I am on day 4th from my FUT with Dr. Cooley. My experience on the day of the procedure is similar to the one posted by UKLad81 at
I would like to add some notes about Dr. Cooley and his clinic:
I currently live in California, I had the choice of clinics and doctors locally (convenient) or remotely (some cheaper e.g. in Europe) however, I felt that most of them followed the same sales pitch "we are top...you need x grafts...when should we schedule your procedure?" Not with Dr. Cooley's office, I talked to Ailene and she patiently explained the options and why FUT was better for me vs. FUE. I felt it was more fact and solution based than a sales pitch. That combined with all the good things (I liked that he reportedly continuously strives to improve his techniques) posted about Dr. Cooley I was convinced that Dr. Cooley's office was for me and worthed the long flight.
I loved that Dr. Cooley was personally involved from the beginning until the very end (the day of the operation) and he gave me his cell phone just in case. Also, despite his status he helped me change into the robe and afterwords change from the robe to my clothes. He also let me use his personal restroom during a short break between the strip harvest and the preparation for transplantation. These and other subtle things made me feel that Dr. Cooley cared for me as a person and for the results.
Like I said, Dr. Cooley was almost always there (as far I can tell since he was behind me), I focused to my movies because I didn't want to disrupt his focus/train of thought with Brandi (I could hear them saying things that mostly sounded technical, but wasn't paying attention on what was said).
Bonus: the southern hospitality in North Carolina which I missed (I used to live in Virginia for a few years).
I had hair loss in the crown and in the front. The back bothered me more, so it had more priority. Hair were added in both areas.
I also opted for PRP.
Summary: so far everything is going great, the most difficult/challenging part for me was the lack of sleep because of the ATP spray application.
Day of surgery
I was scheduled for 3500 grafts, but I told Dr. Cooley that was ok with me if he goes over to strengthen the result. He was able to get to about 4200 grafts. He said that my donor area had good elasticity (I was doing my stretching exercises for two weeks; maybe it helped) and that everything went great.
The strip/donor: I only remember laying facing down, Dr. Cooley injecting a needle to my arm, I quickly doze off and then I was waken up and asked to flip face forward and it was done. It only felt like a short snooze, but it was probably a couple of hours long.
During the surgery, almost 99.9% of the time, I just felt a dull pressure on my head during the transplantation. 1-2 times I had to receive extra topical anesthetic which I only felt a couple of pinches.
After going back to the hotel, I was spaying every hour while awake and every 2 hours during "sleep". I also took Aleve and Ibuprofen for the pain in the donor area, it mostly felt like wearing a very tight cap/band).
Went by the office in the morning for the post-op check and wash. Everything looked great, Dr. Cooley was very pleased with the results.
I was prescribed valium for better sleeping (for after the spraying nights are over) and pain medication. I haven't taken either.
Back to the hotel after lunch, spraying a little bit every 30 - 60 mins.
I continued the pain relievers (Aleve, ibuprofen), again the donor area felt tight.
During "sleep" I was spraying every 2 hours or less (if I happened to be still awake).
No face swelling. The night before I was repeatedly applying pressure using both of my hands at the forehead (on top of the nose) and tracing to the sides (using each hand) and down the temples/near the cheek bones). I read about this somewhere and Dr. Cooley verified that could help with draining any fluids away from the eye area.
Did the first self wash and I was very nervous. I used a cup to foam the shampoo and poured over. I haven't touched the transplanted area, only gently the donor area. Some dried blood was removed. The front of the transplant area had some crusting which went a way after the shampooing.
Like I said I was very nervous ... partially because of lack of good sleep for 2 nights; that was the hardest part to deal with... as soon I was falling asleep, I had to get up and spray...
Being nervous, I called Dr. Cooley after the wash, he answered right away and he reassured me that I was following the right steps and he was confident that everything was alright based on what he has seen the day before. He told me I could use the hair dryer to dry from some distance since I was very nervous touching the transplants.
Finally, after sleeping more regularly I felt much better and normal again, despite waking up every few hours. I took the opportunity and sprayed at those times. Valium was supposed to help sleep through the night, but I haven't filled the prescription and I don't think it will be real necessary for me.
I washed my hair the same way, the back has some crusting but I am not touching it. I only touched the donor area during shampooing and for applying the ointment.
I barely felt anything the donor area (unless I touched it) so I haven't taken any pain medication, but I will probably take some before sleeping.
Still spraying regularly while at being at the hotel (most of the time anyway) - I will probably get a second bottle. Dr Cooley said at the post-op that he will be happy to provide an extra one as long as I will use it.
Day 3 Back - After self wash
Day 3 Front - After self wash
Day 4 Front - After self wash
Day 4 Back (Top Back - Bottom Front - Sorry hard to get a good picture) - After self wash