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Hair Transplant Experiences and Surgeon Reviews Share your own hair transplant experiences with others here.

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Old 10-19-2002, 09:00 PM
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Ii had a transplant a few years ago. It was considerably more painful than I had hoped. Perhaps 40% of the grafts grew. I followed all the instructions, including sleeping upright for four days. Within three days after the surgery my face was so swelled my left eye closed and I could see dozens of grafts popping out of my head. It was horrible. Whenever I see an ad on TV about how some people go back to work the next day after the procedure I literally scream. I had to hibernate for over a week before I looked well enough to go out of the house. I was a mess. Does anyone know what on earth this doctor (or I) did wrong?
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Old 10-19-2002, 09:00 PM
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Ii had a transplant a few years ago. It was considerably more painful than I had hoped. Perhaps 40% of the grafts grew. I followed all the instructions, including sleeping upright for four days. Within three days after the surgery my face was so swelled my left eye closed and I could see dozens of grafts popping out of my head. It was horrible. Whenever I see an ad on TV about how some people go back to work the next day after the procedure I literally scream. I had to hibernate for over a week before I looked well enough to go out of the house. I was a mess. Does anyone know what on earth this doctor (or I) did wrong?
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Old 10-20-2002, 06:15 AM
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If you don't mind revealing it, who was the doctor?
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Old 10-20-2002, 06:49 AM
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I had some work done this past February.

I swelled up like a balloon as well and I used ALOT of ice at least 4 to 5 times a day. It was a week before I looked pretty normal.

I had lots of swelling around both ears, to the eyes and in the forhead.

Wasn't fun.
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Old 10-21-2002, 04:31 AM
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I had major swelling as well after my HT. It took about a week before the swelling had disappeared. In fact at some point both eyes where closed due to swelling. I really looked like an alien !
However no graft popped out as you described it. I am now 4 months past OP and growth has kicked in well in the last weeks. I am hoping to have full coverages again by Xmas (norwood 4a)
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Old 10-22-2002, 04:18 PM
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The HT that I had a few years back was performed in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Yes, the swelling was very bad. I was in alot of pain for over a week. The back of my head took almost a year before that tingling on the back and top of my head went back to normal. There are noticable blank spots where transplanted hairs were supposed to grow, but never did. Overall I was very disappointed with my experience. Some of the hair grew, but not nearly as much as was promised. I was in lots of pain and discomfort with tons of swelling for over a week. It wasn't supposed to be this painful, but it was.
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Old 10-22-2002, 05:48 PM
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This area is still somewhat of a mystery. You can do the same exact procedure on five different people and get five varying degrees of swelling. I believe most swelling is simply a function of skull shape and head position. I doubt very much that post-op swelling had anything to do with popped grafts as suggested above.

There are two sources of fluid lending themselves to post-op swelling. The first is the amount of local pain killer and saline injected into the scalp to facilitate graft implantation. The second is the natural swelling you would experience after any trauma to the scalp (in this case thousands of punctures). This volume has to go somewhere, and the easiest route down is through the face. Here the skin is quite thin and there are alot of boney projections. As the fluid travels down it gets hung up and accumulates in the soft tissue of areas above the brow and the bridge of the nose giving the "Alien" appearance.

The use of ice is probably counter productive as it simply compresses the skin causing an actual decrease in drainage.

To me, there is no question that 95% of swelling is positional. That is, the position of your head during surgery and after surgery.

If you were sitting up in the chair while being transplanted you will probably swell more than the patient who was lying further back.
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:05 PM
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When I had my procedure I was sitting upright, and was not allowed to wear my glasses (and thus could not watch TV, which wasn't available anyway). I was told to sleep upright in a chair for at least three (3) nights. I did this but still swelled so bad I couldn't see out of my left eye. I was also told to use plenty of ice on my face. I did this and felt like a freezing victim of the Titanic.
I must have had 2 dozen needles in the back of my head, and well over 100 needles in the front and top. Is this many needles normal?
Overall it was a horrible experience. I will have to have a third procedure done soon. Hopefully it will be done by a more competent doctor and the pain an swelling will be less. Of course, I will hope that more than a mere 40% of the grafts work this time.
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Old 10-25-2002, 09:51 AM
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I think swelling is different for everyone. I have had 2 procedures the first on April 12th, 2002 and the 2nd a week ago on October 18th. I had 1750 FUs during the first procedure and just over 1600 last week. The first procedure I swelled up very badly and had 2 black eyes for a couple of weeks. I didn't sleep sitting up or wear a headband as I have seen suggested on this board. During the 2nd procedure I did sleep sitting up for the first 4 nights and also wore a headband as well as applied ice regularly. I had much less swelling the 2nd time around and no black eyes. I am pretty much back to normal and today I am getting my sutures removed (yippie).

I am someone that bleeds very well and I also am a very quick healer. I think this is also why I had so much initial swelling. While the initial experience was trumatic I also recovered quickly after that and the hairs starting coming in at about 7 weeks. I'm very happy that the second surgery is over as I don't forsee any more for some time. My first surgery gave me good coverage but I just wanted more density.

All in all I have to say that HT surgery is a lot more trumatic than "going to the dentist" as has been suggested. While there is minimal pain during the procedure, it 6-8 weeks or more for the scalp and donor area to recover. It's not something to decide lightly and make sure you check out your doctor.
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Old 11-12-2002, 07:00 AM
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I swelled a ton too. My doctor said I may experience some swelling around the forehead and eyes, but I had no idea how much. Wish I'd known of this forum prior so I'd know what to expect. I am one week post-op and the swelling is almost gone. My recovery has been much worse than I expected. I swelled into my forehead, eyes and cheeks which was very uncomfortable - not to mention, very un-attractive. The swelling is now gone, but I have two black eyes - well, I guess they're not "black," they're actually a lovely
autumnal shade of greenish-yellow - looking forward to the transition to purple. I'm lucky I can work from home. I'm also losing quite a bit of my existing hair (shock fall-out), but I'm hoping that it's not as bad as I think and in the end it will be worth it. I'm anxious to see what my doctor says when I go to get my stitches out on Friday.
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