Hands are one of the first places that show the signs of aging. When the fatty layer under the skin starts to diminish, the skin on the hands looks translucent. Even if steps have been taken to keep the face and neck looking young, hands that are sun-damaged, wrinkled, and veiny can make a person look older than they are. A number of effective hand rejuvenation techniques can improve the quality and texture of the skin, while decreasing the prominent veins and wrinkles.
When should I consider hand rejuvenation?
Hand rejuvenation should be considered:
- When the hands have prominent tendons and veins due to loss of volume
- When the hands are thin and wrinkled
- When the hands have apparent age spots
- When the hands would benefit in look from improved color and skin tone
A wide variety of options for hand rejuvenation are available. After rejuvenation, hands will be fuller and smoother and the veins will also be far less prominent. Hands will also have a youthful appearance.
What techniques are used for hand rejuvenation?
Although there are many different ways that hand rejuvenation can be performed, it is the belief of Dr. Agha that the fat transfer technique is a far superior method over fillers for many different reasons. The fat transfer technique:
- Uses a patient’s own fat to replace the fatty layer that has become thinned
- Using a patient’s own fat leaves patients with a more youthful and even skin on their hands
- Offers permanent results. The transferred fat becomes permanent in the hands after only a few months. Fillers are not permanent and may need to be repeated every 6 to 12 months
- Usually requires only one round for success. After multiple syringes of fillers are used to obtain the same look as one round of fat transfer, the cost for fillers becomes more expensive.
What happens during fat injection, fat transfer, or autologous fat grafting?
During a hand rejuvenation fat injection, also referred to as fat transfer or autologous fat grafting, liposuction with suction tubes removes fatty tissue from certain areas of your body that have excess tissue. The abdomen, hips, back, and thighs are usually optimal sites for fat donation. The harvested fat is processed for transfer and re-injected into the hands. Grafting at multiple levels ensures a smoother deposit of tissue that can then be reshaped and augmented in the hands. The incisions made from the cannulas of liposuction are closed with the use of sutures. As a protective barrier, tape is placed over the hands as a protective barrier.
It is important to note that not as much of the graft volume will take due to poor circulation from diabetes, vascular disease, HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, or smoking.
What will my scars be like from hand rejuvenation?
Scars from liposuction incisions to obtain the fat are extremely small and only wide enough for the cannula, or suction tube, to go underneath the skin and remove the fat. Equally as small are the incisions at the injection sites. If loose skin is removed surgically, scars will be located on the top of the wrist and are often hidden by a bracelet or watch.
How do I prepare for hand rejuvenation procedure?
The board certified plastic surgeon provides a patient with preoperative instructions and answers any questions before the procedure. All patients in advance of the procedure should:
- Stop smoking no sooner than six weeks before any surgery
- Avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drug, and some herbal medicines that can cause an increase in bleeding
- Avoid exposure to the sun which can cause permanent irregular pigmentation
- Stay hydrated
Hand rejuvenation is normally performed as an outpatient basis. Make arrangements for a driver to take the patient home after surgery. Someone will also need to stay with the patient for the first night following surgery.
How long will the results of hand rejuvenation last?
With the use of fat grafts, the results are long-lasting. Temporary fillers only last between three months to one year and will need to be re-administered to obtain the same results as one fat graft. Skin tightening results depend on the type of treatment used on the skin. Less dramatic results may also be realized by patients that have a history of impaired healing, like diabetes, sun exposure, or smoking.
Hand rejuvenation results can also be prolonged if precautions such as applying moisturizer and wearing gloves to avoid sun exposure are done on a regular basis.
If you are interested in hand rejuvenation in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, contact us for a consultation. Dr. Agha is a board certified plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons, a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Agha has worked on research for stem cell and gene therapy solutions. He has also pioneered several plastic surgery techniques that are used today.