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Glossary Terms Breast Cancer

Acetaminophen
A drug that reduces fever and pain. It is an analgesic

Anesthesiologist
A doctor who specializes in administering drugs, anesthetic and other agents to prevent pain, relieve pain or put the patient to sleep during surgery or other procedures.

Anesthetic
A substance that causes a loss of awareness or feeling. Local anesthetics cause loss of sensation in the part of the body it is injected into. General anesthetics put the patient to sleep

Areola Reconstruction
A plastic surgery procedure that may involve transferring skin from another part of the body to the areolar area on the breast (Free grafting) and shaping in to look like a natural areolar. Depending on the patients skin tones the area may also be tattooed the pink or brown of the patient's natural areolar color. Generally this procedure is one of the final stages of breast reconstruction.

For detailed information on Areola Reconstruction Click Here

Aspirin
A drug that helps to reduce fever, pain, inflammation and blood clotting. Aspirin is a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory. Surgery patients must discontinue the use of aspirin 2 weeks before and after their surgical procedure.

Autologous
Means taken from the patients' own tissues, DNA or cells. In breast reconstruction autologous tissue may be used to create a new breast mound.

Axilla
The armpit or under arm area.

Axillary dissection
Surgery performed to remove lymph nodes under the arm.

Axillary lymph node
A lymph node in the armpit area which drains the lymph channels from the breast.

Benign
Benign tumors are not cancerous. They do not spread to surrounding tissues or to other parts of the body.

Benign proliferative breast disease
A group of noncancerous conditions ; ductal hyperplasia, lobular hyperplasia, and papillomas. These groups may increase the risk of developing breast cancer at a later date.

Benign tumor
A noncancerous growth that does not invade or affect other tissue or spread to other parts of the body.

Bilateral
Both the right and left sides of the body

Bilateral breast cancer
Cancer that occurs in both breasts.

Biopsy
Removal of a tissue sample to examine under a microscope to check for cancer cells

Biopsy specimen
Tissue removed from the body and examined under a microscope to determine whether cancer is present

Brain metastasis
Cancer that has spread from the original location to the brain.

Breasts
Breasts are the two glandular organs located on the chest wall. The breast consists of connective tissue, fat, breast tissue and milk ducts that can produce milk. Breasts are also referred to as mammary glands.

Breast cancer
Cancer that starts in the breast or is isolated to one or both breasts.

Breast density
Dense breasts have less fat than glandular or connective tissue. Breasts with higher density are harder to interpret on mammograms.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis
The diagnosis given after medical tests determine a patient has breast cancer.

Breast cancer in situ
This form of breast cancer has abnormal cells that are confined to the ducts or lobules in the breast. The two forms are called, lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

Breast Cancer Patient
A Patient diagnosed with Cancer that starts in the breast or is isolated to one or both breasts.

Breast Cancer Treatment
The four most common treatments for breast cancer are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy, alone or in combination.

Breast implant
A manufactured, silicone, rubber sac which is filled with sterile saline or silicone gel that is used for either breast augmentation or reconstruction.

Breast reconstruction
Surgery to rebuild a breast mound after a mastectomy.

Breast self exam (BSE)
An exam by a man or woman of their breasts to check for lumps or other physical changes.

Cancer
A disease in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer can be isolated to one area or it can invade nearby tissues and spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system to other parts of the body.

Carcinoma in situ
A cancer that involves only the cells where it began. Cancer that has not spread to nearby tissues.

Cauterize
An electric current , a laser,a hot instrument or a cauterizer used to destroy tissue. Cauterizing process may be used to kill small tumors or to seal off blood vessels to stop bleeding.

Chemo immunotherapy
A therapy combining immunotherapy and c. Chemotherapy uses certain drugs to kill or slow the growth of cancer cells; immunotherapy uses treatments to boost or restore the immune system to fight off cancer.

Chemo radiation
Cancer treatment combining chemotherapy with radiation therapy. Another name for chemoradiation is chemo radiotherapy.

Chemo sensitivity
The susceptibility of cancer tumor cells to the effects of cancer killing drugs.

Chemotherapy
A series of treatments using drugs that kill cancer cells

Chest wall
The area of the body that make up the area of the body between the neck and the abdomen.

