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!


I appreciate your comments about the importance of having an experienced doctor or specialist in whatever procedure one is choosing; I really thought I would get fat transfer too; however, I was told yesterday that even the very best doctor in fat transfer cannot promise that this will be a permanent result and that there is an implicit 50% failure rate (or just that the fat is reabsorbed by the body) and they just don't know why that is other than it is still a new procedure. She said that some doctors are using a spinning technique or RBP (rich blood plasma) to get better results but that fat transfer is still in the research stage. At the end, you mentioned "aquashape" Did you have the procedure where they remove fat from one place with water and put it in your face? I have heard that called "Aquafill" and I have seen a demonstration of it on Dr. Oz show. Hope you continue to be happy with new volumn as it does make a huge difference. I am trying to decide which filler to use. I like the results I see in pictures with radiense which I thought was long lasting but now someone has recommended Juvaderm voluma as it lasts two years.
  • Reply
Congrats to deciding to take that leap of faith & courage & finding the right doctor! How about pics?
  • Reply
  • Reply

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.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.


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.

Please join RealSelf or sign in.


Photo of Day 1

Seem to have missed day 5 with impressive swelling!


I did have the fat removed using water-assisted lipo. My doctor says that the fat that does take will be permanent. I did read somewhere that you lose some of the fat, but then between 6 months to a year, the fat that is there grows so you fill out again. I will ask my doctor about that when next I see him. I don't know how he treated the fat, but I do know that the procedure took a long time, and that many doctors are not up on the latest technology that creates permanent fat filling. My suggestion is to contact the doctor for more details.

Still trying to add photos!

Maybe Safari is the problem. Here we go again

Please join RealSelf or sign in.


Last Try to Add Photos

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

Please join RealSelf or sign in.


Trying photos one more time


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!!!!
  • Reply
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.
  • Reply
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.

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...


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!
  • Reply
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
  • Reply
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

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.


I don't know if he did anything special or how much he used. He does do revisions for people. You could contact him.
  • Reply
Wow, your temples look fabulous, this is an area that really responds well to FG it seems. Nice result and I think you may still see some subtle improvements over the next few months. Congrats!
  • Reply
Wow! U look great! I do see a difference. So what is complete healing time for the face?
  • Reply

More photos of my facial fat transfer

I am now at 7-1/2 months. I look JUST like me, only better. I am so thrilled that I look like me!!


You look great! Two questions: 1. How many ml of fat have you had injected?? 2. How many of those ml do you reckon "survived"?
  • Reply
Not a clue, but you could email Dr. Ditesheim and ask him!
why did you bruise so so much....I have an active life... can take no more than a week or 8 days... make-up at school will not help... advise... did you do arnica...
  • Reply
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
Was this review helpful? 3 others found this helpful