Hi Everyone, I wanted to document my hair transplant journey with everyone, in the hope I am able to help someone.
My family practices Sikhism which requires us to keep a full length of hair and tie them. When I was younger, I used to tie them tight which resulted in hair loss (Sikh Traction Alopecia). I became more and more conscious of my hairs when I was 23 years of age when I noticed that my hairline has declined a lot. On a quick search, I found I wasn't the only one who had the same hairstyle. I am currently 25 years old and was planning to get a haircut but the damage was already done.
Selecting the doctor:
I am currently working in Sydney, so all the search etc had to be done online and this forum helped me a lot to come to the finalize a clinic/doctor. I inquired with a couple of other reputed doctors and everyone seemed great and confident in their way of working, which confused me further. There was also a huge difference between how much grafts different clinics were giving me looking at the same pictures.
The reason why I selected Dr. Bhatti is because I mostly found good feedback from the members here and also because he was the only doctor who I could reach out to directly. Being from a management background, these things show me the customer centricity, build up trust and confidence. To be honest, I did not have a lot of questions for him as I was really tired of asking so many questions to other clinics about the procedure etc, and he had most of the things documented on his website or videos.
A couple of days before finalizing:
I did my final checkups and read reviews everywhere, desperate to find some dirt. I do know that the HT business in India has commercialized a lot so I wanted to make sure I know who I am signing up for. I had to say no to one of the clinics who were good with follow-ups but was comparatively expensive. I gave them honest feedback and for some reason, they took it personally. Anyhow, the other of the 3 clinics I finalized didn't even bother following up. This shows how important follow-ups are.
I am from Delhi, so I landed a couple of days before to spend some time with friends and family. I confirmed the date of 27th December to Dr. Bhatti and paid some money in advance.
One day before the procedure:
I do suffer from anxiety and I had a major panic attack if my decision is the right decision or not. It was something unheard of in our family and almost everything came back to haunt me. I reached our hotel, quickly checked in and left for Doctor Bhatti's clinic.
I used Google Maps to find my way, and for some reason, Google Maps has the place off by a couple of meters. My dad did make a joke if this place even exists or not? I did not have an answer as I have only used the internet to research. So minutes after, we finally saw this billboard - 5 Rivers Amulya Lab which is situated in the same building.
I could tell you that I was shaking when I was entering the building due to anxiety. This was a newly constructed building with the ground floor containing a pathology lab (which I believe is owned by Dr. Bhatti's wife) and the third floor with Dr. Bhatti's clinic. Overall, the place looked well kept.
I entered the reception and was handed a form to fill some initial details and then was presented in front of Dr. Bhatti. Doctor Bhatti greeted me and then it was a really quick inspection. He asked me to open all the hair and then just examined everything in under a minute or two. To be honest, I was expecting a little more inspection on hairs and discussion even though we had some over emails. I believe things like that would make patients such as myself comfortable as anxiety takes the best of them. My dad did ask a couple of questions to which he then started showing videos from the youtube for pre and post-transplant.
He also suggested that he'll have to trim the hair from the donor part and we discussed the pros of me cutting my hair short. He agreed that it'll be less effort to take care post procedure. I was then introduced to Shalini and few more colleagues. They were really helpful and explained everything that was going on. She gave me some medicines which were to be taken at night and then gave me some instructions such as what to eat and wear the next day. I was then accompanied to the pathology lab for the blood tests after which we were free to leave for the day.
We were offered a pickup from our hotel, however, we refused as we had our own car in the city.
Because we had time to kill, we went to a major attraction "Sukhna Lake" nearby and then for a haircut to get my hair trimmed.
Day of Procedure:
I arrived at the clinic at 7 AM in the morning after just drinking tea and some juice. I had to wait for a few minutes there and post that I was advised to change to surgical clothes. A nurse attached an injection funnel (sorry, forgot the name of it) to my wrist and advised that it'll be used for any medications during surgery. She did give me a small dose of antibiotics to check if I show any allergic reaction to it.
Once done, Dr. Bhatti greeted again and drew the same hairline and suggested that it'll be future proof. I have to tell you that I am no expert in hairline as I never got a haircut before in my life. The doctor assured me that he'll maintain the density and it'll look natural.
Before moving to the theater, my donor area was shaved and I was given an antiseptic hair wash. I was moved to the operation theater which looked fancy with all the pieces of equipment and that was when I started getting anxious. I was attached to an ECG and blood pressure monitoring system. Doctor Bhatti explained all the steps and I lied my face down on the chair to begin the procedure. I felt a few slight pinches for anesthesia and to be honest, I only have foggy memory after that. I got really drowsy to the extent I could hardly articulate my words. I did come in and out of sleep and could feel what was being done.
I wasn't left alone on my own and someone was always taking care of me. I asked for a toilet break and some water in the middle of the procedure which my limited articulation. Overall, I felt a couple of pinches but nothing that'll make me go screaming.
I was given lunch and was told that everything went well.