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Plastic Surgery Glossary

Familiarize yourself with all of the necessary terms before and after your plastic surgery.

  • Abdominoplasty: Also known as a "tummy tuck," is a major surgical procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the middle and lower abdomen and to tighten the muscles of the abdominal wall. The procedure can dramatically reduce the appearance of a protruding abdomen. But bear in mind, it does produce a permanent scar.
  • Breast Augmentation: Breast implants do not have to look unnatural any longer. Endoscopic techniques enable Dr. Sayah to insert breast implants through small incision away from the breast at the underarm. A small endoscope is utilized to insert the implant in either beneath the breast or the pectoralis major muscle. The shape of the breast is crucial when deciding on the type of breast augmentation. While minimizing scars, there is a lower incidence of nipple-areola numbness after endoscopic breast implant placement versus other techniques.
  • Breast Lift: Also known as a mastopexy, this procedure rejuvenates a woman’s figure by raising the breast tissue and repositioning the nipples. If breast volume has been lost over the years and the patient desires more fullness, implants may be inserted at the time of mastopexy. Reduced scar techniques have changed breast lift results. Depending on the degree of ptosis or "droopiness," that needs correction, reduced scar techniques may be used to yield improved aesthetic results.
  • Breast Reconstruction: In 1998 the US Congress passed legislation mandating insurance coverage for breast reconstruction following breast cancer. Techniques include changing the shape of the affected breast to achieve a more natural shape and changing the shape of the non-affected breast to achieve symmetry. Breast implants and autologous tissue reconstruction are other options. Autologous tissue reconstruction involves removing muscle, fat or both from another part of the body and using it to reconstruct the breast. Dr. Sayah can perform all of these complex reconstructions to afford to women the beautiful breasts they deserve.
  • Breast Reduction: Many women with excessively large breasts experience shoulder and back pain as well as the inability to lead active lifestyles. Breast reduction surgery results in smaller breasts while maintaining their shape. The excess breast tissue is removed, and the nipple and areola are repositioned. New techniques in breast reduction aim to decrease the scars resulting from breast reduction. One such technique is a liposuction-assisted breast reduction. Insurance companies cover breast reductions in certain cases if strict criteria are met.
  • Ear Surgery: Large ears or ears with excess projection from the side of the face can easily be sculptured and brought in closer to the head with an otoplasty procedure. Whether undesirable ear shape or size is the result of heredity or developmental abnormalities, the operation can be performed any time after the age of four. We perform otoplasty on adults, as well as children, but in cases of severe disfigurement much can be gained by having the surgery performed at a young age. By operating on a pre¬school age child, we can prevent the development of emotional problems that sometimes stem from the child's sense of being "different."
  • Eyelid Surgery: Your eyes are your most expressive facial feature. Tired or sad looking eyes can be corrected with eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty. Wrinkled folds of skin on the upper and lower eyelids, drooping eyelids, and pouches under the eyes can be addressed through blepharoplasty. A correction can give a fresh, youthful, and more rested appearance. Sunken-in eyelids, a more difficult problem, can be treated by the addition of fat beneath the eyelid. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty may be covered by insurance if the patient’s vision is impaired by excess skin. However, insurance providers have strict criteria, which must be met in such cases.
  • Facelift: Also known as rhytidectomy, a facelift smoothens the loose skin on your face and neck, tightens the underlying tissues, and removes excess fat. Dr. Sayah performs most of his facelifts using new endoscopic techniques. With these techniques, a small endoscope measuring 5 millimeters in diameter is inserted through a small incision in the scalp. The entire surgery is performed under the facial skin resulting in no visible scars on the face. There is a quicker recovery with minimal bruising and swelling.
  • Forehead Lift: A forehead lift or brow lift corrects the sagging or low position of the eyebrows, softens horizontal creases across the forehead and erases the worried or angry expression that can result from frown lines. The outcome is a more relaxed and refreshed appearance. Endoscopic techniques are Dr. Sayah's preference when performing a brow lift. In this manner, small incisions are made in the hair-bearing scalp, and a small endoscope is introduced. The entire procedure is done through hidden incisions resulting in nearly invisible scars within the hair. The eyebrows are thus repositioned, and the muscles, which produce frowning, are removed.
  • Gynecomastia (Enlarged Male Breasts): Many men have breasts, which are relatively larger than their build. Surgical techniques to address this problem have become less invasive with time. Power-assisted liposuction effectively removes the fibrous fat in most enlarged male breasts. As with other liposuction procedures, Dr. Sayah sculpts the fat to achieve the most natural appearing breasts possible. In excessively large male breasts, surgical removal of some skin may be necessary to achieve good contour. As with other surgeries, excellent surgical planning is extremely important in male breast surgery.
  • Hand Rejuvenation: There is an adage that says you can always tell someone's age by looking at his or her hands, and to some degree that was true - until now. Today, many patients are having minor surgery to rejuvenate their hands. As we age, the skin gets sunspots, and hand fat is lost making the veins, tendons, and bones prominent. The skin can be treated with a light peel, veins can be removed, and the thin skin plumped up to a more youthful configuration by fat injection.
