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My 4737 FUT transplant with Dr. Rahal



Hello Everyone! Mike here......long-time observer, new time poster on these forums.....and a brand new member of the "Hair Transplant Patient" Club. I'm excited to be here, and to hopefully make some new friends and get to know most of you better over the next year of my growth journey. As I am sitting here writing this review today, I am currently 6 days post-op with my 4737 graft FUT transplant with Dr. H. Rahal. I had a total of 677 single, 2729 double, 1296 triples and 35 quad grafts (a total of 10163 hairs) placed into my frontal 2/3 and crown area. The total tissue taken was a donor strip of around 35.6 cm sq. I am writing this blog today in hopes of sharing my unbiased hair transplant experience and journey with others. My goal is not only to give you all a better idea about me and where I come from, but to hopefully help aide anyone else who may be on the fence in making the difficult decision of having a hair restoration surgery. There is definitely a lot to factor in when making such a huge decision, so hoping that I did my research properly and that I am able to provide some valuable insight as time goes on! The opinions and observations in this write-up of Dr. Rahal and his clinic/staff are those of my own, as I am not employed or affiliated with any of the clinics/surgeons/forums listed on this website!

Also, my apologies for not creating my blog earlier. I wanted to do it immediately post-op, but I've been taking it very easy, drinking lots and lots of fluids, and getting as much rest as possible in hopes of healing well and getting on with some growth soon! Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity this evening to do a write up about my experience with Dr. Rahal and his team while the details were all still relatively fresh in my head. I think this will ultimately be most fair to his clinic, to my memory, and ultimately the people that will be benefiting from reading my review!

To start, I am not going to go in too much depth regarding the details of my hair-loss and background, as I have already provided those details in my profile. Please feel free to read more there, or on my blog that I started on Dr. Rahal's website. The web address to my blog is: http://www.rahalhairtransplant.com/laketahoeguy/ In short however, I am a 31 (almost 32) year old caucasian male who began losing his hair at about 25 years old. Fed-up with trying to cover my hair loss up with different hairstyles and colors (bleach), I decided to do some research and find a well-received surgeon with whom I could undergo a restoration with.


I have been really depressed about my hair loss for quite some time, and as a well-educated consumer, I have spent countless hours researching the genetic predisposition to baldness, effective treatments to combat said baldness, and the people in the industry who could most realistically get me to the results I desire. I chose Dr. Rahal because of consistent results and satisfaction with the patients I talked to prior to booking my own procedure. When I first started seeking the best restoration surgeon for me, I narrowed my "short-list" down to about 5 surgeons....and through the countless stalking I did on these forums (and from the advice of other members...thanks guys)....I slowly whittled my list down to just 2 surgeons. In fact, to be 100% honest, up until 4 weeks ago, I had actually booked my restoration with another top surgeon, and had left my deposit with them. However, Chad from Dr. Rahal's office called to let me know that Dr. Rahal would be opening his books to November 16th, and that if I wanted to still come to their clinic, he would save the spot for me. I told him I needed to think about it, as I was torn and wanted the night to think. I spent the rest of that night thinking, and convinced myself that since Dr. Rahal was in my top 2 list, I couldn't go wrong with either. Because Dr. Rahal could get me in sooner, I decided to cancel my procedure with the other clinic, and book my flight to Ottawa. I called Chad back (who is AMAZING by the way) and told him that I would love to take that spot. So last Friday came and went in a blink of an eye....and here I am writing this....a recovering Rahal patient just 6 days post-op!


Coming from the Western United States (and flying during a holiday week), the trip was as complicated as it could have possibly been. Let's just say, I will NEVER fly United Airlines again......and in addition to being highly stressed that I was even going to make my appointment on time with Dr. Rahal (all those missed flights the day before), I spent my week in Ottawa without clothes due to lost luggage! Yep, I hadn't even had my surgery yet, and I had the mother of all headaches! My recommendation for traveling is to book your airfare well ahead after you schedule your procedure. The prices creep up as your date gets closer, and luckily I bought at a perfect time (airfare literally doubled the day after I booked). Ottawa is a great city, and the Rahal Clinic is very easy to access off of Bank Street. Likewise, I would encourage anyone who is considering a transplant with Dr. Rahal, to book your post-procedure accommodations at the Brookline Guesthouse. For those of you who don't know about Brookline, it is a guesthouse specifically reserved for Dr. Rahal patients. The prices per room vary based on the amenities you desire, but breakfast is provided for all guests, and you have all of the creature comforts of a HOUSE. My favorite part of all: YOU SHARE THE HOUSE WITH OTHERS WHO JUST WENT THROUGH WHAT YOU DID. It was invaluable (at least for me) to have that kind of support after a surgical procedure, and the guys that were there while I stayed there were really great! There are recliner chairs in every room and all common areas, so sleeping comfortably at a 45 degree angle for the first several nights post-op will help tremendously with the swelling. I HIGHLY recommend this place.....and as someone who did a lot of research....you can't find a better price on a hotel. Also take into account that it is a block from the Rahal clinic, so walking over for cleanings in the days after the procedure was a breeze. Manesh, the guesthouse owner, is FANTASTIC as well. He runs a really nice place with Dr. Rahal's patients in mind.


