Seattle Plastic Surgeon just can’t keep her opinion about this poorly thought out procedure to herself.
I read several plastic surgery journals every month and more often than not I think, “Now there is a good idea”. But this month I read an article about using a “hand lift” for hand rejuvenation and I thought, “Now there is a really, really bad idea”.
A “hand lift” involves excising some of the loose skin at the level of the wrist and pulling the skin on the back of the hand tighter. Yikes! This not only leaves a significant scar on a very visible area of the wrist but also makes the skin too tight when making a fist. And it doesn’t help the quality of the skin itself.
The problem with the idea of a “hand lift” is that it does not address the real problems with aging of the hands.
So what was this plastic surgeon thinking when he thought up this operation????? My guess is that he did not know how to perform fat transfer to the hand which is a procedure that I think is really, really great. Fat transfer addresses some of the real problems with aging of the hands: deflation because of loss of fat and deterioration in skin quality.
With fat transfer to the hand, fat is harvested from the patient where there is a relative excess (usually the belly or the hips). The fat is purified and then injected into the back of the hand in teeny, tiny parcels. The fat does a couple of things. First of all, it plumps up the hand that has lost fat over the years and second, it really improves the quality of the skin. Just take a look at these close up photos. Not only are the veins less prominent after fat transfer, the fine lines are much, much smoother and the color of the skin is better. These changes are likely due to the stem cells that are in the fat. This change in skin quality is seen in other areas when fat is transferred to the layer just under the skin. This stem cell effect is a very, very hot topic and is being investigated by several large plastic surgery institutions.
Soooo, if you don’t like the way your aging hands look, don’t get a “hand lift” but consider fat transfer instead. There are no long scars and recovery is usually quite rapid and almost painless and the improvment is long lasting.
Thanks for reading! Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder