I Think I'm Finally out of the HELL After 13 Years - Virginia Beach, VA

In 1998 I had botched blephraplasty. I had...

In 1998 I had botched blephraplasty. I had big,round eyes instead of my almond shape. All the Michgan doctors said there was no way to fix it. I was suicidal!! I'M NOT KIDDING.

I looked in the book "Best Doctors in America" and found an eyelid specialist-plastic surgeon in Virginia Beach, who did a levator lengthening,(cuts the muscle that opens and closes your eyes so it drops down the lid.) It really helped a lot. I just went back to get filler + botox to help the expression when I smiled. I should have gone back to him sooner to fix that but I got so overwelmed by this problem and choose to wear my glasses because I couldn't deal with it anymore. I didn't think anything could fix the problem.

I can honestly say on June 25, 2011, I look like myself again!!! It has been a LONG journey. I never thought I would ever be able to say: I don't look like a freak anymore.

I would recommend 3 things: a doctor "Y" in Boston LOWERED a girl's brow ( a reverse brow lift) on this botched plastic surgery show and she looked good. I would have looked into that 1st

2) levator lengthening ONLY with Dr. C in Va because it is risky surgery in the wrong hands or

3) fillers like restylane, again I'd only go to Dr. C (or someone top notch) for that because it's needles close to the eye. Try the fillers first, then go more invasive until you find a solution.


Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon

He's been a plastic surgeon for 40+ years- is an expert on eyelids- can tell you the real deal. Fixes other surgeons mistakes- world renowned at levator lenghtening. Very few doctors in the world can do this surgery.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 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 (9)

Thanks for reponding to my message, Quno. You were very nice to do that considering how little information I shed on the subject. I am truly amazed at how knowledgable you are- I learned more from clicking on your site for a few minutes than anything I've gleaned in the past 15 years. I'm very sorry about what has happened to you. Doing the USA doctor rounds is the best way to advocate for yourself, but emotionally depleting when you are confronting the beast, so take care.
Just reading what Pamela Rosen, MD had to say about fat removal actually gave me a brand new way of seeing my face. I had the lypo back in 99'- can't tell you what kind, or what the original fat amount was- but I actually see now the lypo left me with the groves, indentations, or "depressions" Dr Rosen and others have referred to and they are just as unsightly as the fat was, and when the doctor restylaned the area later, it just went back to looking like the original problem - a big pack of Restylane now instead of fat.
I'm starting to think that Dr C might be right- he does very delicate surgery on the eye muscle, I mean you have to be so precise when you cut the delicate eye muscle, and it's possible if he was as delicate and precise in a controlled application of Restylane into the depressions, it MIGHT make it look better. I think it's the best place to start- there's also a couple little pockets where the fat was and a lot of little wrinkling- essentially, I think it's going to be best improved by FX lasher treatments and Restylane and I think in the right Doc's hands it might be greatly improved- but I don't think it will ever be perfect. I could live with imperfection that whispers instead of SHOUTS. I guess I'm fortunate I can start with a reversible option like Restyane and go from there, instead of your scary fat removal options but I'm actually dealing with the scary result everyone else is fearing, the depressions etc. so lucky me.
Quno, would you be open to my sending you pictures of my situation on your private e-mail? There are things I'd like to show and say I wouldn't want to do on a public forum. Thanks again. I may post a picture and question on Real Self about post-lipo complications til then.
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Hey Danielle,
Thanks for the fat removing advice - everything that could potentially help is worth a shot! I would say that from my own research, smartlipo would be something to avoid for the face, and lipodissolve would work better for isolated areas of overfill. However, it cant really be controlled (as in, noone would know how much the fat would dissipate if injected into the face). If you go to my profile and read my ft review, then you can see a few things myself and others have mentioned, if you're interested. It does sound as though your problem is more "local" and could b managed quite well with fillers if dr carraway has suggested this.

Surgeons have been seeing a slew of overfilled patients for yrs now and are pretty reluctant to treat the issue. 1. They dont know how to (no training in this area), 2. There are a lot of risks. It's funny how they can stuff it in but can't take it out! Surgeons are aware of the problems they create in this way (most completely avoidable), but arent as forthcoming with practical solutions. Unfortunately, a lot seem to think "fat is fat" and don't have to live with it in their own faces, so don't realize that it's just a type of permanent filler and not a substitute for natural soft tissue thickness.

