Muffin Top, Mommy Makeover & More Plastic Surgery Slang

January 24, 2020

Modern English is awash with slang.  The use of slang has exploded due to technology and our almost constant exposure to people’s ramblings via the Internet, tweets, etc.

One amusing but sometimes vulgar source of modern slang is found at the urban dictionary:

Like Wikipedia, it is a web-based dictionary that allows contributions from the lay public.  It now has 7,000,000 definitions and counting.  

Plastic surgery is not immune to this modern tendency towards slang.  Here are a few common examples taken from either the Urban dictionary or are my own:

Dog ears” is a term that describes a loose, often triangular flap of skin left at the ends of a surgical closure, most typically after a plastic surgery procedure such as an abdominoplasty or tummy tuck.  They are the byproduct of skin laxity or looseness that extends beyond the surgical site.  This is more common in the context of extreme skin laxity often seen in massive weight loss patients.  Dog ears can be easily eliminated with scar revision under local anesthesia.


Saddlebags are a word to describe the bulging areas of fat on the upper outer thighs of ladies, in a way that resembles saddle bags being carries on a horse. – Bill-Car 

In plastic surgery, the term “saddlebags” is used to refer to excess fat (aka lipodystrophy) of the outer thighs.  Saddlebags often have a hereditary cause or etiology and may not respond to diet and exercise.  In this instance, liposuction is your friend.  If loose skin is present, you are talking thigh lift surgery.

Definition #1
 – When a woman wears a pair of tight jeans that makes her flab spill out over the waistband, just like the top of a muffin sits over the edge of the paper case. – Kifujin   

I especially like definition #2 offered in urban dictionary with emphasis on the author’s disdain for poor clothing choices.  It is highly amusing:

Definition #2 – Muffin Top is a word used to describe the strange and bizarre waist scrunching effect that results when females wear tight fitting, low-rise/hip-hugger pants along with small-sized, navel exposing, mid-riff tops.

Though, the effect is more extreme with heavier females, all females, with the exception of anorexic models, can fall victim to the muffin-top disaster. The reason for this, is that the design of low-rise/hip-hugger pants, originally popular during the late 60’s and early-to-mid 70’s, defies the natural shape and contours of the average females’ body; forcing the skin and fat around her waist, back and upper buttocks to spill out over her pants and through her tiny crop-top, causing a muffin-top effect. 

Originally, the idea behind low-rise pants and mid-riff tops, which made their first reappearance during the mid-to-late 90’s, was to produce clothing that would make a woman’s torso appear longer, and possibly thinner, than it actually was. Normally, men’s pants are designed with lower waists, because of their naturally longer torsos, narrower hips and smaller pelvises. In order to recreate this “longer, thinner torso” appearance for women, clothing manufacturers adopted shorter-waist, men’s trousers, modified the design for the female market, resulting in the catastrophe that the word, “muffin top” currently describes. The muffin top’s legacy, if anything, describes the disaster that can result when the fashion industry goes terribly wrong. The existence of muffin tops is currently quite common, which is a testament to the fact that women will buy and wear anything, regardless of how vulgar and ridiculous it looks, as long as it is popular. –  Mr. Cheesy 

What is so fabulous about definition #2 is the author exposes the role of fashion behind the muffin top.  Marilyn Monroe and beautiful, full figured women of yesteryear did not struggle with muffin top due to their clothing choices.  From the plastic surgery standpoint, extra fat and skin of the abdomen, hips and back can exacerbate the tendency towards a muffin top despite wise clothing choices.  If this is the case, you may benefit from liposuction +/- skin removal in the form of an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), thigh lift, or circumferential abdominoplasty.

A derivative of the recent craze involving home renovation (extreme makeovers), plastic surgery added the classy term “mommy makeover.”  Following pregnancy, the abdomen and breasts can be stretched and distorted to the point of no return.  A mommy makeover surgery will thus typically include a tummy tuck +/- liposuction, and breast procedure (breast augmentationbreast liftbreast reduction, or a combination of the aforementioned procedures).

Man Boobs or Moobs” is a term that is pretty self-explanatory.  The medical jargon is gynecomastia or overly large male breasts.  It can be caused by weight gain (fat) or by a surge of estrogen during puberty.  Most cases that develop during puberty go away with time. Those that don’t can be treated with liposuction. This can easily be solved, check out our recent before and afters of male breast reduction surgery.

The term boob job is a synonym for breast augmentationBreast augmentation involves the insertion of a breast implant to restore volume to a woman’s breasts that can be lost after weight loss or pregnancy or simply due to genetics.

“Banana Roll” 
is a “roll” of back that lives on the back of the thigh just below the buttock crease.  It can be treated with liposuction, but you have to be careful.  If you get too deep, you can destroy that natural fold and create a crazy looking butt cheek.  

The hanging flap under the arm seen on older women. – Edna Sweetlove 

Bat wings are formed by excess skin +/- fat on the posterior aspect of the arm that often develops with aging and extreme weight loss.  When present, liposuction alone is rarely the answer.  You need a “brachioplasty” or arm lift.

A bulge of fat around the waist. – Light Joker

Love handles are deposits of fat overlying the hips.  Women have more fat in this area by design, and flared hips are part of a feminine silhouette.  Liposuction can be used to treat this area, but overaggressive suction can create a more androgynous look.  The term love handle is often confused with muffin top.  Love handles are anatomically distinct in that they live over the hip area only and are not circumferential like an inner tube with the dreaded muffin top.

“Kissing thighs” are thighs that rub together due to either anatomy or excess fat. Depending on how the hips bones sit in their sockets, the inner thighs can touch or not touch.  Thin women can have thighs that touch and overweight women can have thighs that do not.  If your thighs due to excess fat only, liposuction can help.  However, if there is loose skin present, beware.  Liposuction can make it worse!  An inner thigh lift may be necessary.

The term cankle refers to the absence of a clear transition in contour from the calf to the ankle and thus the fusion of the two wards to create cankle … clever.  It is a difficult problem to treat.  Liposuction in this area is fraught with difficulty … plastic surgeons and patients should proceed with extreme caution.

[googleplusauthor] is a Plastic Surgeon in Charlotte, NC specializing in breast augmentation, breast reduction, brazilian butt lift, tummy tuck, face enhancements, and liposuction. His practice Providence Plastic Surgery is a boutique Charlotte cosmetic surgery clinic with leading Charlotte plastic surgeon, Dr. Andrew Gear. 

Our Charlotte plastics office is a Charlotte area plastic surgery facility specializing in breast augmentation, breast reduction, brazilian butt lift, tummy tuck, face enhancements, and liposuction in the South Charlotte area. Delivering premium natural plastic surgery and natural cosmetic surgery services to clients in Charlotte, Ballantyne, Matthews, Pineville, Waxhaw, and all of North Carolina and South Carolina.