MUFFINS, ROLLS, AND WINGS- Plastic Surgery Slang

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You are all so creative, and we learn from you every day.  Take communication, for instance. Patients will come in, expressing their interests and concerns in the most colorful and descriptive terms.We doctors might describe typical cosmetic concerns in terms like “hypomastia” (small breasts), and- wait for it- “ptosis” (sagging or drooping). Descriptive? If you’ve spent much of your life studying and training in medicine, yes. But relatable? Not so much, in the general population. So- you’ve taken unwieldy medical terms into your own hands, and made new words for the dictionaries. POPULAR TERMS AND TROUBLE SPOTS  

MUFFIN TOP: One of the most-used patient terms, the ‘muffin top’ is the skin and fat that spills out and over the waist band (or hip level band) of pants, skirts, etc.  It evolved because of the resemblance this condition has to a – freshly baked muffin.  Remedy:  Extra fat is most often addressed with Liposuction (of small or large areas). Non-surgical treatments that may help minimize the fat in the waist/hip areas include Zerona, Cool-Sculpting, and other laser light treatments. 

BANANA ROLLS:   The banana-shaped crescent of skin and fat, protruding beneath the buttock- usually visible in swimwear, or active wear.  Remedy: see above; as with many of these pooches, pouches, and pockets- Liposuction is performed to eliminate the excess fat, as well as tightening the skin.  

WINGS: (Chicken, Bingo, or Bat)  All used to describe upper arms that may flap, sag, and droop.  When the arms are extended, the wing effect is visible.  Remedy:  If there is noticeable sagging and movement in the upper arms, surgery is usually the recommended option. Brachioplasty (arm lift) removes the extra skin and fat.  

TURKEY NECK: Loose, hanging skin beneath the chin and along the neck. It can resemble the waddle of a turkey, or be fuller, depending on the amount of fat deposited.  Remedy: Neck Lift is usually needed for removal of excess skin, and tightening of the tissue, with Liposuction for fat removal.  

MOOBS, MAN BOOBS: (Gynecomastia) Large or sagging breasts in men, of all ages- caused by excess fat, and/or loose skin.  Remedy:  Sometimes, Liposuction alone may be performed to reduce male breast size, but Male Breast Reduction may be needed to remove excess tissue, and tighten the surrounding skin. 

SADDLEBAGS: Bulges at the top of the outer thighs  Remedy:  Liposuction is highly effective in eliminating the excess fat that causes this look. 

LOVE HANDLES: One of the most time-honored slang terms for a body trouble spot. Love handles describe the extra fat and skin on the flanks (sides). Usually understood to be more extensive than the “muffin top.”  Remedy: If you have really pronounced ‘love handles,’ you may also have considerable extra fat around the midsection and back. Patients often combine Liposuction for fat removal, with Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) for skin removal and tightening.  

CANKLES:  A contraction of the words “calf” and “ankle.” Cankles refer to ankles that may be as wide as the calf of someone’s leg.  Remedy: Liposuction can often succeed in creating more of a contour for the ankle, (a technique also used for removing excess fat from the Knee area).  ‘11’s:  The vertical lines that appear between the eyes- sometimes visible even when not frowning. Remedy:  Botox injections, or injections with other neurotoxins eliminate the appearance of “11”s, but need to be repeated regularly (every 3 to 4 months). Depending on the extent of facial wrinkling and creases, patients often elect to undergo Face Lift, or Brow Lift surgery.  

PARENTHESES: Describing the lines (often deeper creases) appearing from the nose, down to the mouth. Remedy: Injectable Fillers lessen the appearance of lines and creases, some lasting up to 2 years in effectiveness. Patients often choose Face Lift surgery, for a more permanent result.  Obviously, this is only a partial list of patient-created shorthand. Language is a living thing, and it grows every day. It’s all about communicating. So feel free to talk to us about your rolls, wings, doolaps, flabbies, and puffies. Give us a minute, and we’ll catch on.  Whatever helps you in discussing what’s troubling you, helps us in treating you.

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San Jose Plastic Surgeon