Glossary of Breast Augmentation Terms
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Anaesthesia: Drugs given to reduce or prevent pain during a surgical or medical procedure. There are four main types of anaesthesia. You or your surgeon will determine which is right for you.
  1. Local: numbs one small area of the body.
  2. Conscious or intravenous (IV) sedation: uses a mild sedative to relax you and a pain medicine to relieve pain.
  3. Regional anaesthesia: blocks pain in an area of the body, such as an arm or leg.
  4. General anaesthesia: anaesthesia which affects the whole body, putting you to sleep, with no memory of the medical procedure upon waking.
Areola: The coloured area of skin on the breast that surrounds the nipple.
Asymmetry: The lack of similarity between the shape, size, and/or position of two breasts.
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Barrier Layer: An extra silicone layer found in the outer shell of the breast implant. Natrelle silicone-filled breast implants have a patented patch design with 360-degree barrier layer coverage, which provides extra protection against gel diffusion.
Breast Augmentation Surgery: An operation to increase breast size and enhance breast shape.
Breast Reconstruction Surgery: Surgery to recreate breast shape and replace breast tissue that has been removed due to cancer or trauma.
Breast Revision Surgery: An operation to correct, improve or replace an existing breast implant.
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Cosmetic Surgeon:

A licensed physician or qualified doctor who has completed medical school and a residency programme, most often in a surgical specialty, such as general surgery, otolaryngology (head and neck surgery), dermatologic surgery or plastic surgery. A physician may attain board certification in his or her specialty, and then continue post-residency training specifically in cosmetic surgery.

Capsule: Scar tissue which forms around a breast implant. Sometimes, this capsule squeezes around the implant, resulting in a condition known as capsular contracture.
Capsular Contracture: A tightening of the tissue capsule surrounding an implant, which can occur with some women, resulting in firmness, hardening, or squeezing of a breast implant after surgery.
CC: Cubic Centimetre: related to the volume/size of breast implants. Breast implants are typically measured in CCs or grams.
Cohesiveness: The firmness of a breast implant created by the properties of the implant gel filler.
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Device Tracking: A programme intended to facilitate the ability to notify women with silicone gel-filled breast implants, if necessary. Device tracking provides women an additional reassurance that a breast implant manufacturer can locate them through their physician if an issue is suspected with their implants.
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Extracapsular Rupture: A type of breast implant rupture in which the silicone travels outside of the scar tissue surrounding the implant.
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Fill: The type of material inside the outer shell of your breast implant. There are two types of fills available, saline and silicone.

Saline: A solution that is made up of water and a small amount of salt, used as the contents for saline-filled breast implants. 

Silicone: A man-made material that can be found in several forms, such as liquid or gel.

Silicone is used in many everyday products, including food ingredients and packaging, medicines, and cosmetics such as lip gloss, creams, and lotions. 

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Gel Bleed: A leak of silicone gel across the implant’s outer shell and into the surrounding capsule and breast tissue.
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Inpatient Surgery: A surgical procedure that requires you to stay overnight in the hospital. Most breast augmentation surgeries do not require an overnight stay.
Intracapsular Rupture: A type of breast implant rupture in which the silicone gel remains inside the scar tissue surrounding the implant.
Intravenous (I.V.): Within a vein or veins.
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The removal of breast tissue due to the presence of a cancerous or precancerous growth. There are five types of mastectomy:

  1. Subcutaneous Mastectomy: surgical removal of the breast tissues, but leaving the skin, nipple, and areola.
  2. Simple Mastectomy: surgical removal of the breast including the nipple, areola, and some of the overlying skin.
  3. Modified Radical Mastectomy: surgical removal of the entire breast including the nipple, areola, and overlying skin, as well as a sampling of lymph nodes.
  4. Radical Mastectomy: surgical removal of the entire breast including the nipple, areola, and overlying skin, as well as the pectoral muscles, lymph nodes, and other neighbouring tissue. Rarely, if ever performed.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A diagnostic tool that creates images of the inside of the body through the use of a magnetic field and radio waves. It has a strong chance of detecting a ruptured silicone gel-filled breast implant.
Mammography: A type of X-ray examination of the breasts used for detection of cancer.  
Mastopexy: Plastic surgery to move sagging breasts into an elevated position.
MRI: (See Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

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Outpatient Surgery: A surgical procedure that does not require you to stay overnight in hospital.
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Plastic Surgery:

Surgery designed to improve appearance.

Plastic Surgeon: A physician who specializes in cosmetic and/or reconstructive surgery.  
Postoperative: After an operation.
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Rupture: A tear or hole in the implant shell. Silicone gel-filled implant ruptures may be silent (no symptoms) or symptomatic. Ruptures can be intracapsular (where gel remains inside the scar tissue surrounding the implant)

or extracapsular (where gel goes outside of the scar tissue surrounding the implant).

Some factors associated with breast implant rupture include increasing age of the implant, trauma, and compression during mammography, and damage by surgical instruments.

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Saline: A solution that is made up of water and a small amount of salt.
Scarring: A permanent patch of tissue that grows over a wound and replaces the normal skin as part of the natural healing process. Scarring occurs after every wound to the skin following accident, disease or surgery. Scars are often thicker, as well as pinker, redder or shinier, than the rest of your skin.
Shell: The external covering of a silicone gel-filled or saline-filled breast implant made from silicone rubber and designed to hold the silicone gel. Today’s silicone gel-filled breast implants have a thick outer shell, a silicone patch and a silicone barrier material covering the entire surface.
Silent Rupture: A breast implant rupture without symptoms, and which is not apparent except through appropriate imaging techniques, such as MRI. Most silicone gel-filled breast implant ruptures are silent.
Silicon: The element from which silicone is synthesized.
Silicone: A man-made material that can be found in several forms, such as liquid or gel. Silicone is used in many everyday products, including food ingredients and packaging, medicines, and cosmetics such as lip gloss, creams, and lotions. 
Subglandular Placement: Placement of a breast implant underneath and within the breast glands, but on top of the chest muscle.
Submuscular Placement: Placement of a breast implant wholly or partially underneath the chest muscle.
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Tissue Expander: An inflatable balloon-like device that is gradually filled with saline to stretch the skin at the site of a mastectomy. This allows the creation of a new tissue flap for the surgical placement of a breast implant.
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X-Ray: A diagnostic tool that makes use of electromagnetic radiation to take pictures of the inside of the body. This is the technology used in mammograms, a test used to detect breast cancer.
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