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The ABCs of Cosmetic Surgery: Breast Augmentation Terms to Know

Should you’ve been considering breast augmentation, it’s doubtless you’ve already spent a while scouring the internet for info. It’s additionally possible that you simply’ve come throughout a number of phrases you’re not acquainted with, which may make understanding the process challenging.

To assist these feeling overwhelmed with info or curious concerning the breast augmentation lexicon, we’ve created a breast augmentation glossary that covers some of the most typical phrases you’ll come across.

This glossary is just not meant to present medical advice or diagnostic info. In case you are experiencing any regarding points, please seek medical care out of your beauty surgeon, basic practitioner, or emergency providers.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | Okay | M | N | P | R | S | T


Anaplastic giant cell lymphoma (ALCL) is a kind of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that happens when abnormal T-cells develop, sometimes within the lymph nodes. ALCL is extraordinarily uncommon. BIA-ALCL, or breast implant related ALCL, is an ever rarer type of ALCL that develops within the scar tissue surrounding breast implants. Thus far, all documented instances of BIA-ALCL have been linked to textured breast implants. You’ll be able to study more about BIA-ALCL and our safety recommendations right here.

Anatomical Breast Implant

An anatomical breast implant is a form-stable silicone implant shaped to resemble the natural curvature of the breast, i.e. a teardrop. See “Teardrop Breast Implant”

Augmentation Mastopexy

Augmentation mastopexy is a procedure designed to each carry drooping breast tissues and add fullness by means of the location of a breast implant. Sometimes referred to as a breast raise with implants or breast augmentation with carry, this surgery is most frequently really helpful to those that are experiencing breast sagging from childbearing, weight reduction, or growing older and in addition want to restore lost fullness, notably to the upper breast.

Bottoming Out

“Bottoming out” is a post-breast augmentation complication that occurs when the breast implants falls to a lower position on the chest, under the natural crease of the breast (inframammary fold). This condition can happen if your breast tissue is week and/or your breast implants are too giant or the breast crease was lowered too far during surgery. Bottoming out is extra widespread when breast implants are positioned over the muscle.


“Breadloafing” is a layperson’s term for symmastia, a uncommon post-breast augmentation complication wherein the breast implants settle too shut together, leaving little-to-no room between the breasts. Symmastia most-often outcomes from over-dissection of the breast tissue, permitting the breast implants to “fall” toward the center of the chest. See “Symmastia.”

Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a surgical process that enlarges the breasts via the location of saline or silicone breast implants.

Breast Capsule

When any medical implant is placed within the human body, your body responds by forming a capsule of scar tissue across the gadget. This course of is a traditional half of healing that occurs when your physique isolates a overseas object—and it will possibly help hold your breast implants in place as you recuperate.

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture occurs when the capsule of scar tissue that naturally varieties round breast implants (or any medical implant) hardens and begins to constrict the implants. Relying on the severity of capsular contracture, you possibly can experience breast pain, overly firm and tender breasts, a decent and round appearance, and/or misshapen nipples.


Sometimes performed to assist deal with surgical problems after breast augmentation, similar to capsular contracture, a capsulectomy includes surgically removing the capsule of scar tissue that naturally varieties around breast implants. Either a portion (partial capsulectomy) or everything of the capsule could also be removed, depending on the choice of the surgeon and patient, severity of complication, and any related risks. In contrast to an en bloc capsulectomy, this procedure is carried out with out eradicating the breast implant.

Cohesive Breast Implants

Cohesive breast implants are a form-stable, silicone gel breast implant typically referred to as “gummy bear implants.” The cohesivity of a breast implant is decided by what number of chemical cross-links (connections) between silicone molecules their are; the more cross-links, the extra agency and secure the breast implant might be. Extremely cohesive breast implants, for example, include a very agency gel that retains its shape while still feeling comparable to pure breast tissue. See “Form-Stable Breast Implants” and “Gummy Bear Implant.”

