Taking Age Off Your Hands

There are many procedures available now to take signs of aging off your face and eyes. Now plastic surgeons have come up with a way to take those tell tale signs off your hands as well.

The procedure is called Fat Grafting, and can help make your hands look full again. The procedure only takes 45 minutes and uses a local anesthetic in the part of the body where the fat is being taken from.

Doctors then remove a few syringes of fat from the body and use that to plump up the hands.

Doctors say recovery from fat grafting is almost immediate. However, the procedure does carry a risk of bleeding or infection at the injection sites.

The procedure costs between $15 and $100. The procedure may need to be repeated every couple of years because the body eventually absorbs the fat cells.

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Fat Grafting

  • Fat grafting is a procedure which removes surplus fat cells from one area of the body and then re-implants it where needed.

  • The advantage of fat grafting is that the fat comes from your own body, so you cannot develop an allergic reaction.

  • This procedure allows your body to naturally accept the injected fat.

  • Fat grafting lasts longer in larger areas of non-movement, so while it is successful for the correction of grooves under the eyes and sunken cheeks, it may not be as successful for creating fuller lips.

  • Fat grafting can also correct aging of the hands where the natural tissue is lost between the bones.

How is it performed?

  • Fat grafting is performed in your doctor's rooms on an outpatient basis.

  • There are 3 parts to the procedure:

1.) Harvest:

  • Prepare site for removal of fat by injecting local anesthetic.
  • Insert cannula connected to a syringe through small incision and carefully suck out the fat.

2.) Purification and Transfer:

  • Fat is purified either by hand or mechanically to get fat cells for grafting.
  • Prepare fat cells for transfer.

3.) Placement:

  • Needle or cannula is inserted into incision point of the site being augmented. Fat cells carefully injected into area.
  • This is repeated until desired correction has been achieved.

  • After the procedure, avoid massage and excessive movement of the area where the procedure took place, as this will stop migration of the fat away from the desired areas of treatment.

  • Ice compresses may be used for 24-48 hours to minimize inflammation.

  • Results are usually assessed after 6-8 weeks, to allow swelling and bruising to decrease.
  • A repeat procedure may need to be performed if the desired outcome has not been achieved but this should not be within 3 months of the first graft.

Source: Dermatological Society’s Web site (www.dermnetnz.org) contributed to this report.