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My Story

  1. I've had two FUT procedures since 2012 from Dr. John Diep here in Northern California and I'm about to go for a smaller FUE procedure in July. I have a lot of things scheduled during the second half of the year and can't afford to go to them with a partially shaved head; in addition, the large scar on my scalp from the FUT procedures is not something I want to show off. Has anybody in the forum been able to receive a FUE procedure without having their head shaved?
  2. I have a appt with Diep next year. really not sure if I should go FUT or FUE. 42 yrs old - hair loss happened really fast (between ages 39 and 41) no longer losing hair - good skin laxity as far as I can tell - decent donor I started taking fin along with minox a month ago. started using derma roller 2 weeks ago. I have been taking vitamins of all kinds for years. I do see small hairs growing near the temples where there wasn't any before so I am holding out hope things change a little for the better in the frontal and on top over the next few months with this regimen. Dr. Diep stated 2500 FUE was what we are looking at with the possibility of more. Do you guys think its possible to get decent coverage with 2500 (hopefully more he said he might be able to get up to 3500 depending on donor) FUE both front and top? Not to hot on the idea of FUT but also not to hot on the idea of more than 1 surgery, both are clearly on the table. I also have always kept my hair buzzed on sides and back. I want to keep the age appropriate hair line, I've always had the Eddie Munster "V". Thanks for the info, just preparing myself mentally for fue or fut.
  3. Thanks for all these replies... unfortunately, things turned out to be a little disappointing. Dr. Diep explained to me the day of the procedure that he had to shave the donor area in order to extract FUE grafts, but he would leave the recepient area unshaved. This was my first FUE procedure, and I was looking forward to not having to deal with a scar having to heal. He also informed me that in "very unusual cases", if he couldn't harvest enough grafts by FUE he would have to combine it with a FUT, and asked me to sign a release. Once the procedure was finished 7 hours later, I leaned he had in fact done both a FUE and a FUT, which I was a little disappointed with. Also I'm not sure why I was out so long, he only gave me one Xanax and one Valium right before the procedure. I read a posting from someone else on this site that said Diep had given him Verced in addition to lidocaine... if he did, they never told me about it. I vaguely remember eating a burrito they had ordered for me for lunch, but then I was out completely out again. They obviously medicated me with a sedative of some kind, but I'm not sure how they did it (through shots in my scalp?).. So now I have both a shaved donor area as well as a big scar there as well. I'm wearing a baseball cap to hide the scar, which I'll be doing for at least two-three months. I just want to finish by saying that I probably wouldn't let a surgeon other than Dr. Diep work on me, but I was surprised how this procedure went down.
  4. Summary (because this review is long): Today is the 9th day after the surgery. I am very pleased with the Dr. Diep and her staff (so far.) Let's start with surgery info: Surgeon: Dr. Diep MHTA Clinic at Los Gatos, California Surgery Date: 11/12/2020 Procedures (graft): FUE (1411) + FUT (1211) Myself: Asian in my 50's with NW4 to 4.5. Start losing my hair since early 20's. Never take any med, tropical, roller, special shampoo, or anything for hair treatment (just too lazy to care.) My hair never give me trouble at work or dating. Live in the Bay Area and 20 miles from Dr. Diep's office. Reason on Dr. Diep: I have been following Dr. Diep's YouTube channel for more than 2 years and am impressed with the results. I also read a lot of reviews here and I don't see any justification for me to travel during Covid to see other doctors. My #1 requirement is not to screw up. #2 is nature hairline with good density at the front. I actually don't give a damn about the back since neither I can see it in the mirror nor I talk to others with the back of my head. Anyway, I decided Dr. Diep is the best fit for me. Cost: I was first quote $17k to perform 2K FUE to fill the front during the zoom consultation with Dr. Diep. When I got to the office, Dr. Diep was worry that I would not be happy with the density and suggest to go up to 2250 grafts. Since I am not a 1%er, I would like to stick with my original budget (I also heard Divorce is very expensive.) Dr. Diep then suggested to fill my front with FUE+FUT for $17k. Since I actually was undecided about FUE or FUT, I liked the suggestion. The Day of the surgery: Arrived at 7:30am shape. The office is at the very nice part of the Bay Area and is much bigger than I thought. The nurse then had me to fill out a bunch of forms that I read two weeks prior (same time the full payment was due.) I then chit chat with Dr. Diep for about 20 minutes about the surgery (procedure, med, and time), work, and also family. Btw, Dr. Diep is younger than me and I beat him on having much older children. Felt good since I likely retire sooner than him. The tech then lead me to a large surgical room (end up spent the whole day there) and Pam the nurse came in to buzz the back, front and the side of my head. (Pro-tip: If you decided to go with Dr. Diep, just have Pam to buzz off all the hair.) She was very nice but I told her not to quit her day job. I was start dozing off from the med and kind of in and out of consciousness. Don't quote me but my surgery probably starts around 10:30am. I aware there were two tech + Dr. Diep when they were getting the donors. The only time I was fully conscious was having