Procedure Description: Injectable fillers and “volumizers” are used to plump up thin, skeletal hands, either with injections of fat harvested from the patient’s own stomach, thighs, or buttocks or with a cosmetic dermal filler, such as Restylane or Perlane. Both fillers are made from non-animal sourced hyaluronic acid and have been approved by the FDA for the correction of facial folds and wrinkles (dermal fillers for the hands remain an off-label use). Another volumizing option is poly-L-lactic acid (marketed in the U.S. as Sculptra), a synthetic polymer that has been widely used in dissolvable stitches, bone screws and facial implants. A collagen stimulator as opposed to a filler, Sculptra has been approved by the FDA to restore and correct facial fat loss in people with HIV (again, use on the hands is off-label).
Length of Procedure: Varies
Recovery: Side effects can usually be managed with ice packs and acetaminophen. It takes about two weeks for the swelling to go completely down and for the effects to be most noticeable.
Risks: Patients may have a little bruising and discomfort.
Results: Restylane and Perlane last about six to eight months, Radiesse lasts about a year, Sculptra sticks around for about one year and fat injections can last anywhere from two to five years. While fat injections may last longer, fat can re-absorb so this approach often requires additional sessions.
Estimated Cost: Cost for soft tissue fillers can run from $500 to $3,000 and fat injections can cost $1,200 to $5,000, depending on where a patient lives and the number of treatments required.