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Everything posted by arfy

  1. I think a post-surgery mild depression is not uncommon. Part of it might be due to the dormant phase, and seeing the grafted follicles go away. As far as timing, and how long the hairs stick around for before the temporary dormant phase, it's different for different guys. You might even find that later surgeries for you, are a little bit different from this one as far as timing goes. There is no hard and fast rule of thumb. Average times? I dunno. Maybe roughly 2 weeks of hair post surgery, then the dormant phase for 10 weeks (?). Then the hair begins to emerge again and grow normally (about a half nch per month). Just an estimate, I don't think there is a definitive answer, as I said. Seems like you are on schedule so far. Good luck, I hope everything works out.
  2. Re: where to put the hair. You can't have it all, so you are going to have to prioritize. I would re-think your desire to lower the hairline, especially if you will have to settle for a bald or almost bare crown... a low hairline and a bald crown don't really go together, as well as a higher hairline would. In my opinion your goal should be total realism. A hair transplant will not make you a "Norwood Zero" (pre-hairloss appearance)... you're not going to get "all" your hair back. So think about replicating a pattern of mild hair loss as seen "in the wild", that looks good to you now (and will still look good later). I have never cared for the approach of a low hairline, with lots of bare scalp in the back, personally (my opinion only... some guys favor it). I think that pattern draws undue attention. If your hair transplant makes people wonder about your hair, it's a problem... you want them to not notice anything unusual at all. The grafts that you would lower your hairline with, might be put to better use reinforcing your central zone, or even dusting the crown lightly. I wouldn't dream of telling you where to put the grafts though, that is between you and your doctor. Come up with a sensible long-term plan, as you are going to run out of donor "bank", so spend each graft wisely, where it will do the most good. Finally, the doctors who do 1000 grafts sessions may not be up to speed on the latest approaches. While it is good that a doctor isn't pushing his limits just for the heck of it, it is good to do somewhat larger sessions when that approach is warranted, and in your case it may have been warranted. It's better to do (for example) 3 sessions of 2000 grafts, than it is to do 6 sessions of 1000 grafts. Every time you harvest in the donor area, there is a certain amount of collateral damage. It is impossible to steer a scalpel through the scalp without losing some hairs to waste. So doing fewer harvests is generally a more efficient way to use your donor supply... and the more efficient you can be with your donor supply, the better. You need to conserve every potential graft, so it can be put to use where you need it. The donor supply is so limited that good long-term planning is crucial to getting the best results. Hope that made sense...
  3. Full restoration is not a realistic goal for a hair transplant. It is absolutely crucial that you have a realistic idea of what the limitations of hair transplants are, BEFORE agreeing to any surgery. That is the only way to make an informed decision. Too many guys assume a full restoration is possible whn they sign up for surgery, and are sorely disappointed when they find out (later) that they will not be able to accomplish what they hoped to accomplish with hair transplants. In many cases, the supply (donor supply) will not meet the eventual demand (total area of hair loss). By then, though, they have committed themselves to a process that they will never find totally satisfying. Guys need to know that there are limitations to how much improvement can be made, via hair hair transplants. Then they are able to make an "informed decision" about hair transplants. You may "hope" for a full restoration of your hair. I "hope" I can flap my arms and fly... I agree with Guitar Player, at this point in time, using body hair grafts is still a new development and should really be reserved for donor-depleted corrective cases. It's "not ready for Prime Time" yet. Let somebody else be the test cases, and wait until new techniques are proven winners with a consistent track record of success.
  4. I've seen a different pic from the front, showing his hairloss, that looked unstaged (this one looks staged to me). He wears a 'piece, like a lot of actors in Hollywood do.
  5. Some recession is considered normal when you become a mature adult, even in guys who have no male pattern baldness whatsoever. As Robert said, get an appointment with a good dermatologist (they specialize in skin and hair). Take a look at a product called Revivogen, it is supposed to be a topical DHT blocker. (I'm not saying definitely buy it, I'm saying take a look at it... do a Google search. Decide for yourself if you think it looks legit, or bogus). Revivogen should be safe to use at your age. It's not going to be as effective as Propecia, however as Robert explained, you are too young for Propecia (you probably need to be at least 18... maybe older. Fully grown and adult). Propecia is not for teens. Revivogen is supposed to inhibit DHT (which is what Propecia does), but I suspect it does it in a weaker way than Propecia (and not enter your system the way Propecia does). And Revivogen does not require a precription. It probably has a mild effect but since you are just starting to lose hair, it may be effective until you can get on something stronger. Good luck!
  6. I don't know about the specific doctor but I have been reading these forums for years and I have heard nothing but complaints about PAI in general (Pierre Amelotte International) There is even a fellow who recently started a website Hair Transplant Lawsuits to document his problems (and lawsuit) with a PAI franchise in Minnesota. I'm going to take a wild guess and say that you can do a lot better if you do some research and look into other doctors. My advice is do some deep research and pick a doctor who seems to be one of the best in the world, and then get on a plane and see him. If you were getting a heart transplant you'd want the best (not just whoever was listed in the yellow pages.) Well, permemnently changing your appearance should be taken just as seriously.
  7. Typical response when the clinic has failed to deliver: they say the solution is that you should spend even more money. In my opinion, MHR is the worst of all the big "McTransplant" franchises, and what is truly disturbing is that they seem to be expanding.
  8. Once a day is better than nothing, if you are going to use it. It's a committment to stay on it, so don't just start using Minoxidil (Roaine, etc) on a whim. Any treatment can trigger a shed when you start it (or end it) so be sure that you really want to be on Minoxidil and are prepared to give it a good run, so that any potential sheds are outweighed by some results. Speaking of results, one fellow said he tried it for a month and it didn't work... a month is not long enough time. You should try using it for a year or so, before you decide it doesn't work. Again, don't get on Minoxidil (or anything else) without doing the research first. A hair transplant doctor told me that even once a day with Minoxidil can be beneficial, by the way. I believe him.
  9. My experience is that body hair results in less yield than head hair. Head hair averages someting like 2.5 follicles per graft. Body hair averages closer to 1 follicle per graft. This is what is referred to as "density" (true density the way doctors refer to it). The more follicles you average per "Follicular grouping" (a.k.a. the true FU graft as this website explains it), the higher your donor density. (Everyone's folliclar "units" are about the same distance apart in the donor area. Some people mistakenly think density is a factor of distance, in the donor area... it's really the number of follicles per "Follicular family"). Because body hair grafts have less follicles per graft than scalp donor grafts, they do not cover as well as scalp donor grafts. Also, body hair does grow somewhat longer on the scalp... about double in length. But it does not grow as long as scalp hair. Longer hair covers better than short hair. For those reasons, in my opinion patients should anticipate needing double the number of grafts with body hair, that they would ordinarily need with head hair, just to get a similar result. Because body hair grafts are usually more expensive than head hair grafts, this can be a devastating blow to the wallet (or even totally out of the question for some people). It sounds like this True patient has coarse body hair... his experiences sound different than mine. Patients should judge their own situations individually, as far as that goes. Thick coarse hair does cover better, and my body hair is not coarse. In my opinion body hair is your last resort in dire repair situations where your regular donor supply is tapped out, and not for the average patients.
  10. Has the Propecia been working? How old are you?
  11. It's totally worth it to travel to see the best. Spend an extra 300 dollars on a flight, and an extra 200 dollars on hotel (a drop in the bucket in the overall expenses). It's totally worth it. If you were getting a heart transplant, you would want that surgeon to be "THE heart surgeon"... NOT the local doc who happens to be the most convenient location-wise. This transplant is going to have to look good for the rest of your life, so don't settle for "pretty good". I have never had a transplant with Dr Ziering. But he was formerly the #2 guy at Medical Hair Restoration, a big chain of clinics (McTransplants) and I (and a lot of other people) have serious reservations about their medical ethics. I could be more specific however I don't want to get the owner of this website into any legal jeopardy. Lets just say it's my opinion that they don't generally do the best work, just the best advertising. So on the positive side Ziering quit MHR a few years ago. On the negative side he was a key player with McTransplants Inc. for (what, 10 years?). Which has to bring up the question of ethics... is it something that a doctor either has (or doesn't have)? Or is it something he can develop overnight, just because he went into business for himself? Personally I think you either have ethics or you don't. You don't develop ethics overnight, it's part of your entire personality. Finally, if you need less than 1500 grafts and are just trying to touch up your hairline, be careful. That may not be enough to warrant committing yourself to surgery (with additional surgeries almost guaranteed). If you are in anyway "borderline" about needing a transplant, or doing it because you "kinda" need it, you are probably better off waiting, researching, thinking things over, meeting with patients, for the time being. My 2 cents.
  12. 15,000 is closest to the correct answer. The problem is that most guys have about 6,500 to 8 thousand grafts available via the strip method. I am not aware of any patient in history who has had 15,000 grafts performed, and I don't know of any Norwood 6 patient who has accomplished this with transplants: That doesn't mean you can't get a satisfactory result, but the idea that donor resources will not be a problem is totally unrealistic for the high Norwood patients.
  13. A lot of your answer will depend on your own personal situation... Do you have fair skin? Are you grafting into a big hairless area? Are you healthy and a fast healer? Do you have hair you can comb over the areas that get grafted? Heres another issue: It can take a few weeks to have the grafts go dormant. After the scabs fall off around day 10 (more or less) you have a bunch of stubble on your head. The stubble sticks around for a few weeks or maybe more. Then your grafted hair goes into a dormant stage... the grafted hair falls out, and then it seems like nothing is happening for about 3 months. Then the dormant stage gradually ends and slowly the new hairs begin to emerge, growing at the normal rate (half-inch per month). Now will anyone notice that? It all depends. In general, if you are absolutely determined that nobody should ever know that you got a hair transplant, then you probably shouldn't get one. There's no guarantee that nobody will be able to tell (people's results vary). Hair transplants can look good or even excellent when done by the right doctors however they are not perfect, and some are less perfect than others. If you are dead set on keeping this a secret from everybody in the world except you and the doctor, that's not very realistic.
  14. Oh Really???? Please do share which OTHER doctors let their techs create the recipient sites? Do spill the beans!!! Patients should know exactly which doctors hand over the reigns and let someone else design the graft patterns and placement. Deciding the angle, direction and patterns of where the grafts are placed is probably the single most important part of the surgery, so lets have full disclosure. Which other doctors let a Tech make the recipient sites, besides Brad and Bobby Limmer??? I TRIED to be diplomatic in this post by using language like "I believe..." and "My understanding is..." as a way to invite people to do their own research. ROBERT took this as a sign of weakness or indecison on my part and jumped down my throat, calling me a liar. Okay Robert. What did I lie about? As far as your dumb requirement of "no hearsay" well I have had surgery with 5 different doctors. However I realize that it is physically impossible for me to personally have surgery with every single doctor, watch every single doctor operate, or meet and interview every single doctor. So yes I do rely on hearsay, repeating what other real-life patients said. BOTH LIMMERS work out of the SAME OFFICE and according to my research that I've done by reading THIS WEBSITE both have their techs use the Stick & Place method. This means the tech does everything except remove the donor strip and sew up the gap. The tech creates the recipient site and then sticks the graft into it. Dr. Limmer will probably be sticking and placing too, however he gives his techs much more important role in the surgery. In other clinics the creation of the recipient sites is considered the "artistic" part of the transplant. A tech is not a Nurse, a Tech is usually someone who just has a certificate from a Trade School or a Community College. Do you REALLY want "JOE TECH" doing the artistic part of your hair transplant? Now in the future I will try to be a little more blunt, so that Robert doesn't think I am wishy-washy about the facts, and accuse me of lying. Would I recommend Dr Limmer (Brad OR Bobby)? Neither is a "bad" choice however in my opinion you can do better, and I personally would prefer more hands-on time with an actual doctor, not someone who went to Trade School. When I do the research and pick a doctor, I want the doctor I picked to do the important part of my surgery. NOT an assistant!!!
  15. Banning website owners and moderators from the meeting is just shooting themselves in the foot. It's 2005 and the internet isn't going away, it's only going to get bigger and more important. The patients know that sharing information equals progress, and better results. Maybe some of the older doctors are afraid of changes, or their surgical approach can't withstand a little scrutiny and discussion. They fear an "educated consumer". So what does that tell you about those doctors?
  16. I just looked up who the doctors are, using their credentials. It turns out one of the doctors is a 'good guy' (Dr X, the first one) while the other doctor is a bad guy (Dr Y). Even though Dr Y is the "bad guy" it turns out that Dr Y actually has a longer list of credentials than the other doc. I originally wrote this so long ago, that even I couldn't recall which doctors I was referencing. The point remains the same though.
  17. Excellent point. There's another level to this though, as well. If I buy a watch from a guy in an alley, and it turns out that it wasn't a real Rolex, well then I have to consider the source. But if I get a hair transplant based on the clinic's promise that the doctor does "state of the art" work and that my transplant will be "undetectable" and look like a "full head of hair" (as MHR says) but if that's not actually what they do, then I wasn't misled by some guy in a dark alley, I was misled by a licensed physician. A situation like that is totally unforgivable. I think the doctors who are misleading people are a disgrace to all the other legitimate doctors, and I don't know why the "straight arrow" doctors let it continue.
  18. The issue is whether or not Bradley Limmer makes the recipient sites himself or not. If he does then I apologize. If he doesn't then I don't apologize. The doctor should do as much of the procedure as possible, including placing grafts. The doctor should most certainly be the one creating the recipient sites (the "artistry" part of a hair transplant). That doesn't happen at some clinics. I may be confusing what Bobby and Bradley Limmer do (with each other), if that is the case then I apologize profusely. More clarification is needed.
  19. The thick black horizontal line going across the center represents "no change" in total hair count. The goal is to never go below the horizontal line (that means you are losing hair). If you go above the horizontal line, that means you have more hair than when you started (regrowth!) As for the other lines, Green means the guy was using Propecia. Black lines (besides the horizontal one) means the guy was using a placebo. Any lines that stay above the middle thick horizontal black line means that the guy had more hair than when he started. Any lines that dip below the middle means the guy had less hair then when he started. Basically the guys who came out the best, were on Propecia the whole time. They made great gains at first, they slowly tapered off but at the end of five years they still had more hair than what they started with (the Green line) The guys who did the worst had a placebo (fake drug that they thought was real). Those guys lost, and kept losing hair. If a guy started out on Propecia (green line), and then took a placebo for a year (black line), his results would take a nose dive. But if he got back on Propecia then he could recover a lot. However not quite as good as the guys who never got off Propecia, based on their end point. Does it make more sense now?
  20. You can use Minoxidil once a day and still get a lot of the benefits from it. You could try backing off to once a day if it's becoming a huge hassle. Maybe use it only at night? You could also try putting it on in the morning, leaving it on for an hour, then rinsing it out before work (plus using it at night). I agree that topicals are kind of a hassle, and guys should not always include them in the beginning unless really necessary. I would also try to back off gradually if you think you want to quit. I would probably not stop it cold if you didn't have to. Maybe go down to once a day for a month (maybe see how you tolerate it at this level, and re-evaluate). Then if you want to discontinue, maybe use it once every other day for a few weeks. Then every third day for a few weeks, and so on. If you cut Minoxidil off cold, you may be risking a worse shed. However I'm not a doctor, so take that advice however you like. It's just my opinion. As far as Zinc, did you take that as a vitamin (or put it on your scalp). The most effective treatments, in this order: Propecia (possible tie with Avodart, results pending) Minoxidil 5% Minoxidil 2% Propecia is the most effective by far. Minoxidil is less effective but helps (and works best together with Propecia). Anything else is going to be marginal (MSM Zinc etc) at best. If you want to simplify, get rid of the stuff that doesn't do anything.
  21. Hard to say, but some guys do seem to report periodic shedding... yearly sheds, that kind of thing (seasonal). It can be a re-ocurring battle for some guys. I could only guess if that's your situation, but it seems reasonable to guess that it;s either a shed or you're building up a tolerance to the meds. I would hang on for another few weeks and see if it subsides. Have you recently gone from 2% to 5% Minoxidil, or switched brands maybe? Any changes to your regimine (adding a new treatment), or even lifestyle (big diet maybe?) Those kinds of changes can sometimes trigger a shed if you're unlucky.
  22. Go with what the dermatolgist said. They specialize in skin and hair. Your regular doctor means well, but he is not a specialist. The dermatologist is right that specialized shampoos don't help with hair loss. They will help you normalize your scalp condition though. Then it comes down to who to believe about the laser comb. I don't think there are any unbiased clinical tests showing it works. However if you have a few hundred bucks you can blow, knock yourself out. Look on Ebay, if you are willing to buy a used one from somebody who tried it. Other than that I agree with what Robert and Bill amd tymman said. Get on treatments and stick with it, give it a year or more, then re-assess your situation.
  23. FUE is when the tiny individual FU grafts are moved one by one, instead of removing a donor strip and dissecting it into grafts. Don't confuse it with the big plug approach from years ago. The doctors are targeting each "follicular bundle" and try to remove the smallest amount of tissue as possible. They are using tiny tools and it is a slower process compared to a regular transplant Other than the harvesting method it is fairly identical to the process described on the home page herem (look for it: "Best Hair Transplant"). You should learn about "Follicular Units" first, why excess tissue in a graft causes problems, and so on. That is possibly the crucial aspect to getting good results. Extracting grafts on a one by one basis is slower, so it is more expensive. It's also a new procedure, with only a couple of doctors doing it, and it's also controversial among the other doctors who don't do it. If you're interested, there is a lot of reading and research you can do, and then make up your own mind. FUE's advantage is that it is supposed to be less invasive than removing a donor strip of scalp. Some people think that is important, and some other people say they don't care.
  24. maybe you can contact the clinic and ask who makes the recipient sites in Dr Limmer's clinic? I was told that Dr Limmer leaves that to his staff. If that has changed then please correct me. However I am just a patient, I am not running a website that keeps track of what every individual doctor does. I certainly don't want to mislead anybody. However if Dr Limmer is not creating the recipient sites or is only creating some recipient sites, then it's fair to mention that, and let people decide if it matters to them or not. It's fair to want to understand your doctor's philosophy. I was relating information from 2 or 3 years ago, perhaps Dr Limmer does it differently. I also may not be making the correct distinction between what Bobby Limmer does, and what Brad Limmer does. My sincere apologies if I spread misinformation. Maybe Luis can call the clinic and post his findings? This is what I said I do think hands on time with the doctor is important, and I do think it has made a difference for me when the doctor was in the room.
  25. Kassimer doesn't have a reputation for using cutting edge techniques. I heard Kassimer did Sly Stallone (?) and Stallone wears a hairpiece. What does that tell you?