Breast Augmentation Terms: Explained

Are you considering breast augmentation? This popular surgical procedure is intended to enhance the size and shape of the breasts, often to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing shape or size. Women may opt for breast augmentation to enhance their appearance, restore self-confidence, or improve body image. In some cases, it may be used to restore symmetry to the breasts after a mastectomy or reconstructive surgery. It may also be used to make breasts appear more symmetrical after pregnancy or breastfeeding. The procedure is typically done with silicone or saline implants and is performed by a cosmetic surgeon.

What to expect during your breast augmentation consultation

If you’re considering breast augmentation, it’s important to understand the terminology used. Here, we’ll break down the essential breast augmentation terms.

  • Areola: The skin surrounding the nipple with differing pigmentation.
  • Augmentation Mammaplasty: Breast enhancement and enlargement or breast improvement by surgery.
  • Breast Augmentation: Referred to as augmentation mammaplasty as well; breast enlargement or breast enhancement by surgical treatment.
  • Implants: Medical gadgets put in your body to improve an existing bust size or to rebuild your bust. Breast implants fall under 2 categories: saline breast implants and silicone breast implants.
  • Implant Placement: This refers to the location of the breast implants—subglandular (above the chest muscle) or submuscular (under the chest muscle).
  • Capsular Contracture: A complication that occurs when scar tissue forms around the implant, causing it to harden or become misshapen.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used throughout an operation to ease discomfort and alter consciousness.
  • Gummy Bear Implants: A type of silicone implant with a highly cohesive gel filling, maintaining shape even if ruptured.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling below the skin.
  • Inframammary Incision: The incision created in the fold under the breast.
  • Intravenous Sedation: The sedatives administered with injection into a vein to assist you relax.
  • Local Anesthesia: A medicine injected directly to the spot of a cut throughout an operation to alleviate discomfort.
  • Mammogram: An x-ray photo of the breast.
  • Mastectomy: The removal of breast tissue, typically to clear the body of cancer cells.
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging; a completely painless test to see tissue much like an x-ray.
  • Periareolar incision: A cut made at the edge of the areola.
  • Profile: Implant profile refers to the amount of projection it provides—low, moderate, or high.
  • Saline implants: Breast implants that are filled with salt water.
  • Silicone implants: the breast implants filled with an elastic gel.
  • Submammary or subglandular positioning: Breast implants placed directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle.
  • Submuscular or subpectoral positioning: the breast implants placed under the pectoral muscle, which is found in between the breast tissue and chest wall.
  • Sutures: Stitches utilized by cosmetic surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
  • Transaxillary cut: A cut made in the underarm area.
  • Ultrasound: A diagnostic treatment that projects high frequency sound waves into the body and records the echoes as images.

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions.

Remember, every individual’s case is unique, and it’s essential to consult with a qualified cosmetic plastic surgeon who can guide you through the entire process. By gathering the necessary information and asking the right questions, you can feel great about your breast augmentation journey at Chicago Breast & Body Aesthetics.

Before & After Gallery

Check out Chicago Breast & Body Aesthetics amazing before and after gallery with to see the incredible patient transformations.

Top rated Cosmetic plastic surgeons in Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Anh-Tuan Truong

Follow Dr. Truong on Instagram and TikTok.

Pey Yi Kevin Lin Chicago Breast and Body Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Kevin Lin

Dr. Pey-Yi Kevin Lin is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Chicago who emphasizes tailored care and treatment to each patient.   He is certified by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS).  He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Dr. Lin is skilled in plastic and Reconstructive surgery and completed his fellowship at the University of Texas. Learn more.

Follow Dr. Truong on Instagram and TikTok.

Dr. Francine Vagotis

Dr. Vagotis is a board-certified plastic surgeon specializing facial surgery. She has certifications from American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and American Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. She’s one of the few surgical professionals to have had the opportunity to learn under famous facelift practitioner, Dr. Bruce Connell, known as “the father of the modern face lift”. Learn more.