I am going in a few weeks to Cincinnati to meet...
I am going in a few weeks to Cincinnati to meet with well respected facial plastic surgeon Dr. Donath. I have in previous reviews, reported on my use and temporary satisfaction with, Voluma and juvederm xc to fix my facial insecurities, but sadly after paying for THREE $800 syringes of Voluma ($2400), and 1 $600 syringe of Juvederm... I am left with only about half a year of results. The fillers went away far too quickly for what my budget can handle. The Voluma did not last 2 years... not even 1 year!
I feel fat transfer will allow me more cc units for less lost per unit. I also think the fat will last longer as my Dr is using innovative micro fat transfer techniques, and I also like the idea of removing fat from an area I don't want it. I am very optimistic. I will post another update after my initial consulatation Sept 8, 2016.
My hope is to not only get the "bad side" of my face to be more congruent with the "good side", but the to go a level more and make both enhance together in symmetry. I have Cherokee heritage and I have never had good full cheeks, always flat. So I want to correct the bad side of my face, and also get convexity to my face like a young Betty Grable or Lauren Conrad.
Parked in Traffic for over 3 hours - missed consulation
This morning I got my rental car and excited anticipated the drive to Cinci for the appointment I made 3 months ago. To my utter disappointment, despite leaving 4 hours early for travel, I got stuck in traffic literally PARKED for 3 hours due to a hazardous material spill that closed both North and Southbound 75. I have rescheduled for the next earliest time they could see me, October 10th, so no update until then. Bummer!!!
Consultation Day finally!
I finally was able to meet Dr. Donath and go over with him what I saw as problems, and what solutions there are for these problems. I can do 1, 2, or 3 "quadrants" of the face. Each quadrant is $2500 approx. So I need a good amount in the midface.. that is for sure, and that is definitely what I am going forward with to address. But a tiny bit in the eye socket area ( another quadrant)? Maybe. A bit to fill in the nasolabial lines (yet another quadrant)? Eh? I feel like the midface volume he will be adding will lift help that. I'm conflicted if I will do 1, 2, or 3 areas....???
As of writing this, I am leaning toward considering doing two areas. The midface, and the eye socket areas. This is because even though my eyes are not too bad yet, I feel they will lose fat in the next several years. Also, I have one eyelid that is slightly uneven, and he said he can fix that with fat transfer.
So I paid my $1000 down payment today and I have booked this for January 25, which will allow me a renewed face in time for my 33rd birthday in February. Also, this way I can tell my work I'm taking time off for my birthday, which will be true.
Harper's Bazaar Nov 26
Saw this article I enjoyed. Reassures me that at 32 I dont need to feel conflicted about being "too young" for a fat transfer. Person in article, like me, hates being called mam all of a sudden. (I also stopped getting carded as soon as my voluma wore off).
pre open is tomorrow
Here are some before photos
When I was Young
Here is when I was younger and prettier because I still had fat in my face. I think my marathon running has really done a number on my face!
Pre _OP - So excited! 3 areas
I just wanted to update and say my pre Op appointment went wonderful! I am doing 3 areas of my face. 1) The orbital area of my eyes where I have lost fat which makes me look tired and older, and also the temples a bit. 2.) The mid-face!! Going for a *good amount* of convexity! The right side will get more fat than the left as it is flatter. Also special care will be used due to the hereditary malar crescent(s) which is something very hard to treat but may improve. 3) Nasolabial lines, corner mouth areas, and lips will get a tiny bit more fat. Not much, but just a bit. I have Permalip implants in my lips (4mm top and bottom) so I love the look of them, but since I am already paying for the lower quadrant, I figured a tiny more lip volume would not hurt.
I think the total cost was $5500 approx. It was not $2500 per area like I thought, it was $2500 for 1st area, then slightly discounted after that. I fully expect this to be worth the $$. I know myself full well, and I am the kind of girl who will always be shelling out $ for looking youthful as I age. So why buy temporary fillers frequently, when I can just take the downtime, get fat transfer, and have around 70% last indefinitely ? Value per dollar! One whole side of my face would be 3 syringes of Voluma... you know what I mean? I think this is going to be such a wise investment for as I age. a stitch in time saves nine!
