I felt it necessary to explain why I chose not to take up Dr Devroye's offer for a free touch up given his supposedly "great response", if only as a means to try and move on from all this and not let it affect my life anymore.
Dr Devroye performed surgery on me without properly marking out the recipient sites nor inspecting my donor (and after searching through literally thousands of cases I still have not found a single one on this forum where this has happened before).
As seen by the pictures above the placement of the transplanted hair growth does not correspond to any markings made around the hairline. The burden of responsibility to follow basic surgical protocols rests solely on the doctor and should not rely on a patient to explain their goals verbally just because a doctor is running late. Even so if we are to allow Dr Devroye some leeway and let his own judgement as an experienced HT doctor dictate his actions why did he not make any attempt to integrate or match the densities between the transplanted and native areas? Or if he was in anyway confused about what I wanted why not just give me the damn marker pen and let me mark out the areas myself rather than blindly operate on me and hope for the best [did I seriously just need to write down all the reasons why a doctor needs to do his job]? As I said I have not found any other example of this anywhere else ... I even had to prompt Dr Devroye just to get him to look at my FUT scar and all he said was "good." It should be noted this apparent miscommunication never occurred during my other 2 HT's, and the majority of other clinics I consulted with after this surgery either responded with utter confusion or laughed in my face assuming I was joking. That's how goddamn stupid this was. Contrary to Dr Devroye’s statements here, my goals were in fact clearly stated in our initial email correspondence which I would be happy to post. I had also arrived the day before surgery at his clinic requesting a consultation to go over things but was told everything would be handled in pre-op. Clearly they weren't as he spent over 30 minutes with another patient before me whereas I was given less than 10 with the majority of that time spent taking photos. After that initial pre-op I didn't really see Dr Devroye until the end of the day.
Suggested FUE to a strip patient during our skype consult because apparently it would be good for my film career; with this operation ended up depleting the core of my donor by 4700 grafts. I've since stopped working in film given the state of my hairline and am now in debt to cover the cost of my repair surgery. While I admit i am idiot for following Devroye's suggestion, I do have to question his ethical reasoning as to why he would even think it would beneficial for an FUT patient with above average scalp laxity to pursue FUE at this stage. Unless I want to risk another strip surgery I've estimated I lost access of at least 2k grafts due to the harvesting method employed (based on other estimations by a well respected clinic).
Said in pre-op that the operation would only be 1800-2000 grafts max, but while I was unconscious during surgery this somehow expanded to 2600 grafts (and unbeknownst to me effectively exhausting the remaining core of my donor). This FUE estimate was also referenced in our original consultation form; While it might seem like I'm squabbling over a mere 600-800 grafts, given the nature of the graft placement (i.e. without a hairline) had the operation been more closely monitored and stopped at the agreed upon count, or a conversation enacted about where to place there extra grafts rather than randomly placed throughout, that would have made the difference between me being left with an easy repair job and the nightmare I had on my hands trying to solve the situation I was placed in. While Devroye claims;
given his failure to address a homogeneous density on the thinning areas along the hairline I think his general judgment can be called into question being that the hairline is considered the most important surface.
Was denied basic patient support past the first week I was In Belgium, with my emails requesting basic info either ignored or dismissed for weeks (what Devroye refers to in his post as complaining). Even Devroye’s assistant apologised for his behaviour. When I finally got a response from Dr Devroye I was ultimately told to wait for “remarkable improvements.” When those improvements did not come I was forced to join this forum in an attempt to understand what had happened while my preference would have been to always keep the matter private. But again, given what I had to go through I would happily provide all email exchanges that took place between me and Dr Devroye revealing his supposed patient follow-up proving that he does not in fact
The final email I sent requesting information also went ignored, with his assistant apologising once more and informing me I would get a response a.s.a.p. Obviously I never got one.
