3988 Grafts Dr. Paul Shapiro
I had a big session with Dr. Paul Shapiro and his team on 10/17/2014. The reason I chose Dr. Paul is because he and his brother are renown for their hairline creations. In all of my study, nothing diminishes the process of a hair transplant as much as a bad hairline result that is apparent to new people you meet. I expect people I have known for years might realize I had some work done, but any new person you meet should never see anything but a natural appearance. Natural hairline imperfections and how it transitions to the sides are crtical in my view, and Dr. Paul confirmed that in his procedure as well. Too low of a hairline with side recession makes a transplant apparent. To high of a hairline just to acheive density isn't good either. Too much of a widow's peak with a round head looks unnatural, etc....these are all the types of considerations that I think the Shapiros study and understand very well.
So their approach towards the natural hairline is why I chose the Shapiro Medical Group.
Upon arriving on a Friday for my session, Dr. Paul at first thought he may only get 3000-3500 grafts, which was frankly disappointing to hear since I had planned on 4000 during consultation. I had hoped to get enough to improve my temple peaks as well, but Dr. Paul said I just didn't have enough for that (maybe a second session down the raod?). But once we got into the surgery room, he checked my density and my laxity and they were able to get 3988 at the end of the day. He did a 2cm strip, which was wider than the 1.8cm planned when I first arrived. 5 days later, I have no pain and very little tightness in my donor closure.
They gave me some Valium to keep my calm and still during the procedure, which worked, but it did not cause me to sleep except for an hour in the afternoon. So I was awake for 10 of the 11 hours in the chair. The technicians doing the placement had to put up with my ridiculous small talk while I also watched a few movies to pass the time. The technicians were all great and very professional - they must have had 5 or 6 working on my strip at one point, cutting up all the grafts.
My experience has been life-changing already thanks to the support of my wife and the great fo the people at SMG, and I look forward to the results of the procedure being equally as impressive.
Day 9 is here, and tomorrow I go in for staple removal from donor area. My wife says scar looks very good. I may have started some shedding as the graft hairs were getting longer and thicker at Day 7 but now they seem weaker and the whole recipient area seems a little thinner and shorter. If it has started, it was inevitable. I have been on Propecia now for 9 days and no side effects noticed, though I know that could take longer to show-up as well. Anxious to get staples out, as they sometimes snag a little on the longer hairs in the back when I sleep and create a minor tender spot the next day; also anxious to trim the rest of my hair to look more uniform. I will also ask the Dr. about how to reduce the flaking beyond rubbing gently during shower - it actually seems to get much worse after it dries. I am not mirror-obsessed (yet) like many become during this process, though I do like tapping on the short graft hairs with my open palm and having the feeling of a buzz-cut, which I have never had before in my life. I have not taken a single pain pill since the two I took the night after surgery, and I'm not sure I really even needed those, but the Dr. said I need to keep blood pressure down if I had pain during the night. All good so far!
Day 10 arrived and staples came out yesterday. Contrary to what many may say, there is a little pain involved. Each one coming out is like a needle stick. They don't use any topical antisthetic or anything like that to help dull the pain. It's just: locate, and pull with a tweezers! Then they cleaned it up nicely, put some ointment on and off I went. Took 20 minutes. Now I really struggle with how to make my head look until the hairs shed and start growing back. The Dr. bascially shaved the top of my head during the procedure because I had so many grafts to do, so my native hairs that were in top are as short as the grafts. The grafts will start to shed, my sides and back are long, and I can't trim them as short as the graft hairs or my native hairs due to the donor scar stil healing. So I kind of have the u-shaped Norwood VII bald man look going...at least before the procedure I had a few native hairs in front and on top that were at a length covering the shiny top! Fortunately, I can wear a hat and work from home most days so hopefully in a month or so I will look very similar to my appearance before the procedure, as some of my native hairs grow back and get longer.
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