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Observations from the HT procedure


TomF

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I had 2500 grafts transplanted by Dr. Mark DiStefano on August 9th. I wanted to share some of my experiences that others considering a HT might find useful.


I had read others experiences that stated that the procedure, after numbing, is virtually painfree. Indeed, that was my experience. There is very little discomfort once numbed. However, there is the discomfort of having a lot of shots at both the donor site and the recepient sites. In order to minimize this discomfort, my doctor applied a vibrator to my head as he was administering the shots. I was surprised at how effectively that technique worked. It was all about sending multiple signals to your nerve endings that confuse your circuits. The shot itself is more or less "lost in the noise".


I wanted to comment on one more item. At the conclusion as I was being briefed on do's and don'ts, I was also given the "Graftcyte kit" to apply. I was not aware that would be provided at the time I signed up, but my experience with the product was excellent. I've read some blogs and comments on this product and I offer these comments. First, some HT doc's appear to offer this for sale after the procedure. And, at prices that may be higher than could be obtained if you were able to shop for the product on your own (it's available from multiple suppliers). My advice is to ask the doctor in some detail what the post transplant plan is, and what options should you consider. Frankly, I think a product such as graftcyte ought to be included in the price of the procedure, and not sold as a separate for profit addon.


I also read blogs from various people's experience with the efficacy of the product. Here are my thoughts on the graftcyte product. I don't know for sure how much difference in my outcome the product made. However, I found the graftcyte kit process to be a very pro-active activity for me as part of the recovery. It engaged me in the recovery process and that was a positive experience. I can report that I had no infections or skin rashes from my procedure and recovery. I've finally exhausted the shampoo and conditioner, which lasted nearly 3 months. At this stage, I don't feel the need to acquire more of the product, and will resume using my normal shampoo.


A status on my hair growth: It's nearly 3 months since the procedure. My skull still feels like it's a little numb. That's the best way I can describe the feeling. It's not uncomfortable, just feels a litle funny when I touch my head or wrinkle my brow (which moves the skin on my head). I believe this is normal. As predicted, most of the hair follicles disappeared after the first month. It looks like 10-15% of the follicles stayed in place. Today, these have grown to be up to 1/2" in length. There are a fair portion that are only 1/8 to 1/4" in length. I don't really know if these are just follicles coming up at different times, because I usually only see one side of my front scalp. I keep my hair long enough to comb over the other side of my front scalp, and really can't see my crown spot clearly in a mirror. So, I don't see everything that's going on, though I expect I'll see more clear progress over the next month.


 

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