How I looked with 3 voluma syringes recently
Attached is a photo showing me when I was 20 years old, then showing how gaunt my face has become in my early 30's (this was prior to EVER having filler, after running marathons), and the 3rd picture is a month later after I had 3 syringes of Voluma injected. Now since then, all the Voluma has worn off. It took only about 6 months for my voluma to go away. But this temporary experience of the Voluma gave me the hope of the youth a fat transfer might give me. This is the look I am hoping to achieve again as a 33 year old.
this time tomorrow I will be arriving for my fat transfer!!!
Photo from today...day before fat transfer. I need this so bad! I am excited as can be!!! The other photo I'd of me in full make up
25 Jan 2017
Day of treatment
Upon waking from anesthesia... it went well. Still drugged up.
day of surgery donor site
25 Jan 2017
Day of treatment
All fat taken from right butt/thigh
Everything went perfect! It took about 3 hours. Afterwards I was so loopy and took a nap at the hotel. Later I ate some Bob Evans soup and mac & cheese. I look beat up, but I am so excited at the amount of fat I can see in my face. I trust Dr. Donath!!
Real self website glitch caused photo to not post
photos for night of surgery, and also for day 1 post op. I am so swollen.
Post Op day 2
Everything is going fine. I look very Ancient Eskimo- Neanderthal-ish but that is to be totally expected and I am not concerned. I have been wearing big dark sunglasses all hour of the day that my boyfriend is home because I REFUSE to allow him to see my upper face! He said " vanity runs deep huh? haha... well it's true. I cannot bring myself to allow my beloved to see me like this. Too embarrassing. I know he adores me for more than looks, but it is just not something I can allow him to see! I also sleep with an eye mask on. :)
Dr. Donath, who is the kindest, classiest, most down to earth and talented plastic surgeon sent me flowers yesterday! What a nice touch! I truly feel like he is top notch in every way!
I have never been in pain. I only took the prescribed pain pills once since surgery. I had some sleeping pills left over from my breast augmentation, so I took those to help me to sleep on my back, as it is very unnatural and difficult for me to sleep on my back which is required.
Post Op day 3
Still icing my face pretty regularly. Not a whole lot of change, but my eyes are a little less swollen. Still wearing sunglasses. Not ready for the public!!
I am ecstatic at what I can tell will be my results once I am healed. The malar crescents are not visible any longer, and hopefully once the swelling dissipates that will still be the case. I can tell Dr. Donath listened to me and did everything I had hoped. I just have to heal and be patient. I am so happy!
day 4 with make up on
Last night i let my boyfriend see my face.While still sswollen and distorted, we went out to dinner in public. I am feeling good enough today to go shopping in public in the next city over to avoid running into people i know... but people who don't know me, i can generally pull it off. I am so happy!!
post op day 5
Swollen but happy! Still not ready for even loose acquaintances to see me. Distorted still but i feel pretty
day 6 post op
Still big cheeks but loving the choice.
1 week post op and day 8
Dr. Said my recovery is surprisingly quick! Thinks it is because he used blood platelet enhancement in the fat. 32cc were injected in my face! Half to 75% should remain.
made a card for Dr.Donath because he is THE BEST
Im a fashion illustrator... i made him a special card and bag of coffee. He is truly awesome! Shout out to RS member Fara in Ohio who is the person I found out about him from.
Two Weeks Post 32 CC Fat Graft to face
2 weeks ago today, was the day I had 32 cc fat transferred to my face to treat eye hollowness, both cheeks (especially right cheek which was in worse condition), malar dents under my eyes, nasiolabial folds, temples, mouth corners, and lips. Dr. Donath of Cincinnati did a wonderful job! I can't tell you what a joy it is to not have the thoughts in my conscious and subconscious mind thinking about those malar bags and my "really old flat looking right side of face".