A bigger problem is that this is increasingly happening to the younger patient - 20s and 30s- who aren't at face lift age (where surgeons can see and extract the fat). So interest in non-invasive facial fat removal hasn't yet caught up with more conventional techniques. However, more and more are having this issue, so Drs are being forced through trial and error to find solutions for patients (like dr hoeing, who uses 5fu injections and has dedicated some of his practice to fighting the problems of scar and fat I have read).

Thanks so much for your tips on finding Drs though, a worthwhile strategy. Well I'm going to be going on an interview round in the US soon if my treatments (at home) don't work. All of them say different things about fat removal, it's really confusing at times and frustrating!

I'm really looking forward to seeing dr c if I can (depending on whether he recommends I come ) about my fat and brow. Will you be returning to him to upkeep with your fillers?

Very clever application of Botox and restylane for your eyes - it's quite amazing as I'd have never thought of that myself. Good at you had a brainstorming session with Dr C and got to the bottom
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Restylane weighed the eye down and botox froze the muscle so the outer corners of my eyes couldn't fly up at a ridiculous angle when I laughed- I looked like a freak. It gave me a crazed look, like I was from an insane asylumn and wanted to kill someone. The R+B made it so the eye couldn't lift up like that.
I think the lypo did help some, I had it done in Detroit back in '99. I think it did remove fat but there are pockets where the fat is or was that makes the skin irregular that I want tightened. Dr C never saw the original situation when there was fat there. There were no synthetic fillers in 2000 when I spoke with DR C.
I had done some research on fat and came up with these things-NOW I HAVEN'T VERIFIED ANY OF THIS WITH A DOCTOR, it's just what I found on the Internet ( and that's what's good about a doctor like Dr Carraway you can run down the list of possibilites and he can say yes, no, yes, not good for your situation, too dangerous etc.) which is what I did when I was in his office the last time and I was asking him about fat transfer around my eyes. ( I settled on Restylane) I'm sure you'll probably dismiss each and every one of these options with a yawn- " We dismissed that option years ago, Danielle" but I'm just throwing out my modest little results from web surfing whenever I tried to grab the bull by the horns (usually after I'd seen myself in a mirror in a particulary harsh light)
1) Smart Lipo that melts fat- melts fat + tightens skin- can they do it on the face yet? (" 2 lasher wavelengths, one that melts the fat and the other that tighten the skin.") If not, isn't there hope they will soon? Is that what the girl had that you mentioned? "Laser assisted liposculpture is a new technique... MOST PROBABLY IN A FEW YEARS IT WILL SET THE TREND FOR BODY AND FACE REMODELING, AND IT IS SAFE, EFFICIENT, PREDICTABLE (I like that word "predictable") and easy to recover from." http//www.smartlipo.la- Also a website with the phone no 818-888-8042 says it can be used on the face.(Also see ezinearticle "Lasher-Lyposuction-Avoids-and-corrects-post-suction-bumps-lumps) You may have to hang in there til the technology catches up-but it may be on the horizon. There may be hope and sometimes you have to wait for it. Hope is everything.
2)This one is controversal, not FDA approved, but a Dr Barry Eppley, board certified, has used this LIPoDissolve, the injection of a fat-emulsifying chemical solution to dissolve very small amounts of fat. He's used it 150 times with good results. He has a daily blog on trends in plastic surgery www.exploreplasticsurgery.com I would proceed with caution on this one.
3) Find the very best doctors on the East and West Coasts- every major metropolitan area like New York and LA have these glossy regional magazines, and they will have cover stories. Ex: " Best Doctors in New York" Find out who the best plastic surgeons are, e-mail them, send pictures, get them interested in you, ask point blank questions, is this good, if you get a top person to be interested, they could be a fount of information. If we all got together who has this problem and as a group systematically did the country we could get to the bottom of this, you know? Or if we said here are 10 of us who have this problem we are banding together to get answers and it could get their attention, and who knows they all know each other, and they all attend conventions together and we could force this to get on their radar. Alot of these people do care about patients. By the way, when I reply to Quno, am I talking to one person or more than one? I keep thinking I'm talking to one person.
