So Happy I Found the Right Doctor for Full Facial Fat Transfer - Charlotte, NC

As you've probably read from those who have had...

As you've probably read from those who have had horrible fat transfer results, the right doctor is absolutely crucial. There is nothing scarier than looking in the mirror and not recognizing the reflection, or seeing someone that you think is hideous. I didn't quite realize this before my surgery. I did do the research choosing a doctor with very good reviews, with pictures that I liked and who had very good training and reputation, but I didn't really understand that even a minor change to one's face can be devastating if the change is unpleasant. That's why you must also choose a doctor who shares your vision, is an excellent listener, who is compassionate and who spends as much time with you as you need. So I think I will start from the present and work backwards. I had full-facial fat transfer about 4 weeks ago, and so far, the results are spectacular. I am 63 years old and now I look at least 10-15 years younger (except for my neck, which I didn't do). My skin is toned with no wrinkles, and without the pulling that can come from a facelift. I've had people tell me that I am "glowing". It seems to get better and more natural looking every day. I still have a little swelling around my eyes, cheeks and maybe in the upper lip, but am confident that these things will resolve by the 3 month mark. Still, I don't quite feel that it is me yet. No one else seems to notice, but both my husband and I who are intimately familiar with my face notice that it's not a younger me at this point, it's my younger twin. This is important - because even if you have a fantastic result, you need to consider whether you can handle looking almost, but not quite like you. Time will tell with me - I'm hoping to get closer to me by the 3 month mark, but at this point I know that if I never make it there, I will get used to being my younger twin.

To backtrack, right after my surgery, I did have an unusual amount of swelling and bruising. By the 3rd day I was extremely depressed and anxious because I thought I had made a huge mistake, that the hideous face that I saw in the mirror, and didn't recognize, was going to be me. I didn't know how I could manage the world with this face and had fantasies of having to leave my town, and my kids rejecting me. The doctor and his staff were able to help me through this very rough time with their assurances that this was temporary, that everything had gone very well and that within 2 weeks I would be looking much more like me. The doctor also re-affirmed several times that our visions were in sync - that he had "underdone" things, that the change would be subtle and that in time I would look like me, only younger. Medicine also helped me over this rough patch. The support of my husband was absolutely critical, as well. Sure enough, by 2 weeks post I was comfortable going out, although it was probably 3 weeks until I felt confident enough to see people I knew, other than very close friends. At 4 weeks, many people think it is my hair or the new makeup I am wearing that makes me look younger, or the weight loss that is doing it. I have heard some others saying that they thought I had had a facelift (and I have in a way).

If anything changes to the worse, I will repost, but I'm expecting things only to get better and better. I say that, because I have confidence in my doctor and that is his expectation, and I believe him. Everything he has said has been proven to be true. I am grateful, and thankful that I found him!

Photos Added

These are selfies, and will not show as much as Dr. Ditesheim's beautiful photos, but I haven't given him permission yet to use my photos on his site. Didn't really want to do photos, but I know when I was looking, the photos were really important.

Re-Try on Adding Photos

The photos weren't taking the captions, so just in case it happens again, the photos will be from Pre-surgery, day 1 day 11, 2 weeks and 3 weeks.

Photo of Day 1

Seem to have missed day 5 with impressive swelling!

Still trying to add photos!

Maybe Safari is the problem. Here we go again

Last Try to Add Photos

If this doesn't work, I will just let Dr. Ditesheim add his photos!

Trying photos one more time

Week 6

I am finally starting to feel like me and not my twin sister. I don't look quite as young, but I think that is just fine. It's me, minus a few wrinkles and a few holes in my face. Now I hope it will stay that way over the ensuing months. We shall see...

3months post surgery

Here I am 3 months post surgery, and I've reposted the first picture so you can see them side by side. I'm told that there shouldn't be any changes now, other than the normal changes due to aging. The change is subtle, and I love it! I would say that at this point I don't really look younger (fine by me) but I do look better, with the large hole on the right side of my face (left in the picture) gone, a prettier mouth both above and the lips itself, less sagging in the chin, eyes lifted a little and a straighter nose. I am so happy to look in the mirror and see a refreshed me.
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Ditesheim and his staff. I have never had a doctor who was so compassionate and caring, and who always has ample time for me. During my rough recovery I offered some suggestions as to how to better prepare patients in case they do not follow a typical recovery path and rather than defensiveness, as might be expected from a surgeon, there was gratitude for my input and thoughtful consideration of my ideas. This of course, would be merely nice, without his demonstration of extreme skill and art in restructuring of my face and reshaping of my body with Aquashape. His staff is warm, supportive and always a pleasure to see. I am so thankful that I chose them!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (31)