Cooper’s Ligament

Cooper’s ligaments are connective tissues within the breasts that help provide construction and help. These ligaments run out of your clavicle to the inside portion of the pectoralis major muscle and branch by way of and round your breast tissue.

Canine Ears

“Dog ears” are small areas of extra skin that occur at the end of an incision, comparable in appearance to a dog ear. While rare in procedures that don’t involve skin tightening incisions, they will occur with breast augmentation. Dog ears may be eliminated with scar revision.

Drop and Fluff

“Drop and fluff” describes the traditional process of breast implant settling after breast augmentation. Instantly after surgery, it’s normal for breast implants to sit excessive and agency on the chest as your physique reacts to surgical procedure with muscle tightening and swelling. As you start to heal, your muscle tissue loosen up and skin begins to stretch to accommodate your breast implants, allowing them to “drop” right into a more pure position on the chest and “fluff” as they fill the decrease breast cavity. This process can take up to six months or more, relying on your anatomy, sort of breast implant positioned, and surgical method.

Twin Aircraft Breast Augmentation

Dual aircraft breast augmentation is a way the place breast implants are placed underneath the pectoral muscle at the higher and mid-portion of the breast whereas the decrease part of the breast implant is left uncovered by the muscle. This system requires making a pocket for the breast implant each underneath the muscle and in the breast tissue. This system is usually advisable for ladies who have a light quantity of breast drooping or want for a very pure look with more fullness in the decrease breast. Some surgeons also use this technique for ladies who have tuberous breasts.

En Bloc Capsulectomy

En bloc capsulectomy describes a way for breast implant removing that includes eradicating both the implant and the whole capsule of scar tissue that naturally types around the breast implant concurrently. This technique is usually favored when a rupture or different complication has occurred or implants are over a sure age, because the capsule might have fragments of silicone, micro organism, or inflammatory cells that can lead to points if uncovered to the body. As a result of the whole capsule and implant are eliminated collectively, the inside of the capsule isn’t exposed. En bloc capsulectomy just isn’t all the time vital when having implants eliminated or replaced, though some docs favor this system to guarantee patient safety and consistency in outcomes.

Type-Secure Breast Implants

Type-stable breast implants, typically referred to as “gummy bear implants,” are crammed with a extremely cohesive silicone gel that retains its form over time. Type-stable implants have more cross-links between silicone molecules that traditional silicone gel breast implants, giving them their firmness and gummy-like texture. See “Cohesive Breast Implants” and “Gummy Bear Implant.”

Gummy Bear Implant

The latest era of highly cohesive silicone breast implants are colloquially referred to as “gummy bear breast implants” for his or her agency yet versatile texture. Though firmer than traditional silicone implants, gummy bear implants are recognized for his or her pure feel and appear whereas retaining their form because the implants age. Gummy bear implants at the moment are out there in both anatomical and round shapes and in a spread of ranges of firmness and cohesivity. See “Form-Stable Breast Implants” and “Cohesive Breast Implants.”


A hematoma is a swelling of clotted blood outdoors of the blood vessels inside the tissues. Hematomas are sometimes brought on by damage or excessive strain to the wall of a blood vessel, which allows the blood to seep out and acquire in the surrounding tissues. It doesn’t take much trauma to cause a hematoma; think about the pocket of blood typically seen underneath a nail after minor damage to a finger or toe. The first indicators of a hematoma embrace discomfort, swelling, redness, and bruising. Delicate hematomas are widespread after any surgery and sometimes not an indication for alarm in breast augmentation sufferers until a extreme hematoma, extreme pain, or irregular bruising are present.

Implant Malposition

Implant malposition is when breast implants shift inside the breast pocket, shifting to an unnatural place that impacts your outcomes. Implants can fall too low, leaving too much fullness under the nipple; sit too excessive, creating excess fullness in the upper pole of the breast; migrate laterally to the edges, the place breasts are spaced too far aside; or move too shut to the center, creating the looks of a singular breast. Implant malposition may be fastened with a secondary surgery that includes adjusting the breast pocket and, typically, replacing breast implants.

