Fat transfer changes woman's face

Beverly Weisblat lost eye, contour of cheek in car crash

AVENTURA, Fla. – A South Florida surgeon used a fat transfer procedure to transform a patient's face.

On Jan. 4, 1968, in Baltimore, Md., a car crash forever changed the life and appearance of Beverly Weisblat.

"The right side of my face, my jaw was broken," she said. "The bone here was crushed and the bone here was crushed."

Although doctors tried restoring her appearance, Weisblat lost her right eye and much of the contour of her right cheek.

When Weisblat recently developed skin cancer near her left eye, she turned to Dr. Andrew Amunategui, an Aventura-based plastic surgeon, for help.

"She was in a situation where she had few options that didn't require bigger surgeries, so I think this was an ideal solution for her case," he said.

Amunategui decided the best treatment was to transfer fat to the areas of her face affected by the skin cancer and the car crash.

"This is done with a tiny needle, like a mini-liposuction, usually from the tummy, but it can be from other areas," said Amunategui.

The length of the procedure depends on the volume of fat transferred. It took about an hour for Weisblat.

Amunategui said some of the fat won't transfer, but it would be reabsorbed and once that fat grows, a new blood supply is permanently there.

"By doing a fat transfer, he did what the other doctors had suggested as possibilities, only he was able to do it without major surgery so I'm really happy," said Weisblat.

Weisblat said after some bruising and swelling, she felt comfortable enough to see friends within a week of having the procedure.

LINK: Dr. Soffer's Second Opinion

READ: ASPS Position Statement on Stem Cells and Fat Grafting