Chest xray
An xray of the inside the chest. An xray is highenergy radiation that can go through the body and onto a film that creates pictures of areas inside the chest.

Clinical breast exam
An examination of the breasts generally performed by a nurse or doctor to check for lumps and other physical changes in the breasts.

Combination chemo
Cancer treatment that uses two or more chemicals are to obtain more effective results

Complete remission
When all signs of cancer have disappeared in response to treatment. Complete remission does does not always mean the cancer has been cured forever.

Cutaneous breast cancer
Cancer that starts in the breast and spreads to the skin.

Delayed Breast Reconstruction
Plastic surgery done post mastectomy.Delayed breast reconstruction is done for one or several reasons some factors being the size of the tumor,the timing and type of breast cancer treatments the patient is receiving.

Dermis
The dermis refers to the lower/inner layer of the two main layers of tissue that make up the skin.

Diagnostic mammogram
An xray of the breast used to check for breast cancer after a suspicious sign ,lump or other unusual symptom of breast cancer has been detected.

Diagnostic procedure
The method used to identify a condition or disease.

Diep flap
This flap is used in breast reconstruction. The blood vessels called deep inferior epigastric perforators (DIEP) along with and the fat and skin connected to them are transferred from the lower abdomen and used to create a breast. The muscle is left in tact.

Digital mammography
A type of mammogram that uses a computer instead of xray film, to record xray images of the breasts.

Disease progression
Cancer that continues to spread and or grow.

Distant cancer
This is cancer that has spread from the primary tumor location to distant organs or distant lymph nodes in the body.

Dose dense chemotherapy
Chemotherapy treatment plan in which drugs are given more often with less time between treatments than the standard chemotherapy treatment.

Ductal carcinoma
This cancer starts in the cells that line the milk ducts in the breast. It is the most common type of breast cancer.

Efficacy
How effective a drug, treatment or surgery has been in producing a desired outcome.

Encapsulated
A capsule of a thin layer of tissue confined to a specific area. With breast implants the implants are encapsulated by the body producing a scar around the breast implant.

Endoscope
This is a thin tube which has a light and camera in which a doctor or surgeon can use to look at tissues inside the body. Dr. Corbin uses endoscopes to perform advanced techniques of breast surgery

Estrogen
Is a hormone that promotes the development of female sex characteristics.

Estrogen replacement therapy
(ERT) hormones include estrogen and progesterone, or both. These hormones are prescribed to postmenopausal women or women who have had their ovaries removed and can't produce their own hormones naturally.

Excision
To excise, cut out or surgically remove.

Excisional biopsy
The surgical procedure used to remove a lump or suspicious area. The excised tissue is then examined under a microscope for a diagnosis.

External radiation
This type of radiation therapy uses a high energy machine to shoot radiation at the cancer. (external beam radiation)

False negative result
A test result that falsely indicates a patient does not have a type of disease or condition they are being tested for when they actually do have the disease or condition. Sometimes mammograms or MRI results can be a false negative test result.

False positive test result
A test result that falsely indicates that a patient has a specific disease or condition when the patient actually does not have the condition or disease

Fatty replaced breast tissue
A commonly used term in mammography referring to breasts when the breast tissue is replaced with fatty tissue. This usually happens naturally as woman age.

Fibroids
A benign tumor made up of fibrous and muscular tissue.

Fine needle aspiration (needle biopsy)
A needle is used to remove fluid and or tissue so it can be examined under the microscope. Also referred to as a needle biopsy.

Follow up
Appointments to track a patient's progress or health after treatment or surgery. Follow up may also include keeping track of the health of patients participating in a clinical study or clinical trial.

General Anesthesia
Drugs administered by a medical doctor or nurse used in surgery to cause a loss of feeling or awareness and put the patient to sleep.

Genetic
Inherited from parents to their children through genes in sperm and egg cells

Genetic markers
Evidence in a patients DNA that may indicate an increased risk of developing a specific disease or disorder. Patients with a family history of breast cancer or other high risk groups are sometimes tested for genetic markers before they develop the actual disease.

Grade
The grading systems vary depending on the type of cancer. The grade of a cancerous tumor depends on how advanced the cancer cells look under the microscope and how quickly the tumor will possibly grow and spread.

Histologic exam
An examination of tissue samples under the microscope

Imaging procedure
A method of producing pictures of areas inside the body.

