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Permanent Disfigurement - Los Angeles

I had fat transfer under my eyes. The immediate...

I had fat transfer under my eyes. The immediate result was very noticeable mismatched lumps under each eye. My Dr.told me it would last about 3 months. A year later there was still no improvement. During this year I tried restyline to fill in the lumpiness. It didnt work. I tried Radiesse to raise my cheeks in an attempt to hide the lumps. That didnt work either. I also had to get a series of IPL laser treatments to get rid of a bruise that wouldnt go away after a failed attempt to have it removed by needle.

After a year I had surgery to get them removed-a blepharasty. She got most of it out but not all. It was very grisly fat tissue that would have never dissolved on it own. Its been 2 years now and I still have several pea sized lumps under one eye. I tried a kenalog injection in one lump. It helped somewhat I like to think. Both eyes have an identation or groove at the top of the cheekbone where there was not before. I look both unatural and older. When I smile the skin under the one eye folds up very differently then the other. I lost a year of my life consumed with trying to fix this botch and a lot more money. Every day I look in the mirror and am reminded of the worst mistake Ive ever made.

Its been 1 1/2 years since the bleph to remove the...

Its been 1 1/2 years since the bleph to remove the fat injection. The injeted fat that didnt get removed is still just as lumpy and noticeable. Nobody should get FT under eyes! This area is too thin and will show through. Unlike other fillers, fat injections can be permanent. RUN from any Dr that tells you otherwise.

Have had some success with 5FU. It did not...

Have had some success with 5FU. It did not eliminate the lumps but did make them flatter. Instead of 2 separate high pitched lumps under one eye there is now one continuous flatter lump. The lump under the other eye also flattened. The result was an indentation between the top of my cheekbone and the lump. Thanks to a skilled injector-PA a bit of Radiesse has filled that in and for now the lumps are not visible. NOTE- the radiesse was not put in the under-eye area. I dont recommend that! It was injected only in the very top of the cheek since there are no longer any lumps to fill in or connect. I prefer radiesse as it lasts much longer and watching the rapid decline of restyline or juvederm is too depressing. But thats just my opinion, these other fillers can work too.

The 5FU didnt work. It was just an extended...

The 5FU didnt work. It was just an extended swelling that is now gone. Another $500 spent for nothing. The radiesse that filled in the cavity at the top of my cheeks is still holding up. But that problem only happened in the 3 years of that area being poked and prodded in an attempt to get the FT out. It is so wrong that Dr are allowed to do this procedure at all. Even some Dr on this site opine that FT can be removed the same way it got in- by aspirating it. HA. Unlike other fillers FT does not always dissolve. It gets into different planes of the skin and cannot be removed even with surgery. Any efforts to remove it can cause scar tissue, which in the under-eye area is very likely to be noticeable.
Mary Powers -Long Beach, CA

fat transfer under the eye has very unpredictable results and any competent Dr. should know this and not subject their patient to it.