my Pastrami sandwich (good), Fries (not good), and Apple juice (best I had ever taste but I think it is because of the med.) during lunch. I also aware that I may be bleeding a bit much (end up with IV) and talk a lot while I was out. I finally came back to full conscious when the two technicians (Kwan and Linsey) was injecting the hair to my head. I asked about the time and it was 11ish at night. We then spent about an hour making fun about the back to back Julia Robert movies (Pretty women + Sleeping with Enemy) on the TV. Dr. Diep would come in to check on us periodically and the surgery ends around 12:30am. Linsey then went through the aftercare package (med, shampoo, bandages, and shoulder pillow) while I pull my IV off my arm. She wasn't too crazy about it. Dr. Diep then spent couple minutes to give me a quick low down about my surgery (a lot of grey hair and it made things harder.) He was happy about the results after all and sent me on my way. After surgery: The pain was pretty ok. I took the Tramadol for the first two days and then just once a day Aleve afterward. I actually have more problems with the swollen and had trouble open my eyes two days later. I did not take any time off and went back to work the next day. I sent my photo to my boss and he told me not to get on zoom. I actually sent him another photo during the peak of my swollen, and he said never send him anymore photos. Things start looking up about four days later and the swollen was totally gone after 6 days. I still take Aleve right before bed time but it is more to do with the discomfort of the back of my head then anything else. Cleaning (day after): I went back to the office the next day afternoon to have my head clean. No appointment was needed. Jenifer the nurse was super nice and answered a bunch of dump questions that I did not ask the night before. It took about 20 minutes in and out. Billing mix up: I got a bill couple days later for some extra charges because my combined 2611 grafts are more expensive than $17K. I called the Monica the office manager and she was able to resolve it with Dr. Diep. Follow up call from Dr. Diep: Exactly one week after the surgery, Dr. Diep called my cell around 9pm to check on me. I can tell he just finished his shift and was getting in his car. He explained to me about the 14 hours procedure and the combination of FUE + FUT just took longer. He also apologized about the billing mix up due to the office manager did not read his note about the no charge. He ended the call to offer me a free ACELL injection ($600 value according to him) due to the billing miscommunication. Next steps: I have scheduled to remove the sutures in two weeks. An appointment with Dr. Diep for the first check up in four weeks. Overall: I am happy with the results and overall experiences. I can be just like many people her to nitpick stuff and expect the doctor to do everything perfect. You probably can tell by now that I don't take shxt too seriously. OK.. Let stop the rambling and see some before and after photos.
  5. I'd like to add to the wealth of knowledge about Dr. Diep since it seems he has many reviews here that are mostly positive. The jury is still out on this one, but I have high hopes so far. I am 33 years old and paid ~16k total for this FUE procedure and it was booked about 9 months in advance. I *almost* backed out a few days before after reading some scary reviews on realself and after hearing Dr. Diep's reputation for using a large punch size, but I went ahead anyway since he had a solid reputation on this forum. I've always had a high hairline since I can remember (I recall a girl calling me out for a receding hairline when I was 16), but I don't think I actually had noticeable miniaturization occurring until about 27. My father is nearly completely bald, and my brother's hair (who is about 7 years old) has progressive hairloss that is a bit worse than mine. I would say that for most men my age that are suffering from pattern baldness, mine is relatively milder (likely due to my early attempts at treatment). Some might say I am crazy for getting FUE at this stage of hairloss, but it is bothering me enough and it is difficult to style the hair the way I want (I have a huge forehead so I generally wear it down and to the side). My hair is currently receding in the temple areas a few inches and I believe it is starting to thin in the crown area as well. Here is where my hair currently is: You can kind of see on the right side of the picture of my temple area where I think the hairline used to be - one sole surviving hair seems to be nice and thick still. As far as treatments go, I probably have propecia and keto use for the last 4 years or so to thank for the relatively minor hairloss I have (compared to my brother at least). I hadsides when I started propecia, so I experimented with dosage and and also used grape seed extract as a way to counteract the effects (I forgot the mechanism involved but I read about it a long time ago and it seemed to work). I landed on taking approximately .5 mg every 3 days. Any more often and I start to get foggy brain. I sometimes try to increase it to EoD but I just can't do it because the brain fog messes with my job performance. Anyway, on to the stuff you guys probably care about. I initially paid for 1750, but Dr. Diep convinced me it would be a good idea to at least give him an allowance of an extra 100 based on the line he drew to restore my hairline. I also went with the A-cell - cost wasn't that huge of an issue for me and there didn't seem to be any drawbacks other than extra cost: This was exactly what I was looking for - even though I was tempted to lower my hairline a bit since my forehead is so large, I decided ahead of time that I should keep it conservative and simply restore what I had previously. I