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Well, my ft problem is pretty much everywhere and it isn't good. Did dr carraway say yours couldn't be taken out with microlipo? Did the detroit ps make the issue better or worse? How come you saw dr c in 2001 aswell - did he do any correctional work then or did he feel unable to do so at that point? It's very difficult to find people who have had successful correctional work for fat transfer issues. There are a few on this forum who are seeking solutions and one member (goodfacegonebad) who has had some success with microliposuction and 5fu injections (safer than cortisone, to reduce scar tissue). Maybe these lumps are infact scar tissue and fat?
I have visible fat in my cheeks which moves up when I smile, and also a big fat problem around the mouth.
I'm worried that you say dr c has an ego - I hope it isn't toooo ibad! I'm scared of plastic surgeons now and hope he's relatively down to earth. I feel I would need to be able to communicate with my surgeon.
I agree with you about the bleph - there are so many who have had problems with them, changing the shape of the eye for the worse, seems to be a common issue. I'm glad to hear your problems werent functional too. How did the Botox and restylane help with your smile?
Did you meet or correspond with any other patients of dr carraway at his office or beforehand?
Of course we can lean on each other for support. I wouldn't post my pics publicly but would be happy to email if u wish:)
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Wow! Quno, you're not going to believe this, but I have an irregular fat problem on my face too. I've had 2 plastic surgeries, both botched. Can you believe I was 2 for 2??? Two different doctors.
The blephraplasty was the 2nd catastrophe. (Luckily it was aesthetic, not functional, in answer to your question. All the doctors in Michigan said there was nothing they could do: "I think you look better now." WRONG! I do NOT look better now a--h-- OK?)
The first catastrophe was botched fat injections around my mouth. After a bad break-up with a boyfriend I was critical of my appearance (and I was beautiful, I didn't need anything- stupid, stupid youth). I had this TINY little cut in the corner of my lip and so I just wanted a little collegen to fix it and this plas surg who knew a physician friend of our family said, "Oh, I don't believe in collegen, you should have fat, and I know this new technique that will make it last longer" and proceeded to totally mess up my face around my mouth, all lumpy. (Oh, and after all that it didn't even correct the original problem- the cut in my lip was still there.) I had another plas surg in Detroit lyposuction it years ago but it still doesn't look right. When I was down in Virginia Beach this last time to see Dr. Carraway I asked him about the skin irregularity I have, little pockets where the fat was,( maybe some fat still there too). I wanted to get the FX lasher there, thought it might tighten the area and Carraway said I should Restylane that area where there are depressions. I said to him, "I've already tried that, and I didn't think it worked." At least for me I just ended up with a bigger raised area like a huge bee sting,- it still didn't look right and Dr. Carraway said, "Oh,that's because I didn't do it." (He does have an ego). I didn't tell Dr Carraway that the doctor that did the restylane there was a world renowned plastic surgeon, Dr Ian Jackson, who Dr Carraway trained under and just reveres. He used to head the plastic surgery dept at Mayo Clinic.
So actually, you and I have a similar problem. I've had this fat transfer problem since 1996, and when I asked Dr Carraway back in 2001 what I should do about it, he really wasn't sure. He said to me back then, "You really have a lot of diffiult problems to solve." No kidding. But anyway, what IS the solution to this fat transfer problem? What have you been hearing in terms of doctors and/or solutions? I'm thinking of Restyaning the area with Dr. C just to see if it will work.
What happened to you-what does yours look like? We should compare notes and pictures sometime. What is the forum that discusses this? Sorry I'm asking so many questions, but I have never spoken to anyone who's had this problem besides me.
Botched blehroplasty is worse than anything, WAY WORSE than my fat problem. I don't recommend it. If I had to do it again I would only go to the BEST BEST in the world. We can talk again about it, I have some ideas of what you can do besides blephs but I'm telling you PROCEED WITH CARE. I look at all these famous people and I can tell whose had their eyes done and if Jane Fonda, Cindy Crawford, Kenny Rodgers, Mary Tyler Moore, etc who have all the money in the world and theirs didn't turn out right, where do you go to ensure yours will?