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notsogood- face gone bad, Carol11 etc and all the other botched fat injection people of 2011-2012 where are you at today? I miss talking with you guys and I'm still rooting for you. I hope you are ok.
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Aloha DRoy...thanks for checking in on all of us.  Well, I finally gave up on the 5FU, restylane (etal)fills, & other non-surgical fixes.  Nothing worked, so I went to Dr. Groth in Beverly Hills for a surgical fix on Jan 31 2013.  Still recovering and bruised under one eye, but things are looking hopeful so far. I am cautiously optimistic as its too soon to know how it will ultimately settle out.  Still have one stubborn lump above one eye, but its smaller and I am hoping as I heal more it will go down some.  If not, I'll ask him what else we can do.  I trust him given the results so far.  All other lumps are gone and the sac under the right eye is gone too (that's where I'm bruised at the moment, but sac appears gone, just some slight swelling left from the surgery).  He improved on the creases in my eyelids that Chahin messed up...not perfect, but definitely much better.  Looking more like my old self again instead of an alien from Mars.  He wants to see me again in one month...and then again in 3 months.  I should have done this sooner and saved myself a lot of money and anquish over the past 2 years.  The rest of my face still seems somewhat puffy to me and my face indents on either side of my nose somewhat strangely when I smile...but I made the decision that if I could just get my eyes back to normal than I could learn to live with the other issues.  One can only do so much, both mentally and financially.  Dr. Groth only does eyes...so we didn't address the other face problems...not his specialty...but he certainly has helped me get on with my life by dealing with the eyes.  If I stays the way it is now, sans bruising, I will be quite happy.  Its not 100% back to normal, but much of that has to do with my age (64yrs) and I'm sure if I were younger, like many of you, the results would even be better. At my age, one really can't expect perfection.  I will write back after the 3 month mark after I've healed more  to let you know my final thoughts on all this.  My husband says I look 10 times better already...and (given he is a physician himself) he's always been pretty honest in his appraisals...even when they were painful to hear.  I've appreciated his honestly instead of sugar-coating it for me.  So I trust the improvement isn't just me trying to convince myself it is better than it is.  The surgery was about 4 hrs under twilight anesthesia.  Never felt a thing and remember nothing...though they tell me I dressed myself afterwards and seemed totally coherent, lol!  No pain whatsoever.  Just the hassle of frozen pea bag compresses and eye ointments...not a big deal at all.  Just don't plan any social events for a few weeks afterwards...and invest in some really cute sunglasses, lol!.  I was able to hide much of it with makeup, but putting in ointment sort of messes up attempts at eye makeup.  But for short dinners out...it worked out just fine. If I had it to do over again, I would definitely pick Dr. Groth again for the revision surgery.  Very impressed so far.   And Dr. Lu, his anesthesiologist, is amazing too.  Never had it so easy...I don't even recall her putting the IV in...and never felt any after effects from anesthesia at all.  So, keep your fingers crossed for me...I will let you know how it all ends up in a few months.  At this point, I'm thinking surgery is the only way to go to fix up a bad fat transfer near the eyes.  IMHO, all the rest was just prolonging the agony and throwing money out the window.  I'd recommend considering that option and stick with a really good eye surgeon as opposed to just a general PS.  The best to all of you...more later...Aloha, Sallie 
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Thank you for checking in DRoy. I have small unsymmetrical lumps under each eye. It's a haggard look that often happens with aging. My mother has no such lumps though and neither did I before this. So I get Radiesse under the lumps every 6 mo. It cost $$$$, hides the lumps and also makes me look like one of those middle age women that get too much filler in their face. I've moved on and dont dwell on it too much. But also don't wish peace upon any doctors that choose to do this to people. Hope to hear from you and everyone else.
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MissSpot, I am so very sorry. I know how you feel as I went through and am going through the same ordeal. My tourney is almost done and my lumps are gone. Don't give up. This can be corrected by the right person. Post on RealSelf and ask if there is someone out there that will help you. Ask how many corrections they have done, and how they did it. My prayers are with you. Keep searching, MissSpot. You will find the right doctor to help you.
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Thanks Carol. Ive been to several and they all say it would be very difficult to remove and they dont even want to try with a bleph. Not that I want that anyway. Other than kenalog or 5fu nobody has had any other ideas.
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So glad to hear you have been helped...I heard 5fu only lasts like 16-18 months..(but longer than steroid) has your results extended beyond that? Did your injector mix a little steroid in with the 5fu?
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Its only been 2 mo since my last 5fu. Yes, some steroid was mixed with it and I looked great for the first week from the swelling the steroid caused. The 5fu only helped, but at least to some noticeable degree. I also stopped after 2 treatments b/c it appeared it might have been removing tissue in other areas under my eye where there was no fat lumps. I guess only time will tell if its not permanent either.