Allowed his trainee to make the incisions into the scar tissue to conceal my FUT scar (which apparently has a much lower survival rate and is largely dependant on surgical skill - see pic above). I was never informed of this and probably explains why the FUT scar was never concealed. Given I had prior email confirmation that Dr Devroye would be the only one making the incisions for surgery, this directly goes against my consent;
By Devroye's own admission he spent a week with me post-op and failed to notice ANY of the issues with the graft placement or state of my donor. Contrary to Devroye's claims, when Monica, his head nurse, initially told me about the hairline issue I immediately went to Devroye who examined me, said everything was “good” and walked off. The damage to the donor would have been obvious too given I had a type of shining effect spread out across parts of my donor which is apparently only common with larger sized scars (either stemming from the extractions themselves or the areas of over-harvesting, Im not entirely certain). Given I had spent a week coming in take photos and nothing was said I just naively assumed this was normal.
Devroye also appears to have placed hairs randomly in the crown which, once MPB progresses, will potentially leave me with the unnatural “halo of baldness” pattern in the vertex. Given Devroye made all 2600 incisions within what I would guess have been about a 10 minute period before leaving the clinic during the implantation process, I’m 99% certain no effort was given to establish hair direction to conform to the conventional whorl pattern. If I'm correct then what makes his actions unethical as well in that Devroye wrote a chapter on “Management of the crown” in the “Hair Restoration, an issue of facial plastic surgery clinics” book meaning he knowingly set me up for future issues once my MPB progresses.
[photo revealing grafts were clearly placed in the crown]
Dr Knudsen, who you sent me to consult with in Sydney on your behalf, was the one that provided you with the very pictures you fail to find issue with, and was the one that confirmed with me the areas of overharvesting and scarring. Once this information was passed onto you directly however I never heard from you again. Indeed I consulted with 17 clinics, most of which are on this network, who all verified the donor depletion and overharvesting based upon the same photos provided.
LIGHTINGThe pictures above were both taken before this operation, one at home, the other in Dr Devroye's clinic. While I understand the need to showcase one's results, seriously - the lighting is so soft that I don''t recognise my own hair here. In real life my hair was completely diffuse and see-through, and had it looked anything like this as shown in Devroye's clinic photos i wouldn't be wasting my time and money having a transplant. I've only ever encountered the type of full wall lighting systems found in Dr Devroye's clinic on film sets and modelling studios, industries in which I used to work prior to this procedure. Below are pictures taken pre-op in Devroye's clinic and then 8 months post-op, showing how the exact same untransplanted hairline looks vastly different in natural lighting, while the areas that where transplanted now appear identical in density (as if i didn't experience any growth whatsoever which was obviously not the case). Considering that his clinic photos were a deciding factor in my choice as a HT doctor, I'm still uncomfortable with how his results are presented to the general public.
The Devroye I met the week I was in Belgium for surgery was a monosyllabic and entirely disinterested doctor from the one I had initially encountered during our Skype consult. The most in the way of any substantial feedback from Dr Devroye came from this forum thread, addressed only to the forum members, and while I was initially relieved to be acknowledged as his patient, was offended by almost every single statement knowing everything written to be entirely disingenuous or a blatant obfuscation of the truth. Had things just been kept private or Dr Devroye been more polite about the whole situation I might have considered returning to his clinic, but instead I chose to spend a fortune elsewhere just to avoid him.
For a surgery where an inferior donor harvesting method was suggested against my best interests (and then pursued without any consideration to my donor capacity), where the recipient sites themselves were never marked out and incisions were made either by someone other than the Dr I had consented to or whose placement would always obviously led me to an unnatural appearance requiring further surgery, where the extracted graft count agreed upon in pre-op was exceeded without my knowledge, and then for all of these things to somehow go unnoticed in my supposed
put together all reads like an outright absurdity. I'm actually relieved the results aren't far worse. The cherry on top being once I began noticing the choices made by Devroye (not mistakes) I was ignored and denied any patient support whatsoever. In retrospect I should have gone to Turkey for the same surgery, as Devroye's staff had suggested, and achieved a far better result for a fraction of the price. The one thing Dr Devroye got right in his assessment however is that I am upset with myself, I am still upset that I failed to follow my own instincts and just walk out of his clinic before the valium took effect and I fell unconscious given my continued level of disgust at everything that happened.
I would of course be more than happy to provide all documentation, emails and photos supporting everything I say here is true. And thus my initial review remains the same; I can not recommend Dr Devroye's clinic despite the offer to rectify my situation.
Thank you for reading.