I told Dr. Chike-Obi that I was concerned of how "cadaverous" my face is becoming with age, and since I was getting lipo done, would he be able to do a fat transfer to fill in my face with some of the fat that is pulled? He said sure. "It would help."
I really thought that I would look a lot better and I don't. Before the surgery, at the preop meeting a week before, I had shown him a picture of J-Lo. Her face has definetely had a couple of procedures, and the disappearance of her under eye circles (hollows) is incredible. He laughed and said it was photo shop. I should have taken that as a big red flag. I really thought he was joking! I have seen some beautiful and really well done fat transfer to face transformations here on RS, so I know it is possible! He did such and incredible job on my breasts (BA last year) I really thought he was being completely humble.
I honestly had no idea what to expect, other than that fat would me injected around the areas I want improved. One review I read by a doctor describing what he does told of very small injections. Okay, I thought to myself. I could deal with that.
Now, a month and a half post op I now have a crooked face, huge huge huge and ugly cheeks, and no improvement what so ever of the hollows under my eyes. Perhaps, they are even worse since my cheeks are so pronounced? I really am upset. My left laugh line is half as long as my right, whereas they were completely even before. My left under eye hollow has a horrible wrinkle in it and both hollows seem more pronounced than ever. My right cheek ridge is higher than my left one. My face is now crooked.
The procedure for the fat transfer:
I was punctured about a dozen times throughout my face, and cheeks with numbing fluid prior to the lipo. to my thighs. After the lipo was performed the fat injections to my face started. They freakin' hurt! Every squirt of fat felt like a bullet going in under my skin, and a marble was left behind. I remember reaching up to my right cheek during the procedure at one point, after a yelp. The Dr. seemed to pretty much stop after that. Because I had smart lipo performed before the fat graft, I was still wearing the adhesive eye protectors. I was blind.
The injections were started from my chin and jaw line, and with a very long needle, the fat was inserted up along my high cheek bones under the cheek fat pad vertically upward. No where else. I felt every puncture and every squirt. Two stitches, one on each side of my mouth at my jaw line, were done up, and my head was bandaged.
My face swelled up so bad, especially my cheeks, I couldn't stop biting the inside of my face every time I closed my mouth. The next day at followup I showed the Dr. the inside of my mouth. The horrid inner cheek bite marks and swelling. He didn't seem to care. He was too busy checking out my thigh lipo.
I was pretty frustrated with that follow up, and even more so with the 3 week follow up. He didn't even look at my face. I asked him about my eyes. I told him that I had wanted the under eye circles / hollows improved and he just said something about my tear troughs are improved. First, I haven't a clue what tear troughs are. Second, he did not in any way tell me how this fat transfer will improve, or if it will improve with time. Third, he reminded me that most of the fat will be absorbed and the swelling will go down, but it will take months.
I really think this plastic surgeon is much better suited at breasts and lipo. Face stuff is not his forte. And I feel like I wasted $1500 I did not have. I really trusted my PS to give me a noticeable good result, and with no favorable result at all my husband is pissed at me and told me that I should not trust this place ever again.
So what did I do next? I asked to see the nurse who does the facials and lasering. I bought a package of laser treatments to clear up my skin, tighten the collagen, and primarily to brighten my skin by removing redness and the small red capillaries all over my nose and cheeks. My husband doesn't even know.
The first thing I did when I saw her was ask her if the lasering would melt or reduce the fat grafted to my face. She assured me that it will not. I told her I did the fat graft to the face to reduce the hollows under my eyes. She replied with a bunch of BS about how "much better" and "how much improved my tear troughs are". WTH? She had never met me prior, never seen my before pictures that are in my Dr.'s files.... So, I had been had. She just gave me a couple of lies to try to make me feel better. How would she know that the fat transfer did anything, or that I have favorable results in the area I was concerned about the most?
At this point I still feel a line of marbles along the cheek bone ridge under the skin on each side of my face. It took 4 weeks of sleeping face up before I could turn my head to the side without pain. The lipo. pain had been gone from my legs by week 3, so I was dying to sleep on my side like I normally do. Even now, laying my head on my side on the pillow is a discomfort. My face, especially my cheeks, are very tender to the touch.
I really hope that at my next followup the PS will do some comparison pictures. I need to know what I am looking at!
For the $, seeing how others have paid as little as $400 as an "add on procedure", I feel ripped off. I was definitely over charged for an add on face fat graft.
I had already paid for my lipo, and was already scheduled for it in the fabulous and convenient operating suite at the downtown Westlake surgery center, but the PS bumped my operation to an earlier start time to accommodate the added fat graft. They added an hour, but the fat graft couldn't have lasted more than 5 minutes it felt like at the time.
Overall, as much talent that Dr. Chike-Obe has with other plastic surgery procedures, I can't believe how bad this one turned out. It's not like he ruined my face completely, but it is noticeably crooked and my cheeks are much bigger. I feel uglier and think this was a bad decision. I have no idea how my face could even be fixed.