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

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Old 09-23-2012, 06:08 PM
ratt57's Avatar
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Default Intro - I finally did it too...

I joined this site some time ago and have logged on pretty frequently to get info re: hair loss/transplants, and it would also come up in Google searches quite a bit as well. About sixteen days ago I finally went ahead and had the procedure. I was pretty high on the Norwood scale (between a 6 and a 7), and did a lot of research before settling on John Diep in Los Gatos, California as a doctor. He seemed very genuine, honest with what to expect, and experienced upon meeting him, and I even went as far as to check out references with Dr. William Rassman in Los Angeles, who he apparently worked with. Rassman e-mailed me back almost immediately with a very good recommendation, so I went ahead and chose him.

The experience was long and I'm hoping, going to be successful. I was in surgery for about 12 hours and received approximately 4190 grafts before walking out of there at 8:00 and checking into a hotel down the street for the night. The staff and Dr. Diep were great, very concerned that I wasn't in any pain, and incredibly patient (I work in the medical field, but can't imagine being a surgery tech. placing grafts into tiny holes in someone's head all day like that. I was really amazed at how they took such a tedious job in stride). I have to also confess I tend to videotape a lot of experiences in my life, and they allowed me to tape the removal of the strip as well s the suturing up of the lesion (Dr. Diep was very cool about it, but thought it was "a little wierd." He's right). I'll tell you that after watching the procedure a few days later, I had no idea what was going on behind my back and it was pretty amazing... I couldn't believe the amount of blood and the fact that the Lidocaine injections alone kept me from feeling anything. It's a pretty amazing procedure.

The hair has all pretty much fallen out now, and started about 10 days after the procedure (that's normal, isn't it?). The scar actually blew me away when I got a look at it later. At first I I couldn't see it from the side and thought my hair was covering it up, but after looking at it with two mirrors three or four days later and and reaizing I'd been walking around in public and had no idea what it looked like to others, I was pretty mortified. It's still slightly scabbed over and red, and I'm wearing a baseball cap to cover it up. I'm returning to work tomorrow and not looking forward to the barrage of questions from co-workers and patients as to why I'm wearing a cap throughout the day. I'm hoping by another two weeks my hair will have grown over the scars enough so I can dispense with it. I still have some soreness and slight redness around the scalp due to the amount of grafts I received, but it's subsiding daily.

My question is this: I looked great when I walked out of there after the surgery and for several days after. However, I'm reading that densely-packed FUT grafts often have a high "death rate." Has anyone on the site ever experienced this after having that many grafts placed at one time? I've spoken with two of the surgical techs who worked on me and have worked with Dr. Diep for quite awhile now. They're very familiar with shock loss, but are both telling me that they've never seen one patient who hasn't responded to the procedure in a positive way. They said losing some percentage of the grafts always happens, but the majority remain.

Anyway, any feedback you guys might be able to give me would be very appreciated. The wait is definitely anxiety-provoking. I'm also wondering... does the scarred area shrink as time goes by, because I think that's going to be my next concern. I've been wearing my hair short for so long now due to being a "chrome dome" that I'd like to be able to keep it maybe a little longer, but not much. I'm also checking out FUE procedures and am feeling like they have a ways to go, not only in success rates, but price per graft re: fixing up the scarred site. I'm also curious that if a scar shrinks approximately how many grafts it would require to cover it up, but I'm sure that differs with every individual.

In any case, I'm assuming it's normal to be anxious that the shock loss will result in no hair coming back at all... if it is, I'm definitely there already. Dr. Diep has informed me it will take 3-4 months to see any growth, and right now that feels like a couple of years. At this point, we're looking at the end of the year at least.

One more topic I've never really seen addressed here: I knew this wasn't a procedure I would obviously not be able to keep secret for too long, so told a few co-workers about it before I went on vacation. I immediately started being "judged" re: why I would want to spend $$ to do this, as well as the usual "You look fine just the way you are." This was something I wanted to do for me after many years of being bald, and am not sure just what to say to people if they start giving me disapproving comments (and the scars will only add on to it). Has anyone else dealt with this?

Hey, thanks...
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