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2013-04-24 The Procedure


DV8

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Now it's on like Donkey Kong. No turning back at this point...


You lay face down in what looks like a massage table with the hole for your face. They cover you with surgical cloths and I quipped that I wonder if this is how an aligator (or other wild animal) feels when you see them cover their eyes with a towel to calm them. It actually did have a calming effect -- or maybe the valium had started working by now. wink_smile.gif Hasson gives you about 10 or so injections from the center of the back of your head around the right side to your temple area. Not gonna lie, they kinda sting in a "OH GOD MAKE IT STOP!" way. Each one is only a second or so long. It's not unbearable, it's just very very uncomfortable and annoying. BUT, luckily they take effect almost instantaneously. Also, there is a nurse who rubs your shoulder, which seems trivial, but it really helped a lot. As mentioned earlier, I never watched any videos of the procedure, and purposely told the doctor NOT to tell me in any detail what he was doing, but I had an idea of what was happening. He is removing the donor area -- and even more surreal is that you can HEAR it in your head. You can hear the crunching/slicing sound. Again, being the squeemish pussy I am, I wasn't freaking out like I thought I would be -- possibly the valium at work here too. Then you start to feel the pressure and hear the click of the staple gun. Equally bizarre considering what is happening. Finally you turn your head and he does the exact same thing to the center-left side. I can't stress enough how this part is completely painless, sans initial lidocaine injections.


I was then told I could get up and when I raised my head, there were 6 technicians there slicing folicles from donor area strips. Once again I was very relieved I didn't say anything stupid as I had previously been under the impression it was JUST Dr. Hasson and I talking. LOL. oops.


You lay back down on your back this time and they incline you. I didn't know this, but I'm glad it exists, because honestly one of the things that stressed me out about the operation was thinking I'd have to get a shit-ton of little injections all over my head -- especially in the soft/sensitive top crown part! Well thank the diety of your choice whomever created us because there is a nerve that runs just above each eyebrow that controls that whole area! He felt around for a little bump and marked it with a pen. Then about 1" above that. So four dots all together -- two above each eyebrow. He injected into those spots and BOOM instant numbness in the dome. Again, not gonna say that injection is pleasant by any stretch, and this one is about 1-2 seconds vs. the other ones in the back which were quick little pricks. It kinda sucks rocks actually, but is WAY better than the alternative of a bajillion pokes. Just to be sure you're good and numb, he goes around your head anyways and injects all over the place and along your new hairline -- some of those sting a little itty bit but no where near as bad as the prevoius injections. More like if someone pulled out a hair from your head. You can hear the crunching inside your head/scalp for each injection which again is so strange to me.


Hasson is sitting behind you of course. He hands you a little clicker device and tells you to press the button for every 100 grafts he places (he counts them off 1-100). For the next while, you just lie perfectly still listening to him count and place little tiny slits. You can tell the single areas as he pauses and really contemplates the best angle and orientation, and for the denser areas he just jams though those. We stopped at 2900 because the techs are still slicing and don't know the final count yet.


Sometimes he will stop and inject your head with saline. He does this so it acts like a balloon and inflates your scalp (stretching it if you will) and therefore he can get more density in there. The saline is just naturally absorbed by your body and subsides after a day or so.


Then you are moved into another room where two techs are on either side of you. They have these little ring dishes (see photo) and put a bunch of folicles in there and just start placing them with the tweezers. I was curious to know how they knew how to place them, and they said that because of the slits Dr. hasson made, the hair really only goes in one way. It has a certain roll/pitch/yaw if you will and on top of that, they've done this for probabably hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of folicles! Good point. I just didn't concern myself with that anymore as they're so professional and their attention to detail was above and beyond. At one point, I was watching a movie and I kept adjusting the volume up/down trying to keep it level so as not to be too loud or quiet. The tech scolded me and said that I keep looking down at the remote with my eyes but it's actually moving my head every so slightly -- but remember they're dealing with HAIR widths. She apologized to me, and I thanked her for telling me -- I was the one who should be sorry. She is trying to give me the best possible outcome and I am jeopardizing it over a movie inadvertently. That's how much they care about you. It was again very comforting to know.


They take breaks every hour or so and you are brought your choice of lunch as well. I suggest not experimenting with any new food choices today if you get my meaning. Stick to staples (no pun intended) that you know aren't going to upset your stomach.


As it starts to near the end, another nurse comes in and briefs you about the "goodie-bag" they provide. It has some various medicine including anti-biotics, 2 percocet, 2 sleeping pills (which I liked because they didn't make me groggy the next day like OTC ones do), and some Tylenol 3. There is a pillow case in the event you have some bleeding, an inflatable neck pillow and of course the tell-tale XXL black baseball cap. Lastly is a staple remover. They explain the regiment and your do's and don'ts and also schedule your time to come in the day after for the first washing -- which I highly recommend as well.


Then that's it. You settle up the bill based upon the final number of grafts, and they provide you with a sheet that shows details about the meds admisitered, the donor site dimensions and recipient site grafts in singles and multis. In my case it was 3,262 grafts and the total was around $12,000.


Overall it was a painless and pleasant experience. I went in pretty freaked-out and terrified basically and left completely comfortable and excited for the coming months. Surgery started at 8:30am and I was out by 5:30pm I'd say.


I even walked around Davie Street with my cap on -- that is a testament to how painless it is.


Sleeping on the other hand kind of sucks too. For the first 3 days or so you have to sleep basically upright. This is not as easy as it sounds. There really isn't a comfortable position as you're almost always laying on staples no matter what. I was able to eventually find a spot to rest my head and the sleeping pill helped to just knock me out.


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  • Senior Member

DV8,

 

Thanks for another excellent round of updates.

 

Blake (Future_HT_Doc)

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant

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