Fat Transfer for Aging Hands

As people age, the fat in their hands diminishes, leaving the underlying structures more visable.  Transfering a person's own fat to the back of the hans can restore a natural, more youthful appearance by restoring volume to the thinned areas.  

How is this done?

Topical anesthesia is appliked to the back of the hands, but patients may also elect to have some oral sedation to make the process more comfortable.  An area that has excess fat - such as the abdomen or thighs-- is then filled and numbed with a saline solution so that a small amount of fat can be liposuctions out.  

This fat is then injected into the hands through a very thin cannula. No incisions or stitches are needed.  Generally, we overfill a bit because not all of the fat will survive.  The whole procedure only takes about 30-45 minutes.  Brusing and or swelling may last a week or more, but patients will be able to return to most activities is just a few days and final results can be seein in a couple of weeks.

What are the Advantages of using Fat over Fillers?

The two main advantages of using fat over fillers are 1. No artificial materials are injected into the body and 2 the results tend to be better and last longer.  Fat transfers on the backs of hands tend to look more natural than the results achieved with traditional fillers.  Other areas of the body such as the face can also be injected at the same operative setting.

Author
Linda L Swanson, MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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