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Wow! U look great! I do see a difference. So what is complete healing time for the face?
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There is a big difference! Sometimes we don't see ourselves as we appear to others but I would definitely say that there is quite a difference between both pictures and you definitely look refreshed! Glad for you!
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Thank you and likewise u look great!
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Thank you for the detailed review and all of the follow-ups. I hope you will let us know how things continue to progress for you. I think the before and after is amazing!
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I had FL, necklift - lower bleph and fat injections in my smile lines. I am going on 4 weeks but I guess my question is "my smile is different" and I guess it should be but how was your smile -- same -- different -- better as time went on -- thanks
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I didn't have any fat put into smiles lines but the fat above the lip definitely changed my smile. At week 8 it is definitely me and looks about the same. Ask your doctor- he/she should be able to tell you what to expect. Good luck! I hope you will get the result you want without a change to your smile
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I do understand that it also can completely reabsorb and/or very little can take as opposed to most adhering, I would love to see more women posting their results after a year so we can get a better idea of percentages that keep their fat .
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Well, at the latest visit to my doctor he told me that he would expect that by three months whatever fat is there should stay, barring a large or rapid weight loss. So, we shall see. I will definitely post back at 3 months, 6 months and a year, which I think would be helpful to others.
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Thank you pwe, I am on day 3 and feel more swollen but the bruising seems to be dissipating thankfully. Your photos helped not only me but my husband who I think is having a harder time than I :-).
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So glad. This was the reason I posted!
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Yes, I agree -- we need photo's at one year.
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I am 2 months post fat transfers to lips, chin, cheeks, laugh lines, etc. While I looked fantastic up until week 5, it's been a steady and rapid decline to only 2 months after the procedure and have lost ALL of the fat that was transferred and look exactly the same as before the procedure.
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This is good to know, thank you for posting this. May I ask whether the Doctor tried to attach to muscle or used a smaller cannula also did you go full under with a General?
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He used a small cannula and Lidocaine injections (to which I had a pounding headache and palpitations for the following 3 days).
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Interesting, after researching probably Way too much I noticed a pattern that Lidocaine has the ability to dissipate the fat therefore going General is preferable for fat retention. Of course that is not a answer as fact more just what I have read from several surgeons, not to mention each person is so different. I myself could never hold fillers to my dismay, so many could but not me.
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I never heard that about lidocaine especially since my doctor was so careful with ways to keep the fat alive (i.e. pure oxygen treatments on a daily basis for minimum 5 days, PRP injected immediately after the procedure...). Everyone is indeed different. My face would hold fillers for sometimes up to a year but Botox would be totally gone for me after 3 weeks.
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I'm at 3 months as of next week, and I have only lost what I hoped I would. I look natural, and not overfilled. I got rid of the holes in my cheeks and some of the lines and hollow above my lip. Just as the doctor predicted - so still very pleased. I did have general so maybe that helped but I think so much of it is how the doctor does it. Very hard for a lay person to pick the right doctor, and I consider myself very lucky!
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So good to hear owe, tomorrow will be my 3 week period so I make no comments as of yet. Too much waiting yet, I will be posting my own review once I get past a certain amount of weeks so I have many before and after. Thank you again, can't tell you how helpful you have been.
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Yes please post more pics at different stages. Even monthly would be great if possible.
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The one thing I find on this site are constant horror stories, I guess one person is different than another and post the negatives rather than the positives. I like the input but wonder why every where I go for years all I see are bad bad bad on every single procedure. I am having the fat injection on Tuesday and feel at 57 any improvement is positive, my face will only continue to hollow out therefore if 20 to 30% of the fat remains that will be wonderful. The key to a better result is how they input the fat, with small cannula (very small) into the muscle if at all possible otherwise lumps can occur. When one looks at the face with age it already is lumpy here and there with hills and valleys :-).
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I have to say your pretty bruised up, I have not seen this before but I am thankful you posted the photo to give me an idea that this very well might happen to me.
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I think you REALLY look terrific. I was going to do this because Im having some lipo done next week and my PS mentioned doing a fat transfer. At 61, I thought this was exactly what was needed. After reading the scary negative surgical results decided not to do it. I went onto this site and read the horror stories and immediately decided not to. Too risky. Probably a good thing that your didn't read about all the mishaps before you went in, you might have backed out too. Now that you're post surgical I see the beautiful results that you've gotten. At our age we do need some plumping, thats for sure. Really a huge difference. I hope that your fat takes hold and the results just get better and better. After seeing your pics Im disappointed I won't be doing it next week but I just can't risk it. Im going in tomo for some fillers. Expensive but I feel safer with my face. You never know how it's going to turn out until you're on the other side. So happy for YOUR excellent results. You DO look 10-15 yrs younger. A-mazing!!!!
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It's amazing how bruised you were and that now you look exactly the same but younger! Wow you are so lucky to have had this outcome and obviously you chose wisely. I am still surprised how your doctor literally managed to NOT change your identity at all. After 20 days you look amazing. I had a really bad outcome from fat transfer and still have very large lumps on my face all this time later (over 3 years). I wonder if there's anything in particular your doctor did technique wise and how much he used. Thanks and best of luck with your healing.
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I'm so sorry that you've had a bad outcome - there seems to be a lot of that reported on this website. As to what Dr. Ditesheim did technically, you would really need to contact him. The only thing I do know is that he is continually studying and changing his technique and that it took an unusually long time to do it - I think I was in surgery for 4 or 5 hours! I think a lot of doctors aren't really "up" on things, and in addition there seems to be not just skill but artistry involved. I know there are doctors who specialize in that. Best of luck.
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Thanks pwe - I have pics of the bad outcome on my review of the procedure. I know that it's possible to have a good outcome from fat grafting, and I've seen a few I've liked. But this is something else, given you had all areas done at one time are are only 20 days post surgery. I just wonder how he managed to get it so smooth and even everywhere without giving you exaggerated or unnatural features. I am very impressed as it's all evenly blended and looks like you didn't need a face lift. The bruising and swelling initially are quite horrific (I hope you don't take offence at that) - if I had been you I would have felt exactly as you described. I do hope they warned you about that in advance?! Lol. As you say it would probably be necessary to contact the office directly so we can find out what his secret is!
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