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Everything posted by Northwest-Hairline

  1. The narrative from the original poster to this thread is difficult to follow, and since there are no photos to offer a visual understanding of the results of his session with Dr Umar, there's no point in commenting on it. What I will say is that if even a part of what the OP claims is true, it is completely at odds with my own personal experience with Dr Umar and his staff. First of all, I arrived on time for my appointment. I learned enough in my emails exhanges with Dr Umar and his staff to know that each of my two day-long sessions were labor-intensive and time consuming. I would not arrive at mid day, expecting them to accommodate the fact that I had more important things to do than plan for adequate time for a serious medical procedure. Would you ask your neurosurgeon if he could do HIS work a little quicker because you couldn't quite get to the OR on time? I don't mean to belittle your situation, but when I made my appointment, THAT was the priority.... from travel, to the actual appointment, to recuperation. My pre-op was thorough. I don't recall the complete roster of medications I was given, but I will tell you that I was intent to let the clinic know that I'm kind of a nervous patient, especially with needles and things... so I doubt I was given less medication for relaxation and anxiety, etc. Throughout the pre-op, I was repeatedly asked if I had any questions or concerns... whether they were written down in advance or not, I was asked verbally by Dr Umar at least 4 or 5 times prior to the procedure. So much so that I remember actually thinking to myself... "c'mon Doctor, let's get this show on the road!" Dr Umar is good humored, and was very intent on making me understand the realistic possibilities for my procedure. I didn't take his serious nature in this area as "pompous". Perhaps others would, I don't know... but the fact that he is quick to crack a smile and poke fun at himself would not ordinarily be the characteristic of a pompous personality. To the OP... I hope you find happiness as a final outcome. Some photos would be interesting to see. This reply of my first hand experience is not a criticism of your narrative, but you haven't offered a lot to go on so far.
  2. Progress marches on. The front hairline is remains comparatively sparse to the eye... but this is due at least in part to the fact that there are many very fine hairs that are just getting with the program. I'm guessing in another 8 to 12 weeks, it should be catching up with the rest.
  3. Hi gang... it's that time once again when you get to check out my progress. I sort of feel like an expectant mother... it's 18 weeks and I'm starting to show. Very pleased with the developments. For those that have been following, I experienced some stubborn redness (but no swelling) along the frontal recipient area. It has definitely diminished.
  4. Hey Raphael... I wish I had an answer to your density question. Relatively speaking, I think I can say the hairline was grafted at the same density as the crown, perhaps a bit more. The hairline is definitely taking a little longer than the crown to show visible results, but on very close inspection, there are many grafts beginning to emerge. I would guess that in another 4 to 6 weeks it will be easy to see the density at which they were planted.
  5. Here is a set of photos at approximately the three month mark. The redness is fading from the hairline, and new growth is emerging.
  6. Thanks for the reminder for Pre Op photos Spanker... it's much more useful to follow things when you have a starting point for reference. It is also worth noting that these pictures are among the set that I provided to Dr Umar for his online consultation. More update photos within the week which will represent the three month mark.
  7. The inevitable, albeit... slow process of regrowth is underway. Here is a photo set at week nine. I'm very pleased. There is still some lingering redness in the frontal area... but not atypical for a fair skinned patient. There is no swelling or irritation, and it continues to improve, so no cause for concern by either myself or Dr Umar at this stage. Nothing like the sensation of 3000+ hairs fighting to emerge.
  8. Very strange... on this end, it shows that I uploaded the new photos. I'll repost or figure it out. Thanks for catching that Slickers... appreciated.
  9. Here's a series of photos for the 4 week update. Shedding began in earnest at the two week mark. A side note; For many of us, strategic covering with hairstyling is a way of life. So getting it all buzzed off is quite an adjustment, but I must say that it is an enlightening experience for getting to know the true status of your scalp... and I say this probably more to those of us who have gone through less-than-positive procedures in the past. I knew I had scarring of course, and obviously I had thinning... it was beneficial in some respects to be able to see it all completely unfiltered. If nothing else, it exposes the lay of the land so to speak. Anyways... I'm very pleased at this stage of the game. Post op, Dr Umar has me on a semi-gel based Minoxidil, which I'm supposed to use for 4 months. Can anyone enlighten me on the benefits of the 12.5% foam? I'm definitely going to use the OTC foam (5%) after the 4 months, but curious about the more powerful recipe. Note: These photos look very similar to the earlier ones.... Yes, I have been sitting in the same spot for two weeks.
  10. An in person consult is the ideal, but I will say that I had good results using Dr Umar's online consultation. One of the other niceties with Dr Umar's clinic is that it is relatively slow paced part of town with couple of hotels within a 5 to 10 minute walk. I have a thread going ( http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/168384-3100-grafts-repair-job-dr-umar.html ) that I will update from time to time. My procedure was done Nov 12 & 16.