Implant Rippling

Implant rippling is when the sides of a breast implant are visible by means of the skin. When it occurs, rippling is usually visible at the outer perimeter of the breast implants, most often alongside the periphery, toward the armpit. Ladies with little natural breast tissue or who are very skinny have a better danger of implant rippling, which happens when there’s poor tissue coverage of the implant. Visible implant rippling may also happen if a scar capsule is just too unfastened, saline implants weren’t crammed sufficiently during surgery, or an unsuitably sized implant was positioned. Rippling can happen with either saline or silicone breast implants, although it’s commonest with round saline implants. Many surgeons choose to “overfill” saline breast implants to scale back the danger of rippling, although overinflation may trigger wrinkling within the implant if not executed appropriately.

Inframammary Incision

For breast augmentation, the inframammary incision is made in the pure crease underneath the breast, the inframammary fold. This incision is a comparatively small, horizontal incision that sometimes runs between 2 – 5 cm in length, and it can be used for both saline and silicone breast implants. Because the ensuing scar is inconspicuous, obscured by the breast crease, and easily hidden by a bra or swimsuit, the inframammary incision is one of the preferred among sufferers.

Keller Funnel

The Keller Funnel is a device used to make the process of putting breast implants extra efficient and scale back the danger of infection after surgical procedure. The system seems and features comparable to a pastry icing piping bag. Utilizing no-touch delivery, the breast implant is first positioned within the sterilized, hydrated bag at its widest end. The slender end is is then inserted into the incision and the breast implant is gently propelled into the surgical pocket.

Mammary Hypoplasia

Mammary hypoplasia, or “tuberous breasts,” is a condition brought on by breast malformation, leading to an asymmetrical, constricted look. This condition occurs when the breast does not absolutely type throughout puberty, typically appearing as a constricted or collapsed areolar space, a high breast fold, and breast tissue that tilts downward. Tuberous breasts typically appear pointed, sq., or oval in shape, and it might affect one breast more so than the opposite. Breast augmentation could be carried out to improve the looks of mammary hypoplasia, although it should first require releasing the constricted tissue before putting breast implants. See “Tuberous Breasts.”

Nipple-Areolar Complicated

The nipple-areolar complicated is situated close to the middle of the breast mound and consists of the nipple and surrounding pigmented skin (areola).

Periareolar Incision

The periareolar incision is made along the surface edge of the nipple-areolar complicated and is most frequently in used in breast lifting procedures as it could permit for removing of excess skin, notably when mixed with a vertical or anchor form incision to carry the lower portion of the breast.


Breast implant rupture is a complication that can happen for a spread of causes at any level after breast augmentation surgical procedure, though it most often happens because the outer shell of the breast implant weakens with age. Injury from surgical devices, over or underfilling breast implants, capsular contracture, trauma, and even excessive compression are some contributing elements. When saline breast implants rupture, the breast implant will noticeably deflate over the course of a number of days as the saline answer leaks and is safely absorbed by the physique. If a silicone breast implant ruptures, the cohesive gel materials doesn’t leak like saline—sometimes, the silicone gel will stay inside the capsule of scar tissue and solely be detectable by MRI. Breast revision surgical procedure is required to take away the broken breast implant and, typically, the encompassing capsule.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are composed of a silicone outer shell that is full of sterile saline answer once it has been placed during surgical procedure. Saline breast implants are available to ladies 18+.


A seroma is an accumulation of fluid that collects beneath the surface of the skin and sometimes develops after a surgical procedure, near the incision website or where tissue has been eliminated. For breast augmentation patients, seromas might develop inside the first few weeks or months after your procedure, sometimes across the breast implant.

