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First FUT: 2900 Grafts on Dec. 22, 2010 by Dr. Rahal


rahalnewpatient

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Hello Everyone,


My first hair transplant surgery (FUT) was just completed by Dr. H. Rahal in Ottawa, ON. The procedure went very well, and in total I received about 2900 grafts on December 22, 2010. Today (Dec. 26) I feel no pain or discomfort, and the facial swelling is almost gone. Overall, my HT experience has been excellent so far, and I am very glad for choosing Rahal Hair Transplant Clinic.


Background. Androgenic alopecia runs in my entire family, but with some variations; my brother (43) and my uncle (65) have experienced some minor hair loss, whereas my father and my maternal grandfather experienced significant loss by their early 30's. I have been noticing hair loss for the past five years as you can see in the pictures, so I guess I just got unlucky.


Remedies. I started taking Finasteride (generic form) about three years ago as suggested by my family physician. I also tried Minoxidil (usually prescribed for loss in the crown area), but stopped using it since most of my hair loss was near the front. I also started growing my hair longer, which is very curly and therefore provides decent coverage. Last summer, however, it became apparent to me that the coverage was no longer adequate, especially after my hair got wet and my friends pointed out my surprisingly extensive hair loss :(


FUT or FUE. I had done some research about HT for a few months, but I still wasn’t sure if it was right for me. My main concerns were regarding follow-up procedures, which would be required to correct future loss, and scar appearance in the donor area. I also had other concerns regarding monetary issues, social stigma and post-op recovery. In any case, I made a few appointments to talk to different hair transplant clinics regarding the cost of the procedure, and I soon realized that I could only afford FUT, especially since I needed about 2500 grafts. After some more deliberation I decided that I was not ready for the alternative: complete frontal baldness in my early 30’s.


HT Clinics. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I did approach a few different clinics and at the end, I felt most comfortable with Dr. H. Rahal. The other HT clinics seemed somewhat like car dealerships, where they had salespeople describing the procedure to me and making all sort of promises (e.g. going back to work two days after the procedure) instead of the doctor who would be performing it. Of course, the fact that I could afford the procedure was also very important to me, and I found Dr. Rahal’s prices very competitive.


Procedure. I booked my procedure for Dec. 22, 2010 in early November. I was told that I would require approximately 2500 grafts to correct the significant loss in the front. Future procedures would then add more hair to the crown as needed. Again, only time will tell exactly when and how many more procedures I will need. I followed the pre-op instructions (e.g. no drinking, Vitamin E, etc.) for two weeks prior to the procedure. The day of the procedure involved the following steps:


- Signing documents: some of the risks associated with the procedure and the different possible outcomes


- Before pictures and pre-op assessment by Dr. Rahal: At this point, he took some more measurements and told that most likely I would require about 2700 grafts (small additional cost) to fill in the blanks as shown in the photo


- I took some painkillers and antibiotics at around 8:00 am prior to the application of local anesthetic. Dr. Rahal then administered the local anesthetic and removed the strip from the donor site. While the donor site was divided into individual grafts by a number of technicians, Dr. Rahal prepared the recipient area for graft placement. I was told that I had excellent donor site density, which provided approximately 2900 grafts for the procedure.


- Graft placement was started at around 10:30 am and lasted until about 1:45 pm. I was told that my scalp was healthy and very easy to work with, and the procedure was successful. The graft placement was a little painful at times especially near the end, so next time I’ll try to fall asleep before they get started :)


Post-op. After Dr. Rahal inspected the donor and recipient areas, I was sent home with some painkillers, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication. As soon as I got home (3:30 pm), I could feel the pain in the donor area so I took two Tylenol 3’s. Suffice it to say that the first night was quite uncomfortable; I was taking a Tylenol 3 every four hours and didn’t get a lot of sleep. Next morning, however, I started feeling better and by the time of my follow-up (1:30 pm), the pain was almost gone. During my follow-up I was given detailed post-op instructions, including twice/day shampooing, antibiotics, Vitamin E, etc. That night I took regular Tylenol for some mild discomfort in my donor area. I still wasn’t able to get a lot of sleep, but I felt much better than the previous night.


Day 5. I think that I’m making good progress so far. I have a follow-up appointment scheduled for Day 7, and the sutures are to be removed on Day 14. The recipient site seems okay. I wash it twice/day with baby shampoo using a spray bottle, and then apply Vitamin E oil. I also wash the donor area twice/day and apply Polysporin. I think that my only difficulty right now is the total lack of exercise; I’ve been told not to exercise for one month and not to lift weights for three months (donor area scar stretching). I’m usually pretty active, so in the future I might look into FUE that may be not as restrictive. On the other hand, I’m very happy that I have received the procedure in December because it gives some downtime to recover before going back to work. I’ll keep you updated about my progress next week.


Day 8. I had my follow-up visit with Dr. Rahal yesterday, and he was happy with the progress so far. The donor site feels fine (no pain, but of course quite numb), and the recipient area is no longer red. You can see the appearance of some scabs/crusts on the recipient area, which is covered with Vitamin E oil. I'll post more pictures after I have the sutures removed next Monday.


Day 21. I had the sutures removed on Jan. 3. The pictures are from three weeks after surgery. The donor scar is pretty much hidden, but I can't go anywhere without a hat now. The scabs/crusts have completely fallen off, but everything seems to be going okay. I haven't started exercising yet, and I'm very careful at work not to lift anything heavy. The donor area is still bit itchy, and I feel it getting stretched sometimes (I can feel some wetness, but there is nothing visible). It is also still quite numb, especially around the crown (above the scar). I also think that I'm losing more of my hair in the crown area (no transplant), but I'm not sure if it's temporary (shock loss) or permanent. I guess I just have to wait and see. My follow-up appointment is in three months, and hopefully by then I'll have something to show for it regular_smile.gif

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  • Senior Member

Rahalnewpatient,

 

Thank you for this very detailed and thorough description. I think you've done an excellent job describing your experience and this narrative should be helpful to all future hair loss sufferers considering hair transplant surgery. Congratulations on your procedure, and good luck with the future growth!

 

Blake (Future_HT_Doc)

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant

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