  11. Check my thread here: http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/168384-3100-grafts-repair-job-dr-umar.html FUE method is essentially a cherry-picking option that afforded many of us new possibilities. With respect to Dr Charles' opinion about donor selection, I think you'll agree that my donor area is among the worst-case scenarios. I have had several strips preceded by a couple of disastrous plug sessions from the 80s. The photos on my thread to a fair job of showing the donor selections at the two week mark. With respect to avoiding FUE above prior scarring, I can tell you that many grafts (I'm guessing 1500+) were taken above my scars and I have no concerns about coverage. In fact, I would say the harvesting from the band between the scars and recipient area will actually help blend the hair density in this transitional part of the scalp. I also had side and beard hair harvested. If you are in a situation that your donor area truly is not an adequate source, BHT is the only surgical solution today. The merits of that approach are discussed at length in other areas. It was an easy option for me because I had no other. Of course there are a lot of factors. Existing density, hair color, severity and size of the scars. I will update my photos at 1 month mark so you can see for yourself how my particular case is progressing. I echo Janna's feedback for evaluation strategies. A next-best approach is very good (well lit, high resolution)photos for online consults. The obvious advantage is the ability to obtain many opinions.
  12. Hey Bill....I thought I would mention it because I expected to be reading a negative report about a physician. I'm certainly not the writing police, but would suggest this or similar: - Dr. Rassman Offers Tips to Patients Before Undergoing Hair Transplantation
  13. I would do a few online consultations if you haven't already. The opinions and strategies that you obtain from them may not trump the travel considerations, but they should certainly should be part of the mix. If you want a drivable distance, and presuming you could travel with your uncle, Dr Gabel is a delight and well worth a few hours of driving.
  14. It's critical for you to have detailed instructions from your doc for post-op. Any procedure I have received, there is a face-to-face post-op consult and a multi-page set of post-op instructions. If that is true for you, follow the instructions closely and if something doesn't seem right, pick up the phone and call your doc/clinic. Your doc knows your procedure, your post-op meds, and your head. It's what you're paying for, be sure to get adequate post-op attention and leave no question unanswered.
  15. Let me first say that Dr Umar administers the fastest head-shaving in the history of grooming. In about 8 seconds, he and I were virtual twins... view his portrait at his website and I'm sure you'll see the similarity. At the outset, it was nice to be in a clinic where everyone had a great sense of humor and a positive energy. That has been a consistent theme for every clinic I have been to, and the Fine Touch facility in Redondo Beach is no exception. They're fun, caring people. As you can see, my closely trimmed dome is pretty much a roadmap for all that has come before. In the eighties... several plug sessions and two scalp reductions In the nineties... the first repair effort, a very conservative strip session 2008... a very competent repair effort (aggressive strip, de-plugging) Having been through it all, I have to say that even though it was my only option, the FUE method would have been my choice whether this was my first procedure or a last ditch repair. My planned 3000 grafts were scheduled for two days. Since I was filling in on a couple of rare open days, day one was a Monday.... day two was a Friday. In hindsight, it was nice having a break in between, but not essential. Day one, the plan was for 1500 grafts to be harvested mostly from my beard (around 1000 I would guess), and the rest from the scalp. This day was a total dream. I can't stand needles, and the numbing shots were not something I was looking forward to. I can honestly say, I don't even remember getting them. The session lasted all day. The recipient area was the crown, working from back to front. My ancient scalp reduction probably was good thing at this point, although Dr Umar astutely noticed that after two reductions many years ago, my hair was asymmetrical and he adjusted his design accordingly. Recovery from day one was an absolute breeze. Very little swelling. My chin had some very minor discomfort, no ill effect further down my neck. Things were off to a great start. Day two was on Friday. With another 1500 grafts planned, Dr Umar's plan was to exhaust the scalp of its remaining donor (all 1500). The original plan was for him to continue working his way up the crown/vertex, and end the new hair just behind my imperfect, yet livable, hairline. I would deal with correcting the hairline at a future session... but Dr Umar took a different approach and it not only will serve my appearance, but it will also make my next and final session easier. He suggested to build a horseshoe from where we left off on Monday, and make the hairline more complete. It was a great piece of adapting to the flow of the procedure and I am very grateful for it. It leaves a small oval area with no transplants, but even with a moderate length haircut, it should cover quite well. I've lived with way worse for years, so it shouldn't be bad at all. You may not be able to tell from the photos, but there is some hair that will return to at least a thin density... better than nothing. Of course, the frontal area is more sensitive (at least for me). The procedure went very smoothly. Recovery was no fun.... a lot of swelling, a black eye. But all returned to normal within a couple of days and was not unanticipated. My follow up session with Dr Umar will probably take place within the year and will be 100% beard donor. Dr Umar and I visited at length during one of my off days. He is an innovator and the consummate professional. He finds himself working with the worst of us.... the severly botched jobs (which he himself experienced, he walks in our shoes) the patients that have had no options and feel hopeless. He understands the powerful emotion that is within us. He offers realistic hope. He makes no promises, but he is doing pioneering work. His U-Graft procedure is technically designed to ensure the highest survival rate as possible for the grafted hair. It's a clever and well thought bit of engineering. And his track record with body hair sources continues to expand. And the extra 100+ grafts were a nice icing on the cake too. If there is interest, I would be happy to continue the updates and of course, answer any questions I can. This board was invaluable as I sought a means of repairing my poor unfortunate head... so I hope it can be my turn to return some insights and thoughts to those of you that are traveling the same road.