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Cosmetic Surgery For The Face

Glossary: Cosmetic Surgery For The Face

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 12:51

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here are definitions of medical terms related to cosmetic surgery for the face.

Blepharoplasty: A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to reshape (plasty) the upper and lower lids of the eyes. A blepharoplasty is performed to correct a sagging upper lid that can sometimes interfere with vision and a puffy, baggy lower lid.

Botulinum toxin: Botulinum toxin is the paralytic poison associated with botulism. In a distilled form, it is injected into muscle tissue to induce a controlled paralysis. Such treatment is used to release the spastic muscle contraction associated with some neurologic conditions. Botulinum toxin is also being used to reverse wrinkling in the brow and around the eyes.

Collagen: Collagen is the fibrous protein found in the white tissue of skin, bone, cartilage, tendon, and other connective tissue. Collagen is made of rodlike molecules that have great tensile strength. Collagen works in partnership with elastin to give our bodies both structure and elasticity.

Dermis: The dermis is the layer of skin immediately under the epidermis. The dermis contains blood vessels, nerves and nerve endings, glands, and hair follicles.

Elastin: Elastin is protein found in yellow elastic connective tissue. Chains of elastin molecules form rubberlike fibers like a bunch of rubber bands. The molecules stretch when the skin is pulled and recoil when the pull is relaxed. Elastin works in partnership with collagen to give our tissues both structure and elasticity. Normally the body stops making elastin once the body matures.

Epidermis: The epidermis is the most superficial layer of the skin. The epidermis does not contain blood vessels.

Laser: The word "laser" is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers produce an intense beam of light in one specific color (wavelength) that can be controlled for intensity and pulse duration. Light is amplified in a laser by bouncing back and forth between optical mirrors and lenses. The light gains strength with each cycle and when it has reached the right power, it is released in a quick burst of energy. The two most common types of lasers are the carbon dioxide (CO2) and the erbium:YAG. The CO2 laser delivers short bursts of high-energy light. The erbium:YAG laser produces a wavelength that is gentler and cooler. Both can be used for skin resurfacing techniques.

Platysma muscle: The platysma is a platelike muscle that runs from the neck to the jaw and the skin around the mouth. It acts to open the jaw.

Rhytidectomy: A rhytidectomy is a surgical procedure to reduce the most visible signs of aging. It eliminates excess fat, tightens muscles in the face and neck, and removes sagging skin.

Rhytid: A skin wrinkle. From the Greek rhytis, meaning wrinkle.

Submental lipectomy: A submental lipectomy is a surgical procedure to cut away excess fat under the chin. Submental liposuction vacuums away the fat under the chin.

Cosmetic Surgery For The Face