Immediate Breast Reconstruction
Plastic surgery done to reconstruct the breast mound at the time of a mastectomy.

Implant
A silicone or saline filled object that is meant to resemble a natural breast. The implant can be put in and placed either in front of or behind the pectoral major muscle. A breast implant may also be referred to as prosthesis.

In situ cancer
An early stage of cancer which has not spread to nearby tissue.

Incision
The cut that is made to perform surgery.

Incisional biopsy
The surgical procedure that removes a small portion of a lump or suspicious tissue to be examined under the microscope for diagnosis.

Indication
In medicine an indication refers to the symptoms ,signs or medical condition that leads to the recommendation of a test, surgery and or treatment.

Inflammation
Redness, pain, swelling and a hot feeling.Inflamation is the body's natural protective response to irritation, injury, or disease of the tissues.

Inflammatory breast cancer
Breast cancer in which the breast looks red, swollen and feels hot. The skin on the breasts may also have an irregular texture called peau d orange (the skin of an orange)

Informed consent
The consent forms that educate and inform the patient on the potential risks of a surgical procedure or key facts about a clinical trial. These forms are given to each patient before a treatment, clinical study and or surgery.

Inoperable
A condition that cannot be treated or corrected with surgery

Institutional review board ( IRB )
A group of doctors, scientists, and consumers at each health care facility that participates in a clinical trial. IRBs are designed to protect study participants. They are supposed to gather, review and approve the information and course for the clinical trial.

Intraductal carcinoma
Early detection of a precancerous non invasive condition in which abnormal cells are found in the lining of breast ducts. These abnormal cells have not spread to other tissues in the breast. In some patients, intraductal carcinoma may eventually become invasive cancer.

Irradicated
Treated with radiation.

Keloid
An irregular, thick grotesque scar caused by aggressive healing and excessive tissue growth at the incision site or wound location. Usually the best treatment for a keloid scar is excision.

Lab test
A procedure testing a sample of blood, urine, or other substances. These tests can help determine the general health of a patient, if a patient is pregnant,a diagnosis, a treatment, the effectiveness of a treatment , or to monitor a disease over time. Lab tests for plastic surgery are done before surgery to determine if a patient is fit for anesthesia and surgery.

Local anesthesia
A numbing drug that causes a temporary loss of feeling in the area of the body it is injected into. The patient remains awake but cannot feel the part of the body injected with the local anesthetic. Sometimes local anesthetic is injected into the surgical site during general anesthesia so a patient does not feel pain when they wake up from surgery.

Local cancer
An invasive malignant cancer confined entirely to the organ where the cancer began.

Locally advanced cancer
This describes cancer that has spread only to lymph nodes or tissue. Lumpectomy
A surgical procedure to remove a tumor and small amount of the normal tissue around it. The surgeon may also remove some of the lymph nodes under the arm to determine if the cancer has spread.

Lymph gland
The round mass of lymphatic tissue which is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. The function of the lymph glands is to filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they also store lymphocytes (white blood cells). The lymph glands are located along lymphatic vessels otherwise known as lymph nodes.

Lymph node
The rounded mass of lymphatic tissue that is surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue. Lymph nodes filter lymph (lymphatic fluid), and they also store lymphocytes (white blood cells). The Lymph node is located along the lymphatic vessels also referred to as a lymph gland.

Lymph nodes
These are the small bean shaped organs along the channels of the lymphatic system. The lymph nodes store special cells that help trap cancer cells and or bacteria flowing through the body in lymph. Clusters or groups of lymph nodes are found under the arms, in the groin, chest, neck and abdomen. They are also known as lymph glands.

Lymph node dissection
A surgical procedure that removes lymph nodes so they can be examined to see if they are cancerous.This procedure is also referred to as a lymphadenectomy.

Lymph node mapping
The use of dyes and radioactive substances to identify lymph nodes that may contain tumor cells. Also called lymphatic mapping.

Lymphadenectomy
A surgical procedure that removes lymph nodes so they can be examined to see if they are cancerous. A regional lymph node dissection removes some of the lymph nodes in the area of the tumor area and with a radical lymph node dissection most or all of the lymph nodes are removed.

