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Old 10-11-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default Dr Rahal-3968 FUT

Hey guys,

Primarily, just to explain the photos included. I do not have the photos taken at Dr. Rahals clinic just yet so sorry for the lower quality images. The pre op photos, you can see are with different lengths of hair. I was so gutted when I shaved my hair down a few months ago. Obviously, I was very aware of the extent of my hairloss, but thought that I had still maintained a good amount of hair. It wasn't until I shaved down that the truth was told and it was a hard pill to swallow. The pre op photos were taken probably three weeks apart. The post op images are from yesterday which is the day after surgery. Therefore some swelling is obvious and distorts my head somewhat.

Just wanted to write this post as I am currently just two days post op and wanted to let you guys know how everything went. We had planned for 3k grafts originally, but having spoken to Dr Rahal we discussed the preferance of a larger session. We agreed upon 4k grafts and ended up 32 shy with a final count of 3968 grafts. This was broken down into the following graft units: 1s x 549, 2s x 2660, 3s x 758 and 1 solitary 4 haired graft. The total size of the donor strip came in at 38.63cm2. As I am only 28 years old, definitely a patient on the younger side, and the outline of further progression of hairloss, we had to obviously plan somewhat with precaution. I was well aware that this was the scenario and only ever really had interest of a high hairline with a slight natural receding curve and had no interest in a "very" dense result. Would have personally have really loved to have been able to work right back into the crown area, but who wouldn't, and address that also. But that wasn't quite to be with the available graft count. I have been using Propecia for the best part of eight years, and my hair has undoubtedly stablised in this period to the extent where I genuinely feel that I have not lost further hair for a number of years (this after checking literally hundreds of photographs over the last few months).

Strip removal began at 10.30am and lasted approximately 40 minutes. Took a few pills before hand, some kind of relaxants and nausea tablets if I remember correctly. As expected, the freezing injections were probably the most painful of all of the procedure. The expected noises of the strip being removed could be heard, and there was a necessity for some further freezing at times, but it was not so bad. Then, not too long afterwards, Dr Rahal began to make the incisions, which was for the majority painless. There was some relaxing background music on which definitely helped me drift somewhere between reality and sleep. Then there was a short break for lunch which was great and I was generally feeling fine. I selected a few movies to watch for the afternoon and shortly afterwards the technicians began placing the grafts at which point I kept drifting in and out of sleep and completely missed the main scenes of both movies. This part was generally painless, but I had a few areas of stubborn scalp that didn't really want to give in entirely to the freezing. So a few times throughout Dr. Rahal had to inject some further freezing. The last hour became a little uncomfortable but more for my body than my scalp. It was after 7pm when the session finished and my back and neck were numb for staying in the same position for so long, and I can honestly say that I was very glad when that last graft went in. During the surgery, it is obvious that Dr. Rahal is in his element. Thats where his game is for me, and where he is most comfortable. I have every faith that a great result shall be achieved. So then the head technician Mike who is a really great guy, went through the medical regimen for that night and the following morning before my post op check up. He explained everything to me, and although I was actually bizarrely calm throughout the experience, Mike was always there to explain things and put me at ease and should definitely be praised for the job that he does. I would also like to shout out at this point to a new female technician/nurse for whom it was actually her first day on the job. I cant recall her name but she was a lovely woman and really made an effort with me. All of the techs were great and very "in the zone" during the procedure, and thanks to Tara and Holly who helped me out with so many queries pre HT.

The first night was a little rough as expected. Nothing too bad but the drugs had taken effect and along with jet lag, my body was all over the place. Couldn't sleep too well throughout the night and vomited (sorry for all the info), but felt much better after that and manged to get some sleep. Have been living at the recommended 45 degree angle and that has definitely helped with the swelling. Yesterday I had a little in my forehead but not so much, today it has moved down to behind my ears, and hopefully tomorrow, the worst of it will be gone. Have been to the clinic both yesterday and today for cleaning sessions which just take maybe 10 minutes, and are pain free, and its good to feel that the area is getting cleaned up. Today, at two days post op, I am almost back to 100%. Feeling so much better than the last couple of days, and sleeping better. I suppose that I could explain the previous days as "uncomfortable". Still obviously very tight in my scalp but feeling good within myself.

As a final note, Dr. Rahal explained that I had good donor density, which made my 20-30 minute scalp laxity sessions each day for around 2 months prior to surgery feel worth it. He also mentioned that I still have 4000-5000 grafts in the bank which I was very pleased to hear. I do not recall the exact densities planted, I believe it was 50cm2 in the hairline, and then dropping to 40cm2 moving back, but don't quote me on that. I shall find out for definite over the next few days.

Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys. Hope it helps somebody understand the process a little better. Just wanted to give a little back as I have taken so much from this community.
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Last edited by Raphael84; 10-11-2012 at 09:34 PM. Reason: Mistakes
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:53 AM
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With 4000 grafts from Dr Rahal in the front and midsection Raphael, you're going to look like a different person in 12 months time and it is good to hear you have a good proportion of your donor supply in reserve.

You have picked one of the best surgeons there is, so I would be very positive of the final outcome.

Congratulations and keep the forum posted with your progress.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:07 PM
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looking good

congrats
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the feedback guys.
Now 5 days post op and flying home tomorrow. Not looking forward to the journey, but will sure be nice to get back to my own bed. All coming along nicely!
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:44 AM
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Did the tech who's first day it was work on your hair? Hopefully not. Just asking because I had an bad experience at another clinic with a new tech.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:09 AM
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Haha. No no. Thank god! To be honest, she didn't do anything hands on, she was being shown the different stages of the procedure. But I wanted to mention her because she was nturally very friendly and patient motivated. Nice lady!
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:33 AM
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Looking forward to the progress pictures Raphael. I'm sure things will look great in a few months time.

Was there ever a discussion with Dr Rahal about doing FUE instead or were you always set on FUT?
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:46 AM
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Thanks Juice. Never seriously considered FUE. When I first started researching HTs I was probably 22, and my loss was the same as you see in the pre op photos. So at 22, with excessive loss and the probable need of 2 sessions, FUT was always the right way to go for me. At almost 29, I dont intend to jump straight into a 2nd HT anymore, but we will see how things grow in and progress and see where Im at. Hoping that adding minoxidil to my regimin in a week or so time may help promote/strengthen hair in my crown area too. Temporary SMP could be an interesting option into the crown area, something that I am looking into!
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:31 PM
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looks good ,heal well and great growth to you, what has the response been from your loved ones , family and friends
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:54 AM
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Thanks Sadbuttrue,

Regarding the feedback from my family, I have only really told very few people. My girlfriend and parents. I've taken some time out of work and after a few months downtime, plan to travel a little before getting back into work next year. Hopefully at this time, I shall have some results. Parents are supportive but obviously worried for me, whilst I have had several in depth conversations with my girlfriend and shown her many of Dr. Rahals results, and whilst she didn't feel that it was necessary, she totally supported me, which no doubt made the whole process much easier for me.
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