removing hanging, sagging skin from the arms

Bariatric nutritional team – A team of surgeons and support staff that manage the patient through the bariatric surgery weight loss process

Bariatric surgery – Surgery to aid in weight loss for obese patients

Belt Lipectomy – A type of abdominoplasty ( tummy tuck ) that places the scar in the belt line all the way around the abdomen and trunk. This form of abdominoplasty is one of the procedures used for patients following massive weight loss.

BMI- Body Mass Index (Obesity Definitions)

* BMI = Body Mass Index (kg/m2)
* BMI = 20 -25 Normal
* BMI = 25- 30 overweight
* BMI = 30-35 class 1 obesity
* BMI = 35-40 class 2 obesity
* BMI = > 40 class 3 obesity
* BMI = >50 super obesity

Body Contouring Surgery – Cosmetic surgery to remove excess saggy skin and/or fat from the body. This can be as simple as liposuction to refine an area such as the thighs or abdomen to more extensive procedures such as a trunk or thigh lift to remove extra skin and fat

Body Lift – Also called a Trunk Lift – An extensive plastic surgery procedure to recontour and remove excess hanging skin and fat from the body following massive weight loss

Brachioplasty – The plastic surgery procedure to remove excess hanging skin and fat from the arms usually created from weight loss or aging

Breast Lift – or “Mastopexy” is a plastic surgery procedure to restore a youthful contour to the breast, sometimes lost with pregnancy, weight loss or aging, by repositioning the natural breast tissue and nipple areola complex.

Breast Reduction – Is a plastic surgery procedure to reduce the breast size in patients with large breasts. The breast reduction procedure is usually necessitated because of back pain, shoulder pain and neck aches secondary to the large size of the breasts. The procedure may be covered by insurance.

Breast Ptosis – Drooping of the breasts with the nipple areola complex falling below the bottom of the breast usually associated with weight loss, aging or pregnancies and breast feeding

Buttocks Lift ( butt lift ) – A plastic surgical procedure to recontour the buttock are following weight loss, or aging, or sagging

Cellulite – Irregularities of the skin surface usually associated with the extremities caused by irregular deposits of fat under the skin surface from irregular attachments of the skin to the underlying muscle or fascia

Buttock Contour – The shape of the buttock

Chafing – Abrasions of the skin caused by overlap of skin in obesity or tight garments

Circumferential Abdominoplasty ( tummy tuck ) – A plastic surgery procedure, frequently performed where there has been significant weight loss, that necessitates carrying the scar all the way around to the back in order to remove all the skin and fat in an abdominoplasty

Circumferential belt lipectomy – or Belt Lipectomy is a form of abdominoplasty ( tummy tuck) occasionally performed in massive weight loss patients where the scar is placed in the belt line.

Drains – Hollow or flat silicone rubber devices used to allow fluid to be removed from incision sites either gravity or suction

Diabetes – A hereditary or acquired system disease associated with resistance to insulin that leads to elevated sugar levels in the blood

Dog-ears – Elevations of skin and fat seen at the ends of surgical incisions where not enough skin was removed

Decreased Skin Tone – Loss of natural elasticity in the skin either secondary to weight loss or aging

Dehiscence – Separation of a surgical incision site frequently associated with underlying infection or tension on the wound.

Deep vein thrombosis – Clotting of one of the veins in the pelvis or legs that can lead to pulmonary emboli.

Defatting – Surgical removal of fat from the under surface of the skin usually associated with some type of flap procedure.

Fat – Glycerides of fatty acids that make up most of the subcutaneous tissue

Fascial Anchoring – A surgical procedure to attach tissues to the fascia as a way of holding them in place as the fascia is strong and holds sutures well


Free Derma fat Grafts – A composite of tissue in which there is dermis and fat usually used to fill a small area of tissue loss

Gastric Bypass – A surgical weight loss or Bariatric surgical procedure to aid in weight loss

Gynecomastia – The accumulation of fat or actual breast in the chest area of men simulating a breast ( other lay terms for gynecomastia are: male breasts , bitch tits and gyno )

Hematoma – A collection of blood under the tissues occasionally seen as a complication following surgery.

Hip Adiposity – A collection of fat on the hips

Hypertension – Elevated blood pressure

Hypertrophic scar – An increase in scar tissue in a surgical incision site that usually flattens with time but may lead to a spread scar as opposed to a keloid scar that does not flatten

Infection – Bacterial or viral contamination

Inferior Trunk – Lower part of the body below the umbilicus but above the legs

Internal Hernia – An outpocketing with in the abdomen either naturally occurring or from previous surgery in which bowel may become trapped causing obstruction or incarceration.

Interiginous dermatitis – An inflammation of the skin due to irritation created by excessive wetness from to layers of skin lying on each other such as under large breasts and the chest wall or under a large abdominal pannus.

Inverted T mastopexy – A type of breast lift that is associated with an inverted “T” scar with an incision around the nipple areola, extending downward vertically to the inframammary crease and then one in the breast crease

Keloid Scar – A scar that grows beyond its natural border and is frequently associated with symptoms of itching and pain

Laparoscopic Obesity Surgery – Surgery for obesity involving the use of a laparoscopic to avoid large incisions and hasten recovery.

