I want to share my recent experience with Dr Gabel.
I am aged early 40s, currently living in Australia. I have had a slow receding hairline over the past 6 years and have been taking both minoxidil and finasteride to stabilize my hair loss.
In 2016 I decided to have a procedure to lower my hairline to a point I was comfortable with. I had the procedure in Canada, it was 2700 grafts (FUT) and it lowered my hairline around 2cm.
Why another procedure?
I was delighted with how the hairline looked, but after 12 months I realised the density was not what I was hoping for. There were parts of the transplant which had excellent density, so I knew it was possible to add more to the areas that looked thin.
As 2 years since the procedure passed, I figured it was a good time to have it done.
I decided I wanted it done as an unshaven transplant. I keep my hair long, so did not want to have to wait another year before it grew out again. I also wanted to be able to return to work and not look like anything had happened.
I spoke with 3 doctor’s who offered the no shave procedure. Dr Gabel personally responded to all my emails quickly answering all my questions. I had been following his work on this site and knew that going with him would result in a great procedure.
From Australia to Portland it was an easy 16 hour flight with one connection, as opposed to the 22 hour 2 connection flight to Canada. Dr Gabel surgery is around 10 Km from downtown Portland and there are plenty of hotels around. I stayed in a self-contained hotel which meant I could cook my own meals, and was in walking distance of the surgery, making life much easier after the transplant.
Arrived at the clinic around 6:30am where one of the techs took blood pressure etc to make sure I was healthy enough for the procedure.
Dr Gabel came in and I instantly felt at ease with him. He is very positive and personable, almost like meeting an old friend. We talked again about what I hoped to achieve with the procedure. Dr Gabel estimated I would need around 1200 grafts to get the density I was hoping for.
Once we agreed my donor area was prepared. Dr Gable only shaves the smallest area where the donor will be extracted from. This allows the donor area to be less noticeable after the surgery. I was given a Valium to help relax
I was taken to the operating room, 9 techs were already hard at work. Amazing to think they were all there just for me as Dr Gable only does one procedure per day.
The donor strip took around 30 mins to extract, the only pain I felt was the numbing needles. I was sutured up and turned into my back for the placement to begin.
Dr Gabel was present during the entire procedure. He would make the incision and immediately place a graft. The work was so clean. Dr Gable would insert around 50 grafts before he would take a few minutes break. During this time the tech would spray saline over the new grafts, making sure they stayed moist and clean.
There is a tv available if you wish to watch but I found myself talking to Dr Gabel and his staff the whole time. It was a most relaxed procedure, apart from needing to be numbed a few times I needed no pain medication after the initial Valium.
When we stopped for lunch around 700 grafts had been placed. Lunch was 20 mins, provided by them before we started again for the last 500 grafts.
When the final graft was in place, I was amazed that it took over 8 hours. But Dr Gabel is so thorough, constant checking and repositioning the graft placement. He was never rushing. I found his attention to detail amazing.
Once all the grafts had been placed the tech checked all the grafts to make sure they were placed and sitting ok. Then Dr Gabel rechecked every single graft.
Looking into the mirror the first time I was amazed how clean the work was. It looked like I had the procedure 5 days ago, not 5 minutes ago. There was hardly any blood and the redness was minimal. The transplanted hairs were a longer length so straight away you were able to see how denser the hairline was. This result is going to be so good.
The graft count ended up as
Total : 1221
1 Hair: 216
2 Hair: 474
3 Hair: 416
4 Hair: 115
The next morning, I went back for my first day clean. Like everything else this was done in great detail. Each graft was check again before I had my first wash. This first clean took over 2 hours. Dr Gabel also came in to check the grafts and he was extremely pleased with how it was all looking.
I stayed another 2 days and I had my hair washed daily at the clinic. By the end of the second day I could pretty much go out in public. The redness was minimal and unlike my first procedure I had almost no swelling. Back at work 8 days after my procedure no one had any idea what I had done.
The stitches were removed after 12 days.
I am now at 12 weeks, around 95% of the hairs did shed, but now I can see new hairs appearing. Exciting times are ahead.
Dr Gabel has an absolute passion in hair restoration, amazing attention to detail and a positive personality that makes you know you made the right choice. I cannot recommend him and his team enough.
Immediate Post Op
Day 2 Post Op
Donor at 2 months