  • Hand Surgery: The overlap of plastic surgery and hand surgery dates back to World War I when many soldiers suffered land mine injuries to their face and hands simultaneously while crawling. Dr. Sayah has undergone intensive training in hand surgery with ample experience in the field. Dramatic advances have been made in recent years in treating patients with hand injuries and fractures, degenerative disorders, and nerve compression problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome is now treated endoscopically through a small incision with a quicker recovery time and earlier return to work.
  • Hyperhidrosis: Hyperhydrosis or excess sweating is a common condition that is characterized by excessive sweating in the palms, feet, underarms, and even the face. Underarm Hyperhidrosis, or excessive underarm sweating, is the most common form of this condition. Along with active sweating, it is also common to experience excessive blushing as part of this condition. Hyperhidrosis is often hereditary and is not unique to any one ethnic group.
  • Laser Resurfacing: If you ever wished that you could rejuvenate your complexion to make it smoother and more even-toned, laser resurfacing may be a good option for you. Laser resurfacing (laser peel) uses a laser to refinish damaged areas and shrink fine wrinkles while correcting areas of uneven pigmentation. This results in fresher, smoother complexion.
  • Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty, liposuction removes deposits of excess fat from specific areas of the body including the face, neck, arms, back, abdominal wall, and thighs through small incisions. It can remove a double chin, slim the tummy, hips, and thighs, as well as shape the calves and ankles. The novel method, which Dr. Sayah uses, that distinguishes him from other plastic surgeons is liposculpture. He sculpts the fat beneath the skin to achieve a more aesthetic result. He sculpts a "six-pack" in the male abdominal wall corresponding to the inscriptions of the abdominal muscles. In females, he sculpts an oval "donut" around the umbilicus to develop a more youthful abdomen. "To sculpt the body versus simply removing fat is the new challenge of liposuction."
  • Nose Surgery: The nose is at the center of the face and often the focus of attention. What is an attractive nose? Quite simply it is a nose that best fits your face. It is a natural nose that achieves a harmonious balance with your other facial features. If you feel that your nose is not a good fit, rhinoplasty can enhance the shape, size, and general appearance of your nose. It is important to appreciate that a rhinoplasty procedure can change the appearance of the entire face. Every aspect of the surgery is reviewed with patients in detail to assure that the patient’s needs are addressed.
  • Scar Management: Scar formation is a complex and multi-factorial process, which Dr. Sayah spent years researching. He has developed a novel theory for abnormal scar formation involving irregular genetic regulation. Copies of his articles are provided in this folder for your reference. Everything from acne scars, pigmented scars, and widened scars can be addressed using a multi-modality approach including surgery, wound care, and new medications based on his research.
  • Spider Veins: Those small clusters of red, blue or purple blood vessels that appear on the thighs, legs, and even face can make an otherwise good complexion appear blotchy or uneven. The legs may be treated with sclerotherapy, a procedure in which the veins are injected with a sclerosing solution causing them to collapse and fade. The laser is our preferred option for the legs and thighs and the best option for vascular lesions on the face.
  • Skin Cancer: Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, with 80% appearing on the face, head or neck where they may be disfiguring as well as dangerous. We can remove simple skin cancers to complex ones involving critical areas of the face. The resulting defect is typically reconstructed immediately to minimize scarring and recovery time. The resulting scar is typically concealed within the natural folds of your face. Avoiding sun exposure and treating pre-cancerous lesions with good skincare is of utmost importance. Please refer to the skincare section for details.
  • Skin Rejuvenation: The primary goal of skin rejuvenation is to provide a quick, noninvasive method of skin tightening. Dr. Sayah uses radiofrequency energy to achieve skin texture and tightness improvements. Radiofrequency energy penetrates deeply into the underlying layers of skin and tissue. The heat emitted will trigger new collagen production. Although the deeper layers of the skin are heated, the device itself has a cooling surface which protects the surface layer of the skin from any possible damage. This added protection ensures zero downtime following the procedure.
  • Surgery of the Abdomen: Increasing age or pregnancy can lead to increased abdominal wall (tummy) laxity at multiple levels. The rectus abdominis muscles may separate, excess fat may develop under the skin, and excess skin may develop with stretch marks. Abdominoplasty or tummy tuck is designed to firm and smooth the abdomen. The excess fat and skin are removed from the abdomen, and the muscles of the abdominal wall are tightened. The result is a flatter tighter abdominal profile with reduced stretch marks.
  • Wrinkle Reduction: In face-to-face encounters, facial expressions send a strong message. If you have frown line, forehead creases or other facial expression lines that prevent you from looking as good as you feel Botulism toxin (BOTOX®) injections may be an option. It works by eliminating the face's dynamic wrinkles: those wrinkles that are not caused by aging or sun exposure, but by years of facial movement such as laughing or frowning. Soft-tissue fillers also address laugh lines, smile lines, crow's feet or facial creases. Injectable collagen and fat can fill in and plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. They can also add fullness to the lips and cheeks.

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