Vinzaf I do have pictures but I am going to wait to post them all until I am further along like 4 months. The operation did not hurt that much, but there will be some amount of pain involved.
I recently " June 22" had a 1920 graft procedure by Dr. Steven Gabel. This was my second procedure, the first I had by another doctor in LA "1500 grafts FUE" But I ended up losing more native hair than what I gained through the transplant because of permanent shock loss/poor yield. I was also left with some scar ridging and some pitted recessed graphs. Dr. Gabel replied to all my emails and answered all my questions regarding estimate graft count that I would need for my second procedure. Once the surgery date was scheduled his Surgical Care Coordinator kept me updated with pre op check list and everything that needed to be done. I arrived one day early before my surgery date "unannounced" to see if I could fill out some of the paperwork to get it out of the way to help expedite the day of surgery. Dr. Gabel made time to meet with me and go over what my expectations were and give me a better estimate of how many grafts would be needed. He suggested 1500 grafts so I would have some grafts in reserve if I ever needed another procedure again. But I told him I wanted to go for the full 2000 grafts instead. He ended up taking 1920 grafts because he did not want to over harvest so I would not have a noticeable scar if my hair was cut short. Keep in mind I already had a 1500 graft procedure done and he only took grafts out of the safe zone. The day of the surgery I arrived at 6:20 one of his staff "Daya" greeted me and went over everything that was going to happen for the day. Dr. Gabel had me draw the hair line I wanted, then he made some suggestions and I ended going with what he suggested. My hair was then buzzed down, and washed for surgery. The chair that I was in for the procedure was very comfortable and the surgery room was very organized and the kind of room you would expect to have surgery in. I believe he had 6 maybe 7 assistants helping him with the procedure, each having their own job. When he started extracting the grafts he did a few test grafts to determine what angle was needed to avoid harming the grafts. And as the procedure went on he was constantly getting feedback from his staff how the grafts looked. He also divided the back of my head into zones 1-8 so behind my right ear was zone 1 and behind my left ear was zone 8. The lunch break happened once the extraction was finished and while you are eating the staff rearranges the room for the second part of the procedure. When it came time to put the grafts back in he uses lateral slits made with special blades so the grafts fit tighter and the hairs can fan out providing more coverage. This also helps with healing since the grafts fit tighter. When he put the grafts back in they started by putting the grafts extracted from zone 1 "except the singles from all the zones were put in first in the front of my scalp" then to zone 2 and so on, which is good to ensure graft survival. He also uses a special saline that helps prolong the life of the grafts, I cannot recall the name of it. The extraction took around 4 hours I believe and graft placement took maybe 4 +/- hours? I am not sure exactly, Dr. Gabel and one of his staff "Courtney" implanted all the grafts. Dr. Gabel worked one side while Courtney worked on the other. This was nice since usually for the Dr. to put in the grafts it costs extra but Dr. Gabel is very meticulous which is a good thing. After the procedure was done I was feeling weak because I did not eat the lunch that was provided because I was nauseated during lunch. Dr. Gable gave me a Gatorade and a fig bar and after 10 minutes or so I was feeling good enough to walk. Dr Gable and one of his staff were actually nice enough to walk me to my hotel room "which was across the street", that just tells you what a nice and caring guy he is. The next day I arrived for a cleaning, I had very minimal bleeding compared to my first procedure. Also I could not believe how good I felt when I woke up the next morning, I had only taken two ibuprofen tablets before bed and that's it. After my first procedure in LA it felt like the back of my head was mauled by a large cat. I had great mobility in my head without feeling pain, only when my heart rate picked up from walking around did my head start to hurt a little. Dr. Gable was there for the cleaning to look at the grafts and make sure everything was ok. Then one of the staff "Karina" cleaned the recipient and donor sites and adjusted the seating on a few of the the grafts. Also I was given a saline spray and another type of saline spray that helps with graft survival. Along with a bunch of other things that I would need and Karina explained how to properly clean and care for my grafts which was nice. I wish I would have gone with Dr. Gabel the first time around. I could of saved 10,500 "Cost of first transplant" and had 1500 grafts in reserve. Well I hope if any of you are on the fence on who to go to for your first procedure or a repair procedure like me that you consider Dr. Gabel. Remember you only have so much donor hair so don't waste it on a Dr. that is conveniently closer or cheaper and also you have to wait 1 year to 18 months to realize you have a failed transplant. You need someone that is experienced that takes pride in their work and goes above and beyond the competition. Also I should mention I am not receiving any compensation or discount for my review, I just want to help someone make an informed decision to avoid a costly mistake. I will try and upload some pre op and post op pictures and update along the way.
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