Fat Transfers for Aging Hands

Fat transfers use processed fat from the patient’s own body to re-contour and smooth the patient’s hands. The procedure also is known as microlipoinjection or autologous fat transplantation. Fat cells are removed by liposuction from the donor area – usually from around the navel or from the thighs or buttocks – using a small needle attached to a syringe. The fat cells are cleansed and processed, and then injected into the wrinkled area using a blunt needle and syringe. Because there is a fairly high rate of re-absorption of the fat cells into the body, the doctor will likely overfill the treated area.

The procedure often is performed on other facial wrinkles at the same time since more than enough fat is usually harvested.

What you should know about fat transfers

The injection of fat is done in an office setting under topical and local anesthesia. The procedure to remove fat takes about 10 to 15 minutes, and then it takes another 5 to 20 minutes to inject the fat, depending upon how many areas are injected. The target site may look overfilled at first until some of the fat is absorbed in the body.

Why choose a fat transfer for aging hands

  • Because the fillers are taken from the patient's own body, there is little chance of allerigic reaction.
  • Results can last up to several years.
  • Results are usually soft and natural-looking.
  • Procedure often can be combined with other fat transfer procedures, such as facial wrinkles.

What to expect after the procedure

Following treatment, ice may be given to ease discomfort and swelling. Avoid applying firm pressure on the treatment area. Patients may experience one of more of the following reactions at the injection sites:

  • Bruising, which may last up to a week
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Some patients require maintenance treatments to achieve the best results. 

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient's medical history. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. You should tell your doctor if you use or have recently taken:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Herbal supplements

Possible risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, although they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. Allergic reaction risk is minimal in microlipoinjection since the procedure uses the patient's own fat instead of filler materials. Risks include:

  • Bleeding from injection sites
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Redness and tenderness at injection sites