Fat Grafting to the Hands
As a Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Williams is often asked by people to “guess their age.” Instead of looking at the face, Dr. Williams routinely examines the backs of the hands. Our hands are some of the most true pictures of our age and often show as much, if not more, signs of visible signs of aging. Apart from the face and neck, they are the most visible parts of our bodies.
Dr. Williams completed an additional fellowship in Hand & Microsurgery; as such, he is a Hand Surgeon. Thus he is well versed in the intricacies of the anatomy of the hand and is well qualified in treatment options to restore and rejuvenate the hands to a more youthful appearance.
Hands age just like other parts of the body such as the face. With normal aging, the skin of the hands becomes thinner and more wrinkled. Likewise, the soft tissue under the skin loses its volume and thus leave the veins, bones, and tendons more prominent. The hands, like the face also is subjected to the greatest amount of sun exposure; this exposure to ultraviolet radiation hastens this aging process and can also cause brown spots to arise on the skin.
Treatments to Rejuvenate the Hands
There are a variety of treatment options that can rejuvenate the appearance of the hands. To restore youthful volume, procedures such as filler injections and fat grafting (fat transfer or autofat grafting) can be performed. To improve the texture and tone of the hands, techniques which employ exfoliating skin cleansers, chemical peels, and lasers can be used. To decreased the brown spots on the hands, chemical peels and lasers can be used. Together, these techniques can leave long-lasting effects with an improved aesthetic appearance.
What is Involved in Fat Grafting to the Hands?
Fat Transfer (fat grafting or autofat grafting) to the hands is a process by which the surgeon harvests fat from one part of the body (i.e. abdomen, flanks, buttocks) by a method such as liposuction. After harvesting the donor fat, the fat is washed, filtered, and then transferred to the hand(s). Obviously, the patient would also need to have extra fat in other parts of the body to serve as donor fat.
How Long Will Fat Grafting Results Last?
Over time, the body accepts most of the transferred fat and develops new blood vessels in a process called neovascularization. The fat which remains after a recovery period of 6 to 9 months will last permanently. That being said, however, only 50 to 70% of the transferred fat will survive the neovascularization process. Because of this, Dr. Williams will generally transfer approximately 20 to 40% more fat than is needed to achieve the target volume.
How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Because this procedure involves liposuction of another area of the body as a donor site, many patients desire greater reduction in the donor site to achieve an aesthetic contour of that site. As such, the procedure time may vary depending on the amount of liposuction performed. The process of simply harvesting fat and transferring it to the hands, without extra liposuction, generally takes from 1 to 4 hours.