Lap Band Surgery – One of the obesity surgery procedures that can frequently be done laparoscopically that involves placing a band around the stomach

Lateral thighplasty – A plastic surgery procedure to elevate the skin over the lateral thigh and buttock area in patients with laxity

Lateral Thigh Lift – A cosmetic surgery procedure to lift the skin over the outer thigh and butt in patients with excess saggy skin.

Laxity – Loose skin or tissue secondary to loss of elasticity due to age or weight loss

Liposuction – A plastic surgery procedure involving the removal of fat from under the skin with a hollow suction cannula

Lower Body Lift – Also called trunk lift that involves the removal of extra saggy skin and fat usually created from massive weight loss

Lymphedema – The collection of lymphatic fluid in the tissues usually due to some type of obstruction

Lymphatic drainage – The body has veins, arteries and lymph channels the former carry blood the later lymph

Perineal Bands – Scar tissue in the perineum usually from previous surgery

Mastopexy – A cosmetic surgery procedure to lift the breasts to give them a youthful appearance

Medial Thigh Adiposity – Increased fat of the inner aspect of the leg

Medial thighplasty – A cosmetic surgery procedure to remove excess drooping skin and fat from the inner aspect of the thigh usually necessitated due to weight loss or aging

Medial Thigh Lift - Also called Medial Thighplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure to remove excess saggy skin and fat from the inner aspect of the thigh usually created by excessive weight loss or aging

Metabolic Syndrome ( Diabetes, Hypertension, vascular disease) – a medical condition associated with a high risk of cardiac complications. The hall mark of the condition is the association of a large waist line, diabetes and hypertension

Midline Scar – A vertical scar in the center of the abdomen often associated with a gastroplasty

Morbid obesity – A BMI of over 35 or someone in lay terms who is obviously over weight

Mons Pubis ptosis – Drooping of the soft tissues in the pubic area usually secondary to major weight gain or loss

Obesity – A BMI of over 30 or in lay terms someone who over weight

Pannus – A collection of skin and fat along the lower abdomen secondary to major weight gain

Panniculectomy – The surgical procedure to remove the extra skin and fat overhanging the lower abdomen.

Pneumomediastinum – A collection of air in the mediastinum usually secondary to some form of injury

Polypropylene mesh – A mesh used surgically to repair hernias

Psychosocial issues – Psychological issues or social issues that may come to play in determining who is and who is not a candidate for bariatric surgery

Ptosis – Drooping of tissues that may be used to describe the condition of the upper lid, breasts or thighs.

Pulmonary Embolus – A blood clot that travels to the lungs and can prevent perfusion leading to hypoxemia

Recurrent Laxity – Return of laxity in tissues despite procedures to tighten – frequently a problem in patients following body resculpting procedures where the skin relaxes creating a return of the initial defect

Seroma – A collection of serum under the skin or other body tissues

Skin Ptosis – Drooping of the skin frequently seen in patients following massive weight loss. Other lay terms used to describe skin ptosis are: saggy skin, droopy skin, hanging skin and loose skin.

Stretch Marks- Stretch marks are tears in the dermis. They are the result of pressure or force elongating the skin. During this time the skin thins and loses its elasticity. The only way to permanently remove stretch marks is with surgery to cut them out. There is no magic eraser, laser or topical treatment that permanently removes stretch marks.

Suprapublic skin necrosis – Skin death in the area above the pubis uncommonly seen as a complication of an abdominoplasty due to a tight closure and poor blood supply

Superficial thigh venous thrombosis – Clotting of a vein in the superficial soft tissues of thigh

Supine – On one’s back

Thighplasty – A cosmetic surgery procedure to remove excess saggy skin and fat from the thigh

Thigh Laxity – Loose skin and subcutaneous tissue in the thigh usually secondary to weight loss or aging. Sagging extra hanging skin

Tummy Tuck – The cosmetic surgery procedure also called an abdominoplasty that involves the removal of stretch mark, sagging skin and fat from the abdomen and the tightening of the underlying muscle fascia

Truncal Lift – The cosmetic surgery procedure that involves the removal of excess hanging skin and fat from the abdomen and thighs and thereby while tightening the abdomen lifts and tightens the skin of the buttock and thighs

Trunk Laxity – Laxity of skin and subcutaneous tissue of the abdomen, thighs and buttock associated with massive weight loss or aging

Trochanteric fat – Fat in the soft tissues over lying the thighs

Umbilical scar – A scar on or around the umbilicus (belly button)

Vertical banded Gastroplasty – A bariatric surgical procedure on the stomach to narrow its capacity leading to weight loss

Vulvar Distortion – Distortion of the female genital area secondary to previous surgery or weight gain and loss

Wound Breakdown – Opening or dehiscence of a surgical wound usually secondary to tension or infection

Wound complications – A general term that refers to one of many unfavorable events that can occur in the healing of a surgical would such as simply “spitting a stitch” to a total wound separation or dehiscence

Z-plasty – A cosmetic surgery procedure on a scar to place the scar in a more favorable position for healing or to correct webbing across an area of motion

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