I am very happy with the choice to do this, so far.
I do want to say one thing though, about emotions after fat transfer. I am probably not a severe case of this, because I am genuinely excited and happy about the fullness in my face as compared with before. But I will say I have experienced just a little uneasiness because I still look in the mirror and don't look completely like myself, as I have always perceived myself. I have heard this before, that facial plastic surgery to make you look younger, you may look like a younger version of a sister of yourself. But you still look better!! So I think that is something that I am ever so slightly dealing with. Because I never disliked how I looked when I was younger, and now I look younger too, but I look a notch different. But please don't get me wrong, I am DELIGHTED by my results. I just thought it was worth mentioning because this is part of the experience of going through a change. Also, I am ONLY 2 weeks out and the swelling will be going down as time goes on. So I am not worried.
Honestly the insecurity only started because a foreigner (a customer) who is not immersed in polite social norms of our culture, loudly said "You look so different, I didn't even recognize you! You are like another person, what did you do?" --- So yeah.. that kind of freaked me out and made me feel awkward. I said I did my makeup different. But he kept going on and on. Granted, he said this when I was on day 10. But you can probably imagine how that made me feel a bit anxious.
But again, in general I am really happy! I have in the past taken Reserveage brand, Collegen Booster supplements with phenomenal results for my skin and hair (read the reviews on Amazon, I'm not the only one who loves them!) So of my own accord, (not by doctor orders) I have been taking the fullest dose of 4 tablets a day to, in my expectation, help my fat transfer perhaps "take" as good as possible. Other than that I am avoiding strenuous exercise as suggested, and eating healthy and drinking water.
Also, I cannot sleep on my back.. I just can't. So I continue sleeping with my self- created pillow which is simple a piece of foam with 2 crescent moons cut out (one on each side) so that my face never is smashed against a pillow, but rather is cradled. There are pillows online you can buy like this for $100 but making one is better! This is so I don't re-created problems in what is now a very expensive face!
My face is still rather firm in the cheeks where the bulk of the fat was placed. This is normal. I am only 2 weeks in, and I am so excited to see the next changes in the following weeks.
PS applying makeup is very fun!
Just one more side by side
this really shows a good difference side by side before and 2 weeks after
Quick Update - I *DO* look like "me"!!
Amazing how just a couple more days made all the difference in that I do not have the feeling of looking like a "younger version of myself's sister". Nope! I look like a younger version of *MYSELF* totally. I think it was just the swelling had me feeling a bit wigged out. Lesson is: trust in the healing process!!
3 weeks since fat transfer
I am happy, so far, with the choice to do this. I hope the "swelling" does not go down much more. I can kind of see the right side malar crescent a bit, but it is MUCH improved. It doesn't bother me like it used to.
1 month since procedure
Still happy.... when i wake up first thing in the morning, im always a little surprised how much improved it is. I hope it doesn't go down any more. I am pleased!
Official before and after photos from doctor
Here are harshly lit, un filtered/ un edited doctor photos. I am thrilled with the midface projection, which can be best seen in my cheeks in the 3/4 side views. I plan to get a touch up fat transfer in a year to do a little more in the nasolabial area, and anywhere else if I need it bu then. But I can tell you this was worth it to me and I am happy. My malar bags are far less visible in real life, and I look younger. The cost per day in minimal given the joy it brings to have more symmetry in volume to my face. Dr. Donath is awesome, I am happy!
It is now May 2, I had my Fat transfer Jan 25
I am still happy. I am still thinking I will get a 2nd transfer though, just because I'd like a tad more, but I do look and feel younger. I do not obsess about my problem areas like I used to, because they are much improved. I feel very good about the money invested.
Had surgery in January, now it's June
I am still happy I did this. I do still have a desire for more fat, but Dr. Donath offers a "free" one year re-do (but you still have to pay facility fees). I will probably do that. However, having said that, even in harsh lighting the malar crescent is hardly as bad as it used to be! Overall, good!