Lymphatic system
The organs and tissues that produce, store, and carry the white blood cells which fight infections and other diseases in the body. The lymphatic system includes the , spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, bone marrow and lymphatic vessels (The network of thin tubes which carry lymph and white blood cells)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
The method used to create pictures of areas inside the body. This procedure uses a magnet linked to a computer to produce detailed images. MRI's are useful in determining if a breast implant has a rupture.

Malignant
A diagnosis which means cancerous. Malignant tumors can invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.

Mammogram
An xray of the breast. Women with breast implants have to inform the radiologist prior to this x ray that they have breast implants.

Mammography
The use of xrays to create a detailed picture of the breast.

Mastectomy
The surgery performed to remove the breast or breasts.

Menopause
The change of life when a woman's menstrual periods stop permanently.

Metastasize
Means to spread from one area of the body to another. Cancer cells can metastasize and form secondary tumors.

Nipple Reconstruction
A plastic surgery procedure to recreate the nipple complex on the breast. This is generally done by free grafting skin from another area of the patient's body onto the nipple area of the breast. In order to match the color of the nipple on one or both of the nipples tattooing may be used. This procedure is usually done in the final stages of breast reconstruction.

Oncologist
A doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer. Some oncologists specialize in a specific type of cancer treatment.

Oncology
The study of cancers.

Palpation
A physical examination performed manually by pressing on the outer surface of the body to feel the lump, breast implant,organs or tissues underneath


Pigment

The substance that gives color to skin, tissue, hair eyes etc, In breast reconstruction he pigment of the nipple and areolar is color matched and tattooed on the skin to create the color of natural nipple and areolar.


Positron Emission Tomography (PET Imaging)
Positron emission tomography, also called PET imaging or a PET scan, is a diagnostic examination that involves the acquisition of physiologic images based on the detection of radiation from the emission of positrons. Positrons are tiny particles emitted from a radioactive substance administered to the patient. The subsequent images of the human body developed with this technique are used to evaluate a variety of diseases.


Precancerous

A description of a condition that is likely to become cancer. Also referred to as premalignant.

Prognosis
The overview of a course of a disease the recovery and or its recurrence.

Prosthesis
An artificial replacement of a body part. Breast implants are examples of prosthesis used in breast reconstruction.

Radiation fibrosis
The scar formation of tissue caused as a result of radiation therapy

Radiation therapy
A treatment using high energy rays like xrays to kill cancer cells. Radiation may also come from outside the body with external radiation or else from radioactive substances placed in the tumor. This is also called radiotherapy.

Radiologist
A doctor who specializes in creating and then interpreting the pictures of areas inside the body.

Reconstructive Breast Surgery
Plastic surgery options to recreate a breast or breasts after a mastectomy or breast deformity. Reconstructive breast surgery may involve one or more procedures. It may also include the use of prosthetic devices (breast implants) or transferring a patients own tissue from one part of the body to the chest area to create a breast mound.

Regional chemotherapy
Cancer treatments using anticancer drugs directed specifically to a certain area of the body

Saline Breast implant
A manufactured, silicone, rubber sac which is filled with sterile saline that is used for either breast augmentation or reconstruction.

Silicone Breast implant
A manufactured, silicone, rubber sac which is filled with sterile silicone gel that is used for either breast augmentation or breast reconstruction.

Skin Sparing Mastectomy
A mastectomy performed that limits the amount of skin removed from the breast as to aid in appearance of the immediate or delayed reconstruction.

Staging
The tests and examinations done to determine the extent of the cancer and if it has spread from one area of the body to other sites.

Stage III Breast Cancer
Cancer confined to one breast that has spread to the lymph nodes, on the affected side, and no evidence of cancer spread to other areas of the body.

Systemic therapy
A treatment using substances which travel through the bloodstream, to reach affecting cells in other areas of the entire body.

Tram Flap Reconstruction
Transverse Abdominis Myocutaneous Flap or in layman's terms a "tummy Tuck" Breast Reconstruction

Ultrasound
The test using sound waves to bounce off tissues and internal organs that converts the echoes into pictures known as sonograms.

White blood cells
The cells in the body that help fight infections and diseases. The white cells development begins in the bone marrow travels to other areas of the body.

X Ray
A type of highenergy radiation. In high doses it is used to treat cancer and in low doses, xrays are used to make pictures of the inside of the body. The x ray images may used to help diagnose a disease.