2600 Grafts with Dr Bhatti
Wanted to share my HT experience in case it could help the fellow members of this forum as I benefited greatly from reading others experiences. I recently had undergone an HT from Dr Bhatti, India. It was a 2 day procedure (requested by me) and the final tally was 2600 odd grafts.
Now a bit on the doctor selection process, initially I was keen on the ARTAS procedure even though it was 3 times more expensive, the more research I did I realized that manual FUE is still the best way to go. After that I narrowed my doctors to Turkey and India, ( I reside in India). Among the doctors in Turkey I finally drew up a shortlist of Dr Erdogan. Dr Doganay and Dr Karadeinz. My prime criteria was that the doctor should perform most of the procedure if not the complete procedure, I was just not comfortable with techs doing all the work while the doctor just drew the hairline especially when anesthesia is also involved, that kind of ruled out most of the above except Dr K who was really prompt in his replies and very courteous however when I tried getting in touch with his former patients no one replied back. In the meanwhile I came across Dr Bhatti who came highly recommended on this forum, when I checked out his work and the reviews I was very impressed, also he does most of the procedure so that checked my main criteria. I wrote to him and got a very informative reply and somehow I ha a gut feeling that he is the guy and this concluded my 6 month hunt for the right doc !
Now a bit on my hair... I had a very pretty good mop of hair till I was 32-33, I am 35 now. My dad lost most of his hair by 32-33, so I thought I beat the system but in the last 2 years I went from a Norwood 1 to a Norwood 4, pretty dramatic . Dr B suggested a 3000-3500 procedure which I agreed with. I don't know if this is a postive or not but my native hair is pretty spaced out , except the crown is showing but I could have gotten away with the rest of it for maybe a couple of years. Also I was not on finasteride or rogaine.
Ok so the big day finally arrived. I had asked for a 2 day procedure since I read that the graft survival rate diminishes in long procedure. I don't know if this is true to be honest, but I erred on the side of caution, Dr Bhatti was kind enough to oblige. I flew a day before op for a consult with the doc. Now the purpose of this review is to keep things as real as possible. A lot of ex patients of Dr B were very happy all round so I expected a very courteous doc and I was not disappointed, I did feel a bit rushed in my consult. Dr B performs 2 surgeries a day and my consult was 6 in the evening so needless to say he was kinda beat, he drew a hairline which was lower than I wanted. I also asked him my donor capacity was he indicated was around 5000, not the best not the worst. I was told that my donor area wasn't the best by other docs when I sent my pictures, was a bit bummed to hear this but was glad Dr B kept it real. He also gave me a very good piece of advice that my hair will never be like how it was before so best be strategic about this procedure and make sure it looks good aesthetically and go big on the front and the crown and not to focus on the mid scalp which he said can be taken care of by meds. I was thinking to carpet bomb the entire area . He told me that would be a waste and to think it over, consulted my advisors throughout the night who concurred with the doc. I did however take the hairline towards the vertex and didn't want any grafts wasted on the temples, I thought those 300 could be rather invested else where
Now I am going to list out the highlights of the procedure.. Day 1, 1450 grafts were extracted. half side of the donor area was used. The doctor did the punching , the tech extracted the grafts , this took 2 hours 20 mins. The doc then made the slit area on the recipient area which was the front part /hairline, we broke for lunch, I recommend asking for the pizza, it was yum ! The tech did the implant, that took another 2 hours so entire process took around 5 and half hours.
Day 2, 1150 grafts extracted. I was disappointed with this since the target was 1400-1500. Dr B said that this was because if more bleeding that the other day and he said that is the problem with 2 day procedure, again I am not a doc so I don't know the logic but guys going for a 2 day procedure should keep this in mind that possibly the entire harvest could be lesser than target, same as yesterday a bit longer on the implants because the crown was being worked upon.
Pain Level for the entire process was 3/10.The whole crew was super sweet especially the techs,the drivers and of course the doctor who was very patient with all my questions and I peppered him with questions every time I met him. I stayed back for 5 further days, dropped in every day for a hair wash and a bag of questions for the doc which again patiently answered, so some of the city and tasted the food, I would recommend spending 2-3 days in Chandigarh.
So, my priorities for HT were a bit different. First was, it should be undetectable, didn't want any jabs at work and no scarring. I am on day 23 right now, highlights from Day 1 to Day 23 are; my donor area healed pretty good and by day 5 from far was undetectable apart from the redness. Scabs in the donor area which weirdly a lot of people don't talk about were gone by Day 7 but there were a lot, applied aloe vera lotion from day 5 onwards. My implanted scabs didn't budge though by day 14 30% scabs were off which was weird, I guess I was being super cautious , the doc said to step into the shower ( was leaning my head over the sink till then). By day 18 I had a clear head . I stepped out of the house on Day 21 without any head gear, bumped into my friend who didn't mention anything about my head nor gave me weird looks. I started my workouts on Day 22, got busted I guy asked me "hey can I ask you a personal question".. I knew where this was going, I bolted 15 mins later, but the guy himself had undergone a HT , so I guess guys who have had a HT know where to look. I still think my recovery has been pretty good and that's a testament to Dr B's work.
Couple of important points again because these things rarely get mentioned... while I mentioned the pain was 3/10 for the actual op, the donor area however.. good god.. somewhere around day 5 it was like my donor area reestablished contact with its mother ship, excruciating is the word. I'll try to describe the levels and types of pain I felt. One kind was a short of electric pulses, another was I would get this sudden burst of chills , like a cold wave hits you and involuntary shakes. then the plain vanilla pain. If someone asked me if I would recommend an HT I probably would have said hell no !! pain level would be 7/10 and I have a really high tolerance of pain. This lasted a week, I loaded on pain killers 3 times a day, sleeping pills in the night cause I couldn't sleep in the night, a horror week. Day 14 onwards it reduced and as of today non existent, My recipient area has been kind of numb and pain free from day 1 to day 23, it feels like door rug right now, pretty hard, doc says that feeling should go away in a month.
Second, if any doc says you can return to work the next day or 2-3 days, run ! For someone whose priority is keep this incognito I'll tell you this, donor area looks super fine by day 14, in my case recipient area by day 21, caveat .. mine was a smaller procedure and each heal differently, I would put myself in the lucky category especially since no redness everywhere.
So that's about it, uploading some photos, I'll post an update every month, please feel to pm me for any advice or have any questions
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