Formed Breast Implants

Shaped breast implants are a form-stable silicone implant shaped to resemble the natural curvature of a breast, i.e. a teardrop shape. These implants retain their shape relatively than shifting with the body as spherical breast implants do. See “Teardrop Breast Implant” or “Anatomical Breast Implant.”

Silicone Breast Implant

Silicone breast implants are composed of a silicone outer shell crammed with silicone gel of various cohesiveness. In contrast to saline implants, silicone breast implants come pre-filled. They are permitted for sufferers over age 22.

Clean Breast Implants

Clean breast implants are designed with a mushy, clean outer shell that permits them to move more naturally with the breast pocket.

Subglandular Implant Placement (Overs)

Subglandular implant placement—also referred to as over the muscle placement—is when the implant pocket is created and implant placed underneath the glandular tissue of the breast, above the pectoral muscle. Subglandular placement sometimes includes a shorter recovery time and should leads to a extra uplifted look, though it does have a larger danger of implant visibility by way of the pores and skin and a less pure look on some body varieties.

Subpectoral /Submuscular Implant Placement (Unders)

Subpectoral implant placement—or underneath the muscle placement—is a way the place the implant pocket is created and the implant placed beneath the glandular tissue and pectoral muscle. Submuscular placement recovery is slightly longer, though many sufferers choose the pure look and added help.


Symmastia is a rare post-breast augmentation complication wherein the breast implants settle too shut together, leaving little-to-no room between the breasts. Symmastia most-often results from over-dissection of the breast tissue, allowing the breast implants to “fall” toward the center of the chest. See “breadloafing.”

Teardrop Breast Implant

Teardrop breast implants are a form-stable silicone implant shaped to resemble the natural curvature of the breast, i.e. a teardrop. These implants retain their shape slightly than shifting with the physique like round breast implants. See “Shaped Breast Implant” or “Anatomical Breast Implant.”

Textured Breast Implants

Textured breast implants go through a texturizing process that creates a “rough” or grained surface to the outer shell of the implant to help scar tissue conform extra intently to the implant to scale back movement. Whereas there are each saline and silicone textured implants, the textured surface is commonest with anatomically shaped implants to scale back the danger of malposition or flipping. Textured implants have just lately fallen out of favor due to their correlation with the event of BIA-ALCL.

Transaxillary Incision

The transaxillary incision is made within the armpit where ensuing scars are virtually invisible. Breast implants are positioned by means of this incision utilizing an endoscopic surgical digital camera. This incision method is usually advisable to sufferers who’re susceptible to keloid scarring or very involved with resulting scars on the breast. The transaxillary incision is one of the least widespread, as it is a complicated method that requires particular experience and talent to properly perform. Saline or silicone implants might be positioned by means of the armpit incision.

Transumbilical Breast Augmentation

Transumbilical breast augmentation (TUBA) is a way the place breast implants are placed by way of a small C- or J-shaped incision within the pure creases of the belly button. By means of the incision, an endoscope (skinny, flexible tube with a digital camera) is guided underneath the skin up to the chest, making a channel and increasing the breast pocket. An empty saline breast implant is then fed by way of the channel, placed over or beneath the pectoral muscle, and full of saline to the desired measurement. While this technique can solely be used for saline implants, patients who choose TUBA achieve this for the shortage of visible scars on the breast, decreased danger of loss of sensation or an infection, and faster recovery. TUBA is a less widespread type of breast augmentation as it requires added surgeon training and experience.

Tuberous Breasts

A situation brought on by breast malformation, tuberous breasts have an asymmetrical, constricted look. This situation occurs when the breast doesn’t absolutely type during puberty, typically showing as a constricted or collapsed areolar space, high breast fold, and breast tissue that tilts downward. Tuberous breasts typically appear pointed, square, or oval in form, and it might affect one breast extra so than the opposite. Breast augmentation might be performed to enhance the looks of tuberous breasts, although it can first require releasing the constricted tissue earlier than putting breast implants. See “Mammary Hypoplasia.”