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Everything posted by bigonefive

  1. It's been about five days since my surgery with Dr. Carman in La Jolla, CA. I must say I am very pleased so far with my results, and just wanted to share some before and after photos here on the forums. I was probably a Norwood 3 before my surgery, and am probably closer to a Norwood 2 now. I've fought a receding hairline since I was about 18, and am currently on finasteride and rogaine. I'm 41 now, and my hairline has been pretty stable since I was about 26 since I've been on finasteride. I've done research on here for about a year, and decided on Dr. Carman after consulting with several doctors. I was very apprehensive as to going ahead with surgery even though I've not been happy with my hairline for about 20 years now, but he set me at ease with his professional as well as humorous demeanor. He's got a lot of ER experience, so I felt confident that I'd be safe in his hands. It's a bit hard to tell in the photos, but his work is fantastic. He did a perfect job on my hairline, and I'm constantly mesmerized at the new hairs. I know the doldrums will be here soon, so I'm preparing to be patient through the summer. Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. Thanks for the replies. After thinking about it some, it hit me what bothered me about the consultation. I had scheduled the consultation for 1pm today, and was told the doctor would call then. I gave the secretary my phone number...then, at 1:15 when I hadn't heard anything, I called their office and was put on hold for almost 15 minutes by the secretary while she "put the doctor on the phone." There was no explanation why the appointment was missed. Finally, when Dr. Alexander got on the phone I expected him to ask me at least a few questions about my goals, my family history, etc. He started off with telling me approximately how many grafts it would take to meet the hairline I had drawn in. After that, nothing more was said, so I began asking a few questions. Like I said before, he was polite and answered them all. I just didn't feel like he was very interested in me as a patient. That's what I was bummed about.
  3. The only thing I can put my finger on is the difference in how serious/anxious I am about the procedure, and how casual/matter of fact the doctor sounded. Almost like the doctor was a little distracted or uninterested, I think. This isn't to say he was...it's just how it felt, I think. I will say it's very likely that I may have come across as casual as well instead of serious and anxious. I don't do well being vulnerable, so it's a possibility he didn't sense that at all from me.
  4. I had a phone consultation today with Dr. Alexander, and I didn't come away feeling at peace. It wasn't anything he said in particular. He was very kind and answered all of my questions. I think my expectation was that he would spend time making me feel at ease, as I've been researching for about a year and I've just now worked up the nerve to get a HT. (I'm a 41 year-old NW2-3 and I'm looking to get my temples filled in) Perhaps the doctor is just speaking from a place of confidence since he's done thousands of these, or perhaps he thinks I'm just "kicking the tires" and am not serious about getting it done. I was ready to pull the trigger but now I'm hesitant because of how the consultation left me feeling. This was my first consultation. Maybe I wasn't honest enough about how terrified I am to undergo surgery. Perhaps since a phone call doesn't communicate body language, etc., but the doctor's casual (but confident) responses left me wanting. I sound like a big baby, but I wanted to get some feedback and perspective on the whole thing. Any thoughts?
  5. I got a consultation package emailed to me yesterday late afternoon, so I'm set. Thanks for the responses.
  6. I was just wondering about generally how long it takes to get a response from Shapiro Medical Group on a consultation submitted through this site? I submitted pics yesterday along with a consultation request, and haven't heard anything yet. Or is there possibly another way to request a consultation that is more effective? Not sure how busy they are up there.
  7. I think you should be able to get a good result with that number of grafts. I was quoted 1200-1500 grafts from Dr. Alexander in AZ, and my hairline is pretty much identical to yours. I was quoted twice that with a different doctor on here, and it sounded like way more than I would need. I'll be very curious to see how FUE works for you, as I'm not sure yet if I want FUT or FUE, myself. If you do FUE, how do you plan on hiding the doldrums during months 2 and 3? If you keep your hair longer in front, then that would work, but then how are you going to hide your donor area (and explain the weird haircut) during the healing phase?
  8. I've noticed with a couple of doctors that their post-op pics of patients' recipient areas are very clean. In other words, there is no blood to be seen, and the trauma looks to be much less than many other doctors. Dr. Panine's patients look this way, and I'm wondering why that is? Are his incisions smaller? Does he have some kind of wash/rinse after surgery to get his patients to look this way? Also, I'm wondering if this could positively affect how many grafts survive?
  9. I also stopped Finasteride several years ago because my wife and I are also trying to conceive. I've read some studies that show a difference in sperm motility, population per ml, and morphology that theoretically could have an effect on our chances. We struggle with infertility as well, so although it may be safe, I want to remove all the variables that could be going against us. We're going through IVF right now, and I want to make sure my sperm aren't affected in any way. I'm a NW2.5, and the only difference I've seen is that my hairline hairs are not quite as thick as they were. But I'm pretty religious with 15% minoxidil and Nizoral, so it's holding up ok. Once our kids are here, I may start back up on it. Good luck to us both for keeping as much hair as we can!
  10. Looks like your hairline has stabilized and even filled in a touch. Make sure to use Nizoral Shampoo at least a couple times a week as well to help fight the scalp DHT. I wish that I had started using it earlier. I think you're making the right call by keeping what you have until you've stabilized somewhat. My hairline started receding when I was 17 and I stayed on Minoxidil/Finasteride religiously until now, and at 40 am considering a transplant to fill in my temples. With the medication, it's all about being consistent with it.