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My Surgical Hair Restoration Journey From Start to Finish


Bill - Seemiller

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The photos I've attached to this blog demonstrate my hair before any surgery and then 4 hair transplants later. What the above doesn't show is that all of the natural hair I had left in the "before" photos is also gone. Thus, without hair restoration surgery, I'd be completely bald on top and most likely a full Norwood 6.


Below is my story.


At age 27, I decided to start doing some actual research about hair loss and one of the first sites I found was the Hair Transplant Network. It was Pat Hennessey himself who inspired me by reading through his blog to get a hair transplant.



After some research, I chose to have my first transplant with Dr. Katz in Philadelphia, PA. I chose him firstly because he was recommended on this site AND he was local. Whereas today I always advise people not to let location determine which surgeon one decides on, it WAS one of my decisions back then. I admit that I was not heavily researched when I went in for my first hair transplant - though I believe Dr. Katz set me on a good track as far as expectations. Here are the statistics:



Hair Transplant 1 - September 2004, I was a NW5A (Dr. Katz of Philadelphia, PA)



I received 1600 grafts (800 in the front half and 800 in the crown area). I unfortunately do not have hair counts.



For the small number of grafts on a NW5A, this gave me a surprisingly natural (though very thin) result.


Hair Transplant 2 - July 2005, I was a NW5A borderline NW6 (That is, if I never had surgery) - (Dr. True of NY, NY)



I received 2249 grafts mostly in the frontal half of the scalp, with some going back to the crown - though not completely back. I do not have hair count breakdowns at this time.



My hairline was reshaped a bit and gave me some more density in the frontal 2/3rds of my scalp which really helped improve my appearance.


Hair Transplant 3 - October 2006 - I lost enough native hair at this point to be considered a NW6 - (Dr. Hasson, Vancouver, BC, Canada)



I received 3701 grafts all over the scalp to add density in all the areas of my scalp. I do not have detailed hair counts available at this time.



Overall density and appearance improved significantly.


Hair Transplant 4 - April 1, 2009 - After restoring a large portion of my hair, I decided to go back for more density - (Dr. Hasson, Vancouver, BC, Canada)



Grand Total of Surgeries: 9618 Grafts



Considering I'd be a full NW6 without surgery, I have come a LONG way. It is typical to multiple one's NW level by 1000 (on the conservative side) or 1500 (on the liberal side) to determine approximately how many grafts one needs to create an illusion of density. I'm somewhere in between.



Future Plans:



I have no immediate plans for future work. However, I'll never say never :-)

8 Comments


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  • Senior Member

Falceros (Bill),

 

Thanks for presenting a summary of your hair restoration journey! I think these photos really help show your progress, and your hair is looking good!!

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Thanks FutureHTDoc, I appreciate the kudos. I'm very pleased with the way my hair looks today, especially considering how bald my noggin was before :-).

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  • Senior Member

Hi Bill. You must be delighted with your results, they are tremendous.

 

A couple of questions:

1. After #4 FUT HTs, does your scalp feel tight, or have there been any other side effects?

2. You are continuing to take finasteride 1mg to slow further loss of native hair. Same as myself. But presumably, you are resigned to more native hair falling out. How will you deal with that, as and when it happens? FUE? Another FUT?!

Or have your FUTs been performed in such a way as to take that into account?

 

Best wishes, and well done again on a great result.

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Albion,

 

Thanks for your comments and questions. Oddly enough, my scalp felt a bit tighter after 3 hair transplants than it does now after the fourth one. I still have decent laxity and could potentially get another 1500 grafts or so via FUT if needed. At this time however, I have no plans of getting further work done.

 

Finasteride has been keeping any further hair loss at bay. I've also recently added Rogaine foam to my regiment to attempt to thicken up the crown and area below it. it seems to be working a little bit so far and I've only been taking it since November 1st, 2010. If I really feel that I need another hair transplant, which would really only possibly be necessary for the area below my crown or if the sides recess further, I will most likely get it. But if that times comes, I will strongly be considering FUE.

 

Best wishes,

 

Bill

 

 

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  • Regular Member

Hi bill

 

How did you manage to get that much amount of grafts.... Are you one of the lucky ones having excellent density and elasticity??

 

Were multiple strips used??

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sharan,

 

Thanks for your interest. I've had a total of 4 procedures over a period of 5 years. I do happen to be blessed with a good donor area that's both elastic and contains dense hair. The good news is, not everyone requires that many grafts to achieve their goals.

 

Ultimately, the best way to determine what's best for you is to consult with a quality hair restoration physician. To see a list of physicians we recommend, click here.

 

Best wishes,

 

Bill

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  • Regular Member

Great Transformation Bill.... Since you have underwent multiple procedures kindly give me an opinion

 

I have a Norwood 3 Balding pattern.... Everyone in my family do.... Starts balding young and then stays it like that.... Kinda Stupid Gene...(No balding on DAD's side)

 

I am 23 and have already performed an HT of 700 Grafts -frontal 1/3rd (4 Cm of strip was taken yielding 320 grafts) and remaining FUE.. A total of 16 sq cm has been covered....

 

Once the pattern is complete (might take 5 years from now i assume ) i would have 51 sq cm to be covered (Measured with graph paper) requiring at least 2500 grafts....

 

I am now confused.... What should i do....

 

1) Wait till the balding process is complete?? (Would have to excise a new strip since i wont get another 2500 from previous strip scar)

2) Do another two 1500 grafts sessions as and when required... (First 1500 strip removing the existing 4 cm scar and later another new 1500 strip)

 

I Don't mind having multiple strip scars at the back as i keep my hair atleast 7 cm in length

 

What is your opinion... Which approach would be ideal??

 

P.S : There are no Advanced balding classes in our Family....

 

 

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Thanks Sharan.

 

I don't think you have to wait until the balding process is "complete", especially since there's no way to predict when and where it will stop. However, it's important to work with a qualified surgeon who will plan, not only for a single procedure, but for the future and work with you to ensure you get the best results both short and long term.

 

Also, each strip scar is typically harvested new follicular units for transplanting during each procedure so you should only be left with one scar.

 

I strongly recommend, if you haven't already, to consider non-surgical treatments such as Propecia and Rogaine. These two treatments are typically quite effective in slowing down, stopping or even reversing the effects of genetic hair loss in a large percentage of men. I encourage you to research and discuss the possibility of using these treatments with a qualified hair restoration physician.

 

Best wishes,

 

Bill

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