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In answer to your questions, I have to say I'm over the worst of it. And when I say the worst of it, I think I can say I'm about 85% restored in my eyes and I bargained with God to just get to this point. I'm just happy to be able to SEE myself again. I'm not exactly as pretty as I was but it's a decent facsimile. And you know what? I'm happy to be myself again, I'm so grateful, but being pretty isn't as big a deal anymore as JUST NOT BEING IN THAT GOD AWFUL PSCHOLOGICAL PAIN. Honestly, after your looks are restored, you look at yourself and you go, "This is what I almost killed myself for? All the pure agony I went through- luckily, for me I could wear glasses and not have to deal with it during the worst of it- and I kind of became invisible, people stopped noticing me. I stopped making being pretty a priority, and I have to say girls, I became a better person for it. I can't speak for the rest of you but I know that "pretty" is, or has been, you know, buying the cute clothes, getting a tan, blah, blah, blah, is a really fun part of our lives, it's almost like your friend in the mirror and I know it sounds so superficial, but for some of us, it became an important part of our identity- it's fun, it's creative, it's like a colorful part of your life, you are rewarded for it in society, it's a feeling of power. For me, I wasn't pretty until I got contacts senior year and it quite simply changed my life for the better, after wearing coke bottle glasses and being ignored all through school- I was nouveau pretty the way some people are nouveau rich- you know old money thinks nouveu rich people flaunt their new wealth? Well, I was nouveu pretty- LOVED, LOVED being pretty, that was IT for me. But now I look at the housewives of the OC, and you don't realize it at the time, but if all you care about is your looks, people don;t like you as much as you think they do. But now that I'm past this, and you if ever get past this AND YOU WILL, it's not going to mean the same to you. It will never be a part of your identity the way it once did. You may even say someday, I'm glad I went through this- it made me a deeper person. THAT'S IF you get through this. I'm not going to lie, I would not be saying this if I was where some of you guys are. I feel bad for those in the middle of this- it's the worst pain in the world. But listen, this is what I did, I said, I will get through this, I know that I will, because the alternative is completely unacceptable, and I chose to 100% believe that and then I just made myself concentrate on other things. Truly, there are a lot of people, that really don't care that much about looks. There are a lot of people who aren't that attractive and they have a different measure of what worth is- if they are not that attractive, they measure themselves by how intelligent, talented etc. Hang out with those people-people that don't appraise you by looks and develop a different standard of how to appraise yourself. I wore my contacts Sunday when I went to a concert that my friend performed in- she's a pianist, teaches at a university- and I was so awed by her accomplishments- and so were a couple of the men we were with at the restaurant afterwards. Nobody even noticed me, and I think I looked kind of pretty that day. She also has a way of making people feel so wonderful in her presence. And I thought why did I get so wrapped up in "pretty" I should have been working on other things besides that. Anyway, avoid florecent lights, mirrors under florecent lights and keep repeatin, "You ARE going to get out of this" every day, because you are. In answer to your question NOT SO GOOD, I am the last person who would recommend a bleph- you've seen what they did to Mary Tyler Moore and Kenny Rodgers. If I had to have a bleph again, I would find the BEST plastic surgeon in the world, I would make him show me a million pictures before and after, and I think they have new procedures where it looks completely NATURAL which I think must be really hard to do. I mean, I can tell Cindy Crawford's had one, your inner corner gets narrow- you lose that wide-eyed oval shape that is so beautiful. A few years ago, Vogue had this list of the top 10 best plastic surgeons in New York and there was at least one they said was renowned for his ability to make you look completely natural looking after a bleph and I swear to God, I wouldn't go to anybody less than that- ,I don't care how much it would cost me. Your eyes really define your appearance, the expression is YOU, and if you lose that, it's right up there with the worst fat issue.
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DRoy I just read your comment from Feb 2012. This was so very inspiring and thank you for that. I agree that I probably was caught too much into looks. I look at thinks alittle differently now. Yet, I am still looking forward to having my eyes repaired next week. I am going to use this experience for the good.
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Great post DRoy
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Friends, you are all saying what I have been feeling for the past year and a half. I am so devasted by my ft there have been times I haven't wanted to go on. The only thing that keeps me hanging in there is the doctor that I am seeing in LA that has made very good strides with me with the 5FU. There are times that I have just broken down and cried for hours and hours. I went to my husbands work winter bash this past weekend, and I was so very unsocial, I didn't want to talk or dance or even be there. I am very fit, but my eyes are a mess. And yes they are better, but, they are not close to being normal yet. I will ge going back for a microlipo, and he wants to use a laser to tighten the skin that has been stretched from this disaster. My appointment is in April, so say a prayer for me and keep your fingers crossed. I will speak to him about a way to help others if this really works for me. You know he is not taking new patients, but he has trained others and we need to know who those doctors are. My thoughts are with all of you.
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Yes, Danille I do hear what you are saying.  It's something I'm sure many of us here deal with more than we'd like to admit even to ourselves.  "Devastating" is an understatement.  There are days when I just sob and wonder how I will make it thru to the next day, let alone the next week, or month, or next year.  Sometimes I feel as if part of me has already died and is gone forever.  I'm trying to go on living my life as normal, but I know it will likely never be the same.  Its "existing" more than actual" living" these days.  I haven't quite managed the "acceptance" stage abd not at all  sure I ever will.  The only saving grace for me is that I am 63, so I have had a good long run before  this happened.  I try to remind myself of that whenever I can.   I can't imagine what my mental state would be right now if I were as young as most of you are.  But that doesn't mean I am any less depressed about the joy in my  life  taking a nose dive far sooner than I had planned.  I'm healthier than most people my age because I have gone to great lengths to take good care of mysel..  So this wasn't supposed to happen to me...not yet.  And not literally overnight.  So, yes Danielle, I do feel your pain...and anger...and understand it completely. 