didn't want to deplete all my donor hair in case I needed more in the future. I also wanted to avoid possibly having an artificial looking hairline by at least having native hair closer to blend in with the implanted hair. I've seen Diep do magic with hairline lowering, but I've also seen some less than stellar results so I didn't want to take any chances. The half a CM or so that it appears to be lowering is simply because you can't really see the few straggler hairs that had not yet receded. As far as how the procedure went, it was fairly typical as others on this forum have described. The Dr. was already working with a patient when I arrived at 7:30, and he told me that he would be done with that patient in the early AM and would be with me for the rest of the day (that turned out to be not really true - once he finished making the recipient incisions, he only came and checked on the technicians performing the implants every now and then). I was given a concoction of pills and then waited about an hour and a half before the doctor came to begin the extractions (around 9:30-10). I did not fall asleep like most others describe but I was fairly relaxed. I experienced some pain from the anesthetic injections, and also had some pain during some of the FUE extractions in a particular area, and I recall him giving additional anesthetic injections for that. I don't know what size punch he used, but he indicated during pre-op that he used between .9 and 1mm - he explained his reasons for the larger punch and while I am aware I could have insisted on a smaller punch, his results speak for themselves and I think its best to let the doctor do things his way. Many of the criticisms I've read thus far regarding the punch size have been focused on how the donor area looked just after the procedure, but I haven't seen any real criticisms of his donor areas in the long term - and I also had not read of donor reserves being unusable as a result. The FUE extractions came from the back and my right side, as seems to be common with Dr. Diep (and debated about in other threads). I think the jury is still out as to whether this should really be done, but I can say that the left side of my donor area is well preserved for any future need, though I am not sure I like how far near the right ear he went with the extractions. That said, I will generally not be buzzing my hair very short anyway (5 guard minimum) so I don't think this will be an issue for me - you can see from the photos how I generally wear my hear. He made sure to minimize any shaving of hair at my hairline since I plan to return to work after 3 weeks and I am hoping (though I am skeptical) to disguise the work with a mixture of clever styling, makeup, topik, etc. One criticism I had about this procedure is once the extractions/incisions were done and lunch was provided, I asked for another round of sedatives (xanex/valium) since what I had so far wasn't really doing the trick and I had much more time to remain in the chair. I wasn't provided that - I am not sure why. The second half of the procedure was fairly uncomfortable - I was generally conscious and could feel each insertion of graft (though no pain from it initially). The inability to move at all due to the inserting of grafts, combined with the very chatty techs who were talking/laughing very loudly inches from my ear talking about all sorts of things (strip clubs, dating, etc), and the lack of any sedative effect, made for a very uncomfortable 6 hour process. I believe they started inserting the grafts around 2pm, and when 5 rolled around or so and I was basically wide awake, I asked how much longer it would be, and I was told 2 hours. Well, 2 hours rolled by and I asked again how much longer, and I was told 30 minutes. The anesthetic had mostly worn off and I was starting to feel pain/pressure and decided to just power through it (they asked if I wanted the Dr. to come apply more anesthetic but I declined since they were almost done, I thought). But it took another hour and a half and everyone from the office was pretty much gone except the technicians and the doctor. The post-op instruction lady came in and decided to give me my post op instructions and sign it while I was still laying on the chair and getting grafts placed, which I thought was kind of odd (do you think I am going to remember this well while I am getting stuck with grafts?) I understand that things happen and just sometimes take longer, but I couldn't help but feel like there was a sense of being rushed at the end (techs complaining about being hungry and what not). By the time things were wrapping up, I was asking for the painkillers prescribed to try and get ahead of the pain that I could feel coming on. The painkillers they gave me did not seem to have any effect on me (Tramadol) so my girlfriend and I drove straight to the pharmacy, and wouldn't you know everything was closed by 10pm, and the one 24 hour pharmacy was out of percocet. Most people describe the post-op pain as being relatively minor but I was experiencing the worst head pressure/pain I had ever felt. I ended up quickly glancing through the post-op instructions and seeing something about how ibuprofen can be taken 4 days post-op and in my pain and dizzyness from the valium, believed that meant I could take ibuprofen and took 3 (turns out I wasn't supposed to do that because of the blood thinning effect). While his written instructions, if you actually parse out the language, say that you can take ibuprofen after the 4th day, it is very easy to misread the instructions if you are in a daze from the sedatives and in a lot of pain. I was mildly annoyed because my girlfriend had been in the waiting room since 4 pm and could have picked up the prescriptions for me as I had asked (but they declined to let her