My procedure was scheduled to begin at 8:30 AM. I didn't sleep too well the night before because of all the rescheduled flights (Thanks AGAIN United) putting me into Ottawa after midnight on the day of my surgery. I still managed to get around 6 hours of sleep however, and arrived to Dr. Rahal's clinic 20 minutes early. The receptionist at the front was a very nice lady, who offered me a bottle of water and gave me a clipboard with several consent forms that I needed to sign as a final rite of passage =) I would urge you to ask any questions you have about the forms before you sign/intial (something I didn't do myself). I was slightly concerned to initial a form that says that there is no growth guarantee and that there is a risk associated with sub-optimal results with ALL cosmetic procedures. While I understand this, it is also contradictory to the "Rahal Guarantee" that is posted on the website. With this said however, my experience with Dr. Rahal was fantastic....and although I didn't ask about it personally, I'm sure that the consent form is strictly legal jargon to protect the clinic/practice. I absolutely 100% think that if a patient of Dr. Rahal's wasn't satisfied with his/her result, it would be addressed personally and satisfactorily. I just wanted to share this with you (to encourage you to know everything before you go into a procedure of your own) so that you have all the facts before you consent. This is definitely not meant to deter you in anyway, as obviously i felt comfortable enough with the hands I was in not to inquire further, and I stand by my observation that Dr. Rahal legitimately cares about your experience with him and his clinic. He hasn't built an outstanding reputation with those amazing results by treating his clients like your typical profit-centered clinic would!

Anyhow, after all the consent forms were signed, I was taken back to have some pre-op photos with Shane (nice guy). He took multiple frontal, profile and rear photos of my current state of loss to help track the progress of my restoration. Next, I was escorted into Dr. Rahal's office to have him look at my hair characteristics in person for the first time, and to draw my new hairline on my scalp. This is actually the first moment I meant Dr. Rahal in person, and it instantly put me at ease. It was awesome to finally be in the presence of such a great surgeon in person, as I have seen so many patients who are highly satisfied after leaving his hands and I couldn't wait to see what he had to say about me. Although I had several hairline designs in mind, and brought a couple on my phone to share.....it didn't get that far. Instead, I wanted to let him draw his own rendition of a hairline first, to see what he thought was best for me. We chatted for about 5 minutes total, at which my hairline was drawn. He handed me a mirror and I took a look for the first time what he had concocted. What I saw, just went to prove that Dr. Rahal is a true artist. Without asking for my input (except to ask me if I was happy with what he envisioned), he managed to draw a hairline almost identical to what I was hoping for. I wanted something fairly conservative and mature for my age, but also to help address my thinning areas. Dr. Rahal seemed pleased as well, and said that he was still certain we should be able to get the 4500 grafts we discussed during my online consultation. He also made mention that I would most likely need to address some areas with future loss at a later date, so that being conservative now would be the best way to ensure I could achieve a well rounded result in the future if need be. Happy with the planning stage, I was escorted into the photo room one final time to photograph my "new" hairline, after which I was escorted into the surgical chair to begin my procedure. From here, everything moved really quick, and the day seemed to go by in a blur. Mike (Dr. Rahal's head nurse) came in and introduced himself, and explained in depth how the day would progress. He gave me the option to shave just my donor area, or my entire head. I have seen picture of both, and I thought leaving my hair longer in some parts and not others would look bizarre on me, so I opted to have my entire head buzzed! After my head was shaved, the technicians and nurses started filing in. I was given a series of medications, including an oral sedative, and then after a few minutes began the "freezing" part of the procedure. I don't know exactly what this step entailed, but there was moderate discomfort as my head was numbed with a series of quick probes. Once the freezing solution was complete, Dr. Rahal began to remove my donor strip. This part of the procedure went REALLY quick.....Dr. Rahal definitely knows what he is doing here. He made it seem effortless, and except to stop to numb me again in one spot that wasn't fully numb, I was stitched up and ready for graft punching in no time. Dr. Rahal explained that the technicians would now spend the next couple of hours under microscope dissecting my grafts and getting them ready for the transplant. He said we just have to wait now to see what kind of yield I was going to get from the tissue he removed. Next I was again set back down into a reclined position, and told that Dr. Rahal was going to numb my recipient area and start punching my scalp for graft placement. The two shots that were placed in my forehead to start this stage of the procedure, were honestly the most PAINFUL part of the entire thing. It hurt like a son-of-a-gun for whatever reason......lol and I have had a LOT of tattoo work and piercings over the years. But it went really quick, and Dr. Rahal was very gentle. After my recipient area was well numb, I can say that there was no additional pain at any point during the procedure. Everything was very smooth. Dr. Rahal began punching holes in my crown and frontal 2/3 to prepare for the grafts. Dr. Rahal happened to finish his punches just in time for the grafts to have finished being dissected by his technicians. Again, a total of 4737 grafts were taken....and although I had secretly hoped for more......I was thrilled that he achieved more than we had discussed originally. I was told to choose a couple of movies to watch, as the long part of the procedure was up ahead of me. After the movies were selected, the Rahal Team brought me lunch (which you select prior to the commencement of your procedure). After I had eaten my sandwich, the technicians made sure I was comfortable again, started the first film, and began transplanting the hair into the freshly created sites. I happened to get through the entire movie of "Munich" and "What Happens in Vegas" just as the last hairs went into my head. PERFECT TIMING. At this point, it was getting to be close to 6:00 PM....and all in all a LONG DAY! As the crew cleaned up for the day, Dr. Rahal came in and took one final look at my head to make sure that things were done satisfactorily to him. He gave me a nod of approval and said he anticipated a really good result for me. He then personally drove me home to the Brookline Guesthouse, and made sure that I was okay before sending me on my way for the evening. He also explained that I handled the procedure (given the size of my operation) really well and that I had an unusually high pain tolerance. Hahaha....I don't know if that was supposed to be a compliment or not, but I thanked him graciously and headed into the house for a good nights rest. I was instructed that I would be back in the morning for my first cleaning and follow-up.