One question.  Back in June you wrote a review on how satisfied  you were with your corrective bleph.  What happened since then?  Or were you just grateful for a partial fix at that point and are now coping with getting back to your pre F/T self again beyond the eye issues?.  I'm asking because I am at the point where I want to try a modifed upper and lower bleph to see if it will help any.  Terrified, but feel I need to do something.  Are you still happy with your decision to do the bleph...or was it not worth the effort and risk involved?  Would sincerely appreciate you thoughts on this.  Thanks for sharing your feelings with us on your experiences and emotions thru all of this.  There is a great deal of comfort in having kindred spirits here at this site discussing these things openly rather than feeling we are dealing with the trauma all alone and/or keeping our emotions bottled up because we are embarrassed it.  It's not "no big deal"...its huge and we have good reason to feel angry, despite what others may think of that or try to minimize as insignificant.  Given the same circumstances, they would be angry too. None of us here should doubt that or let them try to convince us otherwise.   Take care all.  Sj   
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I have something I want to say out of the blue...as I'm walking around talking to myself and cleaning my house I realized I want a VOICE about how hard this has been to go through, and I don't feel I have had that in my real life. Nobody understands who hasn't been through this and it makes me mad and I would like to say, "This is what happened to me, and it was devastating to me" and when they snicker and act like it's no big deal I would like to have a book or pamphlet we could compile together (with permission from those who wanted to participate, of course) so when someone tries to invalidate your pain, you say, "Oh, yeah, tell that to "Face distroyed" or "Face gone bad" or the girl who is holed up in the hotel room contemplating suicide that it's no big deal what I went through. I would like to write about the people who were your friends who shyed away from you now that you don't look the same, or the ones who say, " I don't see what the big deal is" to your face but behind your back say, "God, she's really lost it" and the A-H doctor who won't take any responsibility for what HE/SHE did to your face, making it out to be your imagination, and also I would like to include valentines from all of us to the doctors who DIDN'T do that, who took care of us, and helped keep us alive with hope. I would like to talk collectively to the general public how it's changed us forever, how we will never identify our worth by what we look like, while in contradiction to that we still look at fashion magazines and "The Housewives" and still participate in that collective assessment of female beauty, even as we should know better. Anybody else understand what I mean? I'd like to talk about the loss of power in the workplace and younger, prettier girls like this one woman who was, I swear, an exact clone of Charlene Theron who played that narcissist in "Young Adult" who I worked for who treated me like s---, and, although they HAVE been able to restore me to quite a good degree in many repsects, I'm still really pretty in certain lights, but I'm so scarred from what I've been through I wear my glasses all the time, it's tramatic for me to really own my looks now, it's caused me so much pain.....and if somebody did like me for my looks now I would almost be offended. It's like, what are you looking at, would you have liked me when my face was mutilated? This experience really changed me-- and I've gone through it in complete silence as to what it's been like because nobody understands except you guys.
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I totally understand all of you. I Haven't had FT but I did have a neck, face, brow lift with lower bleph. I do not look as good as before, my skin is tight but my look is not me. I have caved cheeks, a visible scar under the chin with a protruding roll of fat and my eyes are NOT mine. The ps has not been willing to take any responsiblity and I have resorted to another ps after getting 5 different second opinions. They all 5 agreed that I did not get a good result. You are all right, no one understands how consumed a person can get after being snowed by some ps who doesn't tell the whole truth about the risks and possible outcomes. I think it should be the law that they have to inform you of ALL risks and All alternatives/options available even if they don't know how to perform the procedures. At least that way you can make an informed decision. I had to quite work after 4 months due to the drastic change in my appearance, old friends did not recognize me if I ran into them at the store, and my grandkids ask "what happened?" with a concerned frown on their face. And this guy who was highly recommended (and was on the Oprah show) doesn't get it. I did ssee a few bad reviews on the internet but thought that wouldn't happen to me. I'm not sure I'll ever feel the same and yes, I too have wondered if I wanted to live like this. I'm scheduled for a revision in 2 weeks. If this doesn't make me feel better, I don't know what will happen.