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Danielle, thank you for your kind input. It's clear he helped you out of a very dark place. May I ask why other Drs were unable to help you with your bleph? Were the problems both aesthetic and functional? Would you say that he was relatively down to earth and easy to speak to? Im very wary of 'super drs' now and need to be able to communicate honestly and clearly.my face is in bad shape from a botched fat transfer (among other things), and i know Drs get put off by cases like mine, but would really like to have a good examination at the very least and maybe some hypotheses as to why my issues may have arisen in the first place. I was also encouraged by the fact he's an eye dr. - I have a very low brow naturally and a droopy eye that could use correction, I'm obviously wary of more surgery now but wondered if he was indeed a good pair of hands for such things. I certainly would want to look as natural as possible and know that the eyes are very tricky to get right. Although the fat transfer gave my face a very weird look I still have my eyes at least, so would be nice to get a subtle enhancement at the same time.
You're telling me about the family thing... And not to mention 'friends'. well that's what sites like this are for - to support and help others out as well. I guess it all means we're not alone as we think, although we may be scattered around!
I think someone should arrange indoor socials for victims of bad surgeries to gather round and swap notes...lol.
Thanks also for the hotel info, prices sound great too, I'll be sure to mention you to him if I do go to see him.
Its funny you mention dr y, I was thinking of going to him if I need a cheek lift to excise the fat transfer as one dr said to me, although dr carraway appealed to me more.
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He is a very nice,Southern gentleman, a little reserved, but kind. He has a good bedside manner. I would say maybe a litle old school, a little patriarchal, you know? I remember when I first went in there I was so excited he could do something for me I couldn't take in all the technical description he was giving me. I would say sometimes I felt that could be a problem, so have all your questions written down you want to ask, maybe ask a few questions by e-mail before you go, so you really feel you've had your questions answered by the end of the consultation. He's pretty good about giving you time, but you want to maximize your time with him. The last time I went in he started out by saying: "I've been really thinking about your problem..." He really wants to try to solve your problem for you and he has the skill to do it. In this case he wanted to do something different and I disagreed, and I e-mailed back and said I want to try the botox plus restylane first, and once he saw me in person he agreed I was right- so be proactive for yourself because you know best what you want to look like. Bring pictures, do drawings or show him with your finger pressed on your eye what you want the result to be. He is extremely skilled, extremely knowledgeable. You are in good hands. Even if you don't end up going through him, he is an excellant person to get an opinion from. He definitely knows everything there is to know about your problems and he cares about the outcome. Tell him Danielle Roy from Detroit highly recommended you, he'll like to hear you heard of him by word of mouth. It helps to have a specialist of this caliber as invested in the outcome as you are, you know? His practice is right next door to several hotels- you can stay at the Red Roof Inn for 39.00 a night off season. I stayed there a week for 250.00 one time! Best of luck, let me know if you have any more quetions, and keep in touch. I'd like to hear how things are going for you. I never had any emotional support from my family about this, my mother thought it was just "foolishness" and I think it's so cool we can support each other over the internet- I know what you're going through. Don't hesitate to reach out again. Danielle
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Sorry,I should add that I came across him through forums - members with fat graft problems have been to see him. Aside from being a good eye dr, he's also experienced with methods of facial liposuction and knows a good deal about fat I gather. I am so happy that you got a great result from him, and yes let's keep in touch. 13 years is a long time to wait for correction but I'm always glad to hear a positive story like yours, rather than the usual 'good surgery' outcomes that are pretty numerous (along with the bad!) anyway, I'm not entirely sure he'll be able to help me with my particular problem but shall let you know if I do go and see him.:)
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Great review. Im so happy that you found this great surgeon to help you. I've heard he is very good for eyes, and also an expert at facial lipo too. I have recently emailed him about my ft problem but was going to ask his opinion about my single eyelid ptosis and brow ptosis too. What is his bedside manner like? How much time did he give you in consultation? Would very much appreciate your response. I'm glad someone has finally reviewed his work on here.
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