Hello! I just joined this forum today, but I have been reading several posts trying to find a situation similar to mine (with very little success). I won't be providing my doctors name until the end of the year when the results are final (to avoid damaging reputations) and I won't be posting any pictures. Prepare yourselves for some reading! I had very mild hair loss in the temple area, I would say I was a nor wood 1, but i've had that hairline since I was 19 and it really never changed or thinned. My hair was never extremely thick as I have fine hair, but it looked nice. When I was 21 I was diagnosed with cancer and had several procedures on my scalp to remove tumors. For the most part, my hair was not affected by these surgeries all but a large patch of scar tissue (about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, on the top left of my scalp. I found ways to cover the scarring using products like caboki, but It was a very labor intensive process and never quite looked right. My part line on the left side of my head and some of the hair in front of the scar thinned a bit over the past 8 years, but it wasn't noticeable to anyone other than myself. The right side of my head remained extremely thick by comparison. I decided I wanted a hair transplant to cover my scar and to fix my part line, so like most people, i decided to do some research. First, I went to bosley to get some pictures taken and a consultation, after doing more research I discovered I shouldn't allow them to perform my procedure. The consultation , at least, provided me with time stamped and dated pictures which may come in handy later. The pictures show how thick my hair appears everywhere but on my scar and left part line. When I discovered this forum, in addition to several others, It became clear that there was a network of trusted doctors with pretty stellar track records as far as hair transplantation goes. I decided I would go and see one from this network. I met with mine via webcam for the consultation and estimate, as It was quite a drive he recommended that as an option. He had me comb through my hair with a wet comb and he determined that a 2500 graft procedure would be adequate to cover my scar and the thinning part line. He said it appeared to be pretty thick in the other areas on my head. We came to the price of $10,000 dollars for an FUT procedure. To me it was worth it, as this scar was/is very hard to look at and greatly impacted my confidence. My family made sacrifices and chipped in so that I could afford this procedure. I was provided with pre op and post op instructions which i followed religiously. I asked several questions, like "Is Propecia/rogain necessary? Id prefer not to take either", to which I was told they could improve my results but were not essential to the success of this procedure or my hair. I was sold. I paid the 1000 dollar non refundable deposit and set up an appointment for the following month. I drove nearly 7 hours to get to the doctors office. I was promptly sat down in front of a camera and given a completely different story than my consultation. I was told I was going to lose "a lot" of hair and that Propecia would be a good option for me if I wanted to keep it. If I was given this news at the consultation, I think I would have reconsidered surgery as an option. It was shocking news as I never considered myself a candidate for baldness. My hair looked good all but the scar and I have no baldness that I know of in my family. For me, the risks of propecia outweigh the benefit greatly and I cannot understand why anyone would willingly put themselves at risk in this manner for hair. I told him I was not willing to take propecia because of the side effects. He assured me this procedure was still a good investment and escorted me to the operating room. It was an 8 hour long procedure, of that 8 hours the doctor maybe spent 2 hours in the room. The work was largely done by his technicians. It was uncomfortable, a bit painful, but thankfully I had endured much worse before and I was determined to have this scar covered. After the procedure I was sat down in front of a camera again and photographed. The doctor gave me a lecture on laser therapy and showed me a cap that he was selling for 5000 dollars. He told me this cap was more effective than propecia and it came without the side effects. It felt like a snake oil salesman's pitch, and I knew from these forums that laser therapy is very hit or miss. Either way, I didn't have another cent to spend so i declined. The scar was swollen and hurt for days, and as expected, my hair started falling out within 2 weeks. The hair around the FUT donor area thinned, the hair near the transplanted area thinned, and the transplants themselves fell out (not the follicle, just the hair). It was hard seeing myself this way, I didn't want to leave the house. I followed the instructions and held out because I knew/believed this was the "shock loss" I was warned about. Skipping ahead, I am nearly 4 months post op. I have seen a lot of regrowth from the transplanted follicles, though as expected, they are very thin looking and dont cover my scar yet. I know this could take 12 months to really know the quality so Ill be patient on that. What really bugs me is my hair, as in all of my hair, is noticeably thinner since the surgery. I can see straight through it to my scalp. If I look close I see my hairs are needle thin, much finer than before. I cant say Ive noticed any unusual shedding, but I look like im balding for the first time due to the thin hairs everywhere. It is definitely thinnest around the areas where hair was transplanted, but even the right side of my head looks thin now. Several relatives mentioned it looked thin, some saying I should sue the doctor who performed the procedure. I obviously don't want to turn this into a legal matter if this is a normal process, I would want to be sure that was the right coarse of action before perusing it. I have read many people saying that shock loss can take 6 months to come back, is that true? Should I continue to be patient and regard this as normal shock loss? Lately its been hard not to kick myself, I feel as if now if I shave my head Ill have to come to terms with having two massive scars instead of my one original scar, and im 10 grand poorer to boot. Its not a good feeling but Im trying to stay optimistic and hope this is just normal shock loss that has yet to recover. I would appreciate your thoughts greatly on this matter. I do intend to see a dermatologist soon to see if there are any other culprits to look at ( thyroid conditions, vitamin deficiencies,etc). I also have been taking biotin 5 mcg for the past 3 months with no result. the density of my hair just 3 and a half months ago was so much thicker, it never looked as if i was going bald. it would be a hard pill to swallow to think that this rate of hairless was natural and not brought on by the surgery. Anyway, Sorry for the long winded post, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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