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I am very sorry for you. Have faith that it will all work out in the end. Goodfacegonebad said " it isn't the end until the end ". Keep believing. I keep believing and hoping.
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aloha Miss Spot...thank you so much for the update re your revision efforts today. I'm glad you have found at least some success in getting back to normal. I'm still in the limbo stage. I had two ocular surgeons suggest waiting till the post FT one year point before proceeding any further with revisions...that will be May 4th, 2012. I still look the same, no better but no worse. the 5fu for the lumps over my left eye on the brow bone, didn't do much for me, those lumps are still hard and disfiguring. Perhaps a minor softening, but still not what I had hoped for. The lumps, puffiness and loose skin under my eyes is much the same and I still have the millia problems there as well even after mild peels. I'm so bummed. so far two ocular PS still think the modified lower bleph to remove the fat and retighten the skin and an excision of the hard lumps over my left eye is my only recourse, but I'm still hesitant to go that route...any surgery has me terrified right now because of this bad experience with FT. biggest mistake of my life...as I'm sure all of us here can agree on. I will be going back to LA to see two of the revision docs for a re evaluation in May and perhaps see a couple of new docs that others here have recommended since my last go around of consults. Part of me keeps hoping for a miracle in the interim...but realistically know that won't happen of course. so far it appears that FT is still being done with abandon by these PSs. I find that so irresponsible and unethical. surely they must know by now how badly this can go and that it is impossible to repair once it goes wrong...yet they continue on. Unbelievable. anyway...thanks again for the update. does give me some hope for the future.
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Aloha!
Sorry to hear... I heard the same crap about waiting. Then the advice to do a chemical peel, massaging, laser to tighten the skin. It was all $$ quackery that only excaberated and prolonged the misery. Some people have been subjected to long term cortizone shots which have very bad systemic effects like decreased bone density! All of this misery at the advice of doctors. If its been 9 months since your FT then its not going to disappear on its own. Removal surgery will greatly reduce the lumps but probably wont make them disappear. At least not without $$$ filler at regular intervals for the rest of our lives.
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I know...it terrifies me too. Massry wants me to remove a piece of tissue from the roof of my mouth to use as a graft for the undereye surgery. I don't know exactly how that works, but he says he will get a better result with the graft. I'm curious to see if Schwarcz says the same. If you do go for the consult, let me know. I am going to Massry on the 6th of Dec for a 5FU injection. I'll ask him more about the proposed surgery then. I was too stunned to react when he first mentioned it. So hopefully I will get more info this next appt. Also seeing a second ocular PS (Parsa)the same day for comparison in solutions. I feel a need to get several opinions at this point...after having such a bad result the first time.
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yes, have the appt with Schwarcz next week. Dont know if I will keep it... $250 consult fee to be told I only might be helped by this intricate surgery on my face. I understand it involves 'draping' or repositioning the fat. Imagine the complications that could arise over that.
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Oops...I forgot you are in New York now. Are you going to try for a consult with Dr. Schwarcz? He is an ocular PS like Massry.
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That "cutting along the lash line" and removing the fat is basically what I think the ocular PS wants to do for me. Apparently he can remove most of the fat that way (transferred fat is a different color than our original fat). Then because my skin actually is loose now from overfilling, he would take some of that up a tad. My lower lid on one side is already drooping a little just from the F/T (called ectropion). He wants to push it back up at the same time he removes the fat and tightens. It is a very intricate surgery...that is why I am so scared about doing it. I'm working on building up the nerve now. What if I screw it up even worse? I am so bummed by all of this. Yes, you found a very honest PS. Good for him for referring you to an Ocular PS. What is his/her name? Is he in Long Beach? I sure hope he is wrong about this being permanent...and worse, that it will continue growing. Oh good grief. I still can't believe I did this to myself. What a disaster, huh? Let me know what the Ocular doc says if you end up seeing one, okay? Would really appreciate it. Good luck!
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Had a consult with a board cert PS to remove the FT lumps that still remain. He did not recommend another bleph. FT can cause the skin right over it to become thicker and that in itself could be the cause of lumps. Another bleph would likely result in no change in appearance. He did say that injected fat that remains after 3 or so months is permanent and is capable of growing. There may be a better chance of improving the appearance by getting them cut out via an incision along the lower lash line. But he recommended only going to an ocular PS with a lot of experience. This procedure can result in the lower lid drooping if not done correctly. Kudos to him for being honest and not taking my money. But the sad truth is his opinion confirms the FT we are all discussing is a permanent disfigurement. I will consult with an ocular PS but am not expecting any miracle answer.
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Hi Miss Spot, thank you for posting your experience and being diligent about the follow up too. I am also a victim of fat transfer. He did my whole face, but most of it disappeared (gratefully) however my eyes are still a mess. You are right, fat transfer should never be used around the eyes. In fact, I think the whole procedure should be banned. I've read horror stories about disasters with lips and cheeks as well. It is way too unpredictable to be used for cosmetic surgery. It was originally intended for severe genetic defect or from injury from accidents that were so severe there was no other recourse. Thats where it should have stayed...but apparently someone figured out they could make more money by imposing this on women at large...simply for minor defects or age related wrinkling. Talk about overkill. I think we are now seeing the results of that disasterous decision. Check out the comments under the review called "Fat Transfer: Gambling with your Face-California" written by "Good Face Gone Bad". There are so many of us victims there it will make your head spin. We have started sort of a support group there...and everyone shares their latest attempts at having it fixed. So far, there are a few things to make it a bit better...but nothing yet that will get us back to our former selves. It is worth reading. So far, an injection called 5FU has helped a few people with lumps. I am getting that treatment now in CA. For undereyes he wants to do a bleph on me, but I'm terrified of surgery at the moment and am still going to try to find a non-surgical solutions first if at all possible. It also is very expensive, but to be fair, it is a doctor that specializes in plastic surgery of the face...and particularly the eyes. An ocular plastic surgeon. It sounds like your bleph didn't work, so now I am really concerned about trying that route. Micro-lipo has had some limited success too. Others mention corizone, but that apparently is only a temporary fix. I've been dealing with this since May 2011 after my F/T in Beverly Hill CA. Some of the woman at the review have been dealing with this for nearly 10 years. But we all hold the hope that eventually some doc will figure out how to fix this...there are so many of us now. It would be worth checking there at the review every now and then, to keep up with anything new. All of us understand your pain, frustation and anger. You are not alone. Good luck to you.
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MisssSpot, sorry to read that. Where under the eyes did you get it? Is it the tear troughs or more in the front cheek area
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right in the troughs. got indentations above the lumps and below in between the lumps and where the front cheek begins.
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