Subcutaneous, literally meaning 'beneath the skin', refers to tissues and operations carried out under the outer skin layer.
All surgery that involves incisions or injections under the skin is subcutaneous in nature, providing access for surgeons to tissue layers, blood vessels and abnormal tissue beneath a patient's skin in the subcutaneous layer.
The subcutaneous layer also comprises connective tissue, fatty tissue (adipose), hair roots and sweat and oil glands.
Many cosmetic surgery procedures involve removing, tightening or repositioning tissue, muscles and fat in the subcutaneous layer.
During liposuction, surgeons make an incision in the skin and insert a cannula to break down and remove excess fatty tissue with the aid of vacuum suction.
Several cosmetic surgery treatments for the face involve separating skin from subcutaneous layers to remove excess tissue and trim sagging muscles and skin. These include face lifts (rhytidectomy) and eye bag removal (blepharoplasty).