I'll keep this section very brief, but think it is important to talk briefly about the recovery process. The night of the procedure was BRUTAL for me. I was instructed to start with a couple Tylenol 3's for the pain, but had such an awful headache at midnight, that I absolutely thought it necessary to take a Percocet. (Sorry that you were wrong about the high pain threshold Dr. Rahal....LOL ;) ) I barely slept that night (in one to two hour intervals), as nothing I could do would make me comfortable. I would say on a pain scale of 1-10, I had a solid 8 to 9 the first night. It felt as if I had just had my head cut open! My second night was MUCH better....and the discomfort came strictly from sleeping on the incision site. If you're not used to sleeping in a recliner, it is something that takes some getting used to, and therefore contributes to a generally difficult time sleeping. Now that I am day 6, I am a seasoned pro on how to sleep restfully in a chair. My advice for anyone considering a restoration procedure. Be prepared for a couple difficult nights. If you mentally prepare yourself ahead of time, with your sights on the amazing outcome you'll achieve after, you're going to do great....and find that the procedure is very easy. I don't know if it's just because I was in the hands of such a skilled surgeon, but I felt the whole process is very tolerable up to this point, and I would gladly go through it again. Especially because Dr. Rahal said I had good donor characteristics, and that he should be able to get a pretty good number of grafts for any future procedures I may need!


Well, now the waiting game! Nothing left to do here but heal and grow!! I wanted to share my final conclusions in this section. I AM SO HAPPY to have finally undergone my hair restoration procedure....as hair loss has been weighing negatively on my self-image for too long now. I am further excited to have had the procedure done at the Rahal clinic. I can attest to all other positive reviews who said the experience and the professionalism that is offered by the Rahal team is truly TOP NOTCH!! I'd like to make a couple of specific mentions in this post. To Dr. Rahal. THANK YOU! I am really excited to see your artistic touch come to fruition on me. You are a very humble, nice, caring surgeon who rightfully deserves to be at the top of your game. To Chad of Dr. Rahal's office! You were invaluable to me throughout the process, and definitely a deciding factor on why I chose the Rahal clinic for my restoration. To Mike, Dr. Rahal's head nurse.....thanks for everything. The cleanings, the photos, the time out of your weekend to address my concerns. To all the technicians and support staff at the Rahal clinic that made my long day such a comfortable one. And lastly, to Jessica in Patient Care. What a sweetheart! Everyone on the Rahal team is truly an asset, and definitely made me come to see why this practice receives so many accolades.

I'll conclude this write-up here.....and leave you guys with some pictures of me pre-op and immediately post op. Additionally, I will be updating my story constantly (with pictures also) over the next year while I heal and grow!! I know it was a very long-winded story, so sorry for those of you who I bored or scared off.....I imagine seeing that amount of writing in one post is intimidating! :rolleyes: Also, please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any comments/questions/concerns....or anything else that I didn't address that you might want to know.



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