Urban Plastic Surgery Dictionary

The internet continues to redefine our existence on a daily basis. From how we shop for everything from clothes to cars, to how we shop for information, it now influences and controls our culture. Even our English language is being affected.

This is best reflected in the Urban Dictionary. This is a web-based dictionary of slang words and phrases. The definitions on the website are meant to be those of slang or subculture words, phrasing phenomena not found in standard dictionaries. Most words have multiple definitions, often quite different than you think. It contains over five million definitions and is expanding rapidly with an average of over 2,000 new submissions per day. While it has tremendous web traffic, most of its users are younger than 25. For this reason you may not have heard about it…but eventually you probably will.

When it comes to  ‘urban’ terminology, plastic surgery has many such terms. Used everyday with patients or in the operating room, these thinly veiled innuendos instantly describe the cosmetic problem. Let me share with you a few of the most common ones- some which you will know,  and others which you may find enlightening.

Elevens–  Not a number but a type of facial wrinkle. Popularized by the manufacturer of Botox in their advertisements, these vertical lines appear between the eyebrows when a person is scowling or frowning. Because they most commonly appear as paired lines, they are appropriately described as this number. The elevens are exactly what Botox injections were initially FDA-approved to treat.

Crow’s Feet – Long recognized as the wrinkles that radiate out from the corners of the eyes as we smile, a crow would probably be delighted to have its feet so described. Since wrinkles on our face always form perpendicular to the direction that the underlying muscles move, these naturally occur from eye squinting. Botox works well to reducing these also.

Dog Ears-  Having nothing to do with a dog’s ear or anyone’s ear for that matter, this is the bunching of skin at the tail end of a scar. They commonly appear when skin areas are ellipitically removed, like the shape of a football, and the closure results in a straight-line scar. From procedures such as tummy tucks and breast reductions, dog ears may develop at the ends of the scars. They are a frequent source of minor scar revision.

Turkeyneck Who doesn’t recognized this one, particularly if you are middle-aged or older. It needs no description and it often drives the desire for a necklift procedure.

Saddlebags – An older, urban plastic surgery term that many women recognize. That fat collection at the side of the thighs that resists every form of diet and exercise, but which liposuction can treat so well. If only they were as simple to get rid off as pulling their historic corollary off a horse.

Parentheses Not an English quotation mark but those classic lines that develop from the sides of the nose down past the sides of the mouth. They are one of the major places for the use of the very popular injectable fillers (such as Juvederm) to make them look less deep and obvious.

Muffin Tops While a tasty and crunchy part of a muffin, eating enough of those will put them on your waistline. These are the classic fat rolls that stick out from the side and back of your pants…and which are nearly impossible to get rid of.  Liposuction machines love this part of the muffin, too.

Puff Daddy – Men won’t recognize this problem, but most women will. It is the fullness or puffiness of the pubic area just below the waistline. It can become evident after a tummy tuck when the waistline becomes narrower than what lies below. It can be an embarrassing bulge in pants that no slimwear can flatten.

If you recognize more than five of these terms, you can consider yourself to be both hip and plastic surgery savvy.  

 Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana