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Not Worth It... Even with a Pro - San Diego, CA

I did a full face fat transfer and an upper and...

I did a full face fat transfer and an upper and lower bleph last year. While I think the eye work probably improved things and the cheek bones looked better... overall, the result was not as dramatic as I was hoping for.

It is hard when these doctor's promise the moon with their photos and then really can't deliver that. I am 42, attractive, thin, etc.. but felt like I looked tired all of the time. Dr. Karam and his staff really acted like the result would be so dramatic... and I just didn't feel that way. Once the swelling went down I just did not think I looked that different.

San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon

They were nice and he seems very genuine... but I don't think he has the fountain of youth that he claims with his photos and hype.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Updates? Still no change?
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hey notsogood, weird, I don't see a message in my inbox... hmm. I'll message you my email address if you want to email me instead. thanks!
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oh wait, nevermind i see it. I'll read it now. Thanks!
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Has ANYONE experienced lumps with conservative fat transfers? I've only heard of them happening with over-filled fat transfers.
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chiaranesta...I just sent you a private email. 
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i agree---i would never thought the neck was so important---and never imagined how much of a difference having it done would make! i am so happy with my results---
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oh well if he is experimenting, keep at it! Someone has to, and it shouldn't be us, the patients. But how are we supposed to know that? I really thought he liked himself looking that way. But I am glad you like your neck, Boston4247. That is so much more important of an area when it comes to aging than i could EVER have imagined when I was young and beautiful.....ah to get that back....
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Yes, does he look um--off--yes. But does he have a very good reputation, yes as well. The "ladies who lunch" so to speak raved about him regardless of his own look. He is known to experiment with fillers on his own face---anyhow, i had a little bulge, raised area, whatever---not worth it---i have had a hard time with tear trough area which is why i am considering fat graft or maybe filler with karam who did my neck and did an AMAZING job with it-----
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This review is far better than others I've seen, I.e. there is no complaint about deformity! It sounds like Dr. Karam is very conservative about his treatments, which, in my opinion, is critical with fat transfers. I'd rather take the risk of having a not-so-dramatic result than my face being ruined!
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I would rather have conservative----any day of the week--still thinking of peri-orbital fat transfer---but might do injections/fillers first (or better said again)---
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oh Boston I forgot -- is Dr. Brandt the one I saw on tv once who OBVIOUSLY did way too much filler and botox to his face and really looks horrible because of it? Wow...talk about going overboard! I would rather be sunken-in and wrinkly than look like one of those ridiculous over-filled people, really! I would run out of the office, celeb doc or not, if someone walked into the room looking like that!
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yes that is the one---the issue was that i had this over fill spot---
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Wow he seems so strange. I saw an interview with him and he looked like an overfilled (embarrassingly) type you see on the Real Housewives. He is not a good advertisement for his own business.
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wow Dr. Brandt is ALWAYS named in all the major beauty/fashion mags -- not that that means anything in the end -- what happened with the filler? I am dying to know! I once had filler badly done and thank God it finally went away. The doc I see now is pretty good....it's just my filler never lasts long bc I am so thin, and weight never seems to stay in my face. I blame Hugh Hefner and others for making it seem like women can only be accepted as attractive when they are "baby-faced," blue-eyed, blonde, and identical. Who is he to tell us what to look like, the crotchety old tasteless man? Now I just try to look not sunken!
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it was over done there was this weird puffed out area, it was raised---at least filler can be removed---BUT NOT ALL so do your homework---only use ones that can be removed with hydrolaise (i hope i am spelling this correctly)---
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I would not consider the doctor on the team to be a celebrity, even the main surgeon. He is at Brigham and Womens hospital. Boththe guy from the Charla Nash team and the one who left me waiting at Mass General, I hated the hospital environment. Also there was a neck life expert in Boston who apparently only does necks. What I did not like was being put under and an overnight hospital stay, so I never went. The celebrity doctors seem to be those that are on tv commercials (want to be celebrity doctors) and tv shows or just really well known like a bunch out in los angeles.

I would only do fillers that can be reversed with hydrolaise (i know I am spelling this wrong) or whatever it is called. I went to Dr. Frederic Brandt in NYC (that is a celebrity doctor) and I had to have his tear trough filler reversed in Boston.

The neck was not bands but fat under my chin. Sounds like you might need to be plumped a bit but not too much---Like I said get a consult from Dr. Karam. He does not push things and is very nice. Always be wary of a doctor who tries to oversell you---at least you are dealing with some doctors who are not trying to do too much if they say that you are not ready for dealing with the neck bands yet---
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oh I know what you mean about receptionists. Esp. since I am one! When they are rude I am pretty shocked, bc that is truly the first intro to an office. I know Mass General well, in fact. Not a fan.
Wow...face transplant doctor...I always think it's hard to get to see the celeb docs. I read about one in either Allure or Vogue, I think, about this amazing doc in LA who costs at least hundreds of dollars for a consult, and women leave in tears because he is so harsh! I don't think that sounds right....but maybe they don't mind if his is the best? I also agree -- bruising is iffy, even with the same person. Depends on everything going on in each individual's body. I have done some crazy things impulsively in the past (and suffered greatly for it -- and thank God they were reversible) so I am hoping, hoping, hoping that extreme care will help now. One more thing -- was the neck lift for jowls? For loose areas going from neck to jaw? I think so.....will look into it although I know docs around here say I am absolutely not ready for that yet, but I hate these yucky cords I have in my neck. I have one of those "runner's" faces, thin, always trying to get fatter in the face.
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A plastic surgeon can operate on a family member. There are no rules against it. Some think it is weird others feel that they would not want a surgery from anyone else but a relative.

It is not a matter of borrowing research, as I spent a lot of time online and did not print anything out. Hmm, what convinced me. Well first it was a neck lift and this has a high satisfaction rate on Real Self and I needed it. Choosing Dr. Karam I was just looking around and I really do not remember what led me to his site. I thought the site had the best before and afters. Also, I had called some doctors in town and to be honest their receptionists were quite rude. I went to Mass General to an excellent doctor and was left in the waiting room for 45 minutes and had paid the consult fee, and decided to leave. It took like 20 minutes to get the fee back.

I had also gone to a doctor who was on the team that did the face transplant on Charla Nash (the woman who had her face torn off by the chimpanzee, but not the main doctor who is always in the press a team member). I just did not get a great vibe. Also, and this was important to me as well, I am scared of anesthesia. Though I had a rhinoplasty many years ago and had anesthesia where I was under, it just scares me. So I really liked Dr. Karam since it is really just sedation.

All this plus research is what made me make the decision. I will say that for a little while I was getting all caught up on comments on boards, and just realized that not everyone is going to be happy.With fat transfer some might take it better than others and as I think I said earlier, the doctor is not going to know if you reabsorb more or less fat. Our bodies are still a mystery. I had rhinoplasty with barely bruising, just some yellow under my eyes. But I had tear trough injections and I looked beat up on one side. You just do not know.

As for knowing someone who has had it done, there was one woman I met in the office who was doing it. I called her a few weeks later, and she was sooo happy. I actually tried calling her recently and she did not call back, as a friend is really interested in this procedure.

I cannot speak for the doctor but I feel that if there was a problem he would address it........Hope this helps! And one last thing, I like that Dr. Karam only works on faces.
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well I kind of feel like you did my homework for me...since I live on the East coast too...maybe I should just borrow your research as is, since it is confusing. I have family out there so I figure I could recuperate if necessary at one of their houses! Did you know anyone personally who had it done? What convinced you -- I mean, did you get to talk to anyone he had personally treated? I guess since his wife allowed it he MUST be good (although I thought you weren't supposed to operate on family? not sure if it's plastic... I just thought of this. Is this true?.)
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It's worth it. Del Mar is kind of cute, downtown San Diego a short drive. It is worth it. I live in Boston, we have so many plastic surgeons here. I chose him based on research, his demeanor with phone consult, how nice his office staff was, his work, etc. I spent a long time on the research and the only regret is that I did not do it sooner...Whomever you are looking into--do your homework---
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yes, you're right -- I do need to find some other sites! Gettin addicted to this site, damnit! Hmm when I want a lift I might have to fly all the way out there...so far.
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Hey--It is the mixed reviews of fat graft, not Dr. Karam that has made me think of fillers as an alternative. I have had fillers before and in the tear trough area from one of the best in Boston. Even with the best I had a bruise for days and it looked like I had an abusive boyfriend!

I think there are a lot of people who blame doctors for this and that when there are reasons other than the doctor something might not go right. For example, we all bruise differently. I had a rhinoplasty 20 years ago, very little bruising but have seen people look much worse after.

With fat grafting I think there are surely doctors who should probably not perform this procedure due to inexperience. However, no doctor can be 100% sure that your body will reabsorb this or that amount of the fat, a lot of it has to do with your own body.

If I were to have fat transfer, I would do it with Dr. Karam 100%. But that is not where I am at right now. I will do fillers with him, probably in summer. Maybe after, as i said, I might change my mind...who knows---

My advice to you is do your homework. Go to Rate MD's to read comments, call the medical licensing board, compare web sites, etc. Google stuff like "fat grafting nightmare" or other key words that might bring you to some comments not on Real Self. I do think that Real Self is a great site, but there is always more info out there as well. That is what I did. Send him your images and have a phone consult. He is really a great doctor, no pressure, etc.

I was scared of the neck lift, imagined the worst, etc. even with my confidence in Dr. Karam. As I was out in Del Mar SHOPPING that afternoon I realized that I had blown things out of proportion in terms of my worries. And by the way, Dr. Karam ordered rest, not shopping, that was my own choice!
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I would go for a consult but....I am sooo far away. You do sound sane unlike the aforementioned Randolph. Oh just saw you did it all from Boston! I have seen mixed reviews about fat graft....and I have a good "filler" guy here, so really it's something permanent I seek, and apparently that's difficult to find.
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I love how real self sends instant updates on comments! Nadia, I think that Randolph is not a friend and his comments were critical and quite odd to be honest. I think Dr, Karam's patients seemed thrilled about the work and there are people who are "sitting on the fence" and would probably want to hear from a patient than just the doctor. The mention of the wife is because on Dr. Karam's web site under the photos of fat transfer, the first picture is of his wife and it says there that it is his wife!

Here is what I think the bottom line is on the fat transfer.

I think that the images on Real Self, Dr. Karam's own web site, and the many additional ones seen in his office are AMAZING. I asked after about the tear trough area, and a fat graft was recommended. I specifically said to Dr. Karam that I think his work is amazing, but to be honest that the low satisfaction rate NOT OF HIS WORK, but in general for the fat graft, made me nervous. He did not push me at all.

I will likely return to Dr. Karam for injections such as a filler for the tear trough and some filler for the cheeks when I have time to go back to San Diego. This is just me as obviously, many, many women have made the choice to do fat transfer and look great. Perhaps I will change my own mind later---everyone is different with their views on this---

Nadia, why not just go for a consult there is nothing to lose. Also, for my neck lift I sent images to the office and coordinated everything from Boston. I highly recommend Dr. Karam.
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After reading this I am convinced that Randolph is some friend of the doctor's, as he has no other reason I can imagine to mention the doctor's wife. This is very odd. However, I do believe Boston4247 is a former patient, but she had something entirely different done. Thus, I would not go to this doctor...the question is, what doctor should one go to and HOW in the world do we choose if we don't know someone personally who had a good job done? Do any of the doctors on here (or satisfied patients) have any suggestions?
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