because they said they already had painkillers for me). A word about the post-op instruction packets - I also don't understand why there are two different sets of post-op instruction packets which address the same issues and in some cases are contradictory (one set of instructions are telling you how to clean the recipient area each day after surgery but the second set clearly says you should *not* touch the recipient area until day 4). Dr. Diep was very pleasant during the pre-op but I didn't talk with him much after the procedure. I believe he came in to check on the technicians about once every 30-45 minutes during the insertion of the grafts and to take final photos. I went to my first post-op wash and was hoping to get a rundown of how he felt about the procedure, but he was too busy when I was there, so I am hoping to catch him in one of the other cleanings if possible. Anyway, here is the stuff you guys probably care about: Other than taking ibuprofen after the surgery, everything seems to be normal. Once I woke up, i was no longer in pain and haven't really felt anything yet. The doctor told me the ibuprofen won't have any effect on the graft survival, it can just cause excessive bleeding from the donor area (doesn't seem to be a huge issue at the moment). I also apparently misinterpreted the pre-op instructions regarding smoking - the warning made specific reference to the dangers of nicotine - so I assumed that smoking marijuana was still OK (I used marijuana semi-regularly 1-2 times/week), and had smoked it 4 days prior to the surgery. Dr. Diep didn't like that but said it should be fine, but advised me to refrain from any marijuana use for an "entire year" ?!?!. From what I've been reading, it seems that the general MO is to refrain from smoking anything for a month or so, but after that I can resume. Cannabis has been show to inhibit growth of hair generally from what secondary sources I've read, but it doesn't appear from anything I could find that would cause the failing of hair grafts once the grafts are fully healed. If anyone has better information they could chime in? Anyway, thanks for listening. Any tips to disguise the hair implant would be greatly appreciated - I can't wear a hat as I work in a courtroom so its very important to look professional. I might also just need to fess up and tell everyone why I took a 3 week vacay - but we''ll see. Thanks for listening.
  6. Age 31, NW3 Medication: Finasteride 1mg/day, Minoxidil 5% 2x/day Hair characteristics: High contrast with skin Cost: ~$21K total, including A-Cell and Amino Fill injections. Not being incentivized to post this Before I get started, MASSIVE shoutout to giegnosiganoe who encouraged me to post here and also helped me so much with depression and buyer's regret that I had following my surgery. He's an awesome dude and I appreciate him so much. Hair loss timeline: 18 - Started to notice lots of shedding but ignored it 25 - Crown balding started to become apparent as well as hairline thinning 28 - Decided to start Fin / Minox, have decided I haven't seen progression since beginning this regimen Choice of surgeon: Dr. Diep was the best rated in the area where I live, I can't travel because I am taking care of my dying mother, and I wanted to get my crown tackled this year. Procedure: Arrived at 7:30am. Staff took me in the back, shaved my head, and then I met with Dr. Diep who outlined my crown, talked to me about my needs, which I said I wanted to only focus on my crown. He gave me my magic cup of pills which I took and then I went back to the original op room where I waited for them to take effect. Afterwards, Dr. Diep came in and began the extraction. During my extraction the chair I was on broke so they moved me into a back office room where they continued the procedure. After he finished the extraction, I ate food and the technicians began implanting my grafts to my crown. There is some stuff that happened here that I am working out with Dr. Diep, hopefully he holds true on his side but I will expand later based on my continued engagements with him. He has offered me his cell phone number and has been very quick to respond to questions which I appreciate, and seems to really care about my results and my opinion of his work. I was not provided a breakdown on the graft types that were extracted, so I do not know how many single, double or triple hair grafts were taken. Recovery: My donor area looked really extreme compared to other surgeons, but I've been told this is because Dr. Diep uses a 1mm punch which results in better success in graft survival. I haven't noticed a single lost graft so there might be something to that. The day after I returned to the office for the staff to wash my donor area and remove bandages. The swelling was quite intense and sleeping was a challenge. I slept at a 45 degree angle for 10 days and applied bacitracin 3x a day to my donor area throughout this time. Day 8 I began removing crustings / scabs and I am about finished removing them all, I am now at day 13. I have asked Dr. Diep to send me my post op photos but have not yet received, but I will share my pre-op, and day after photos. I will also share my updates as recovery continues. Feel free to ask any questions if there is anything I can expand on. Photos: Aug 2, 2020, was trying dermarolling until Dr. Diep told me it could cause more hair loss which is when I stopped Pre-op, with markings Post-op, day 1: Post-Op, day 7: Post-Op, today (day 13):
  7. Hi Everyone, Long time lurker here. This forum has helped me gain knowledge all things related to hair loss and I just wanted some opinions. I'm 27 years old - my hair started thinning at around the age of 23. I've been on 1mg/day finasteride since March 2020 and Rogain 1/day since March 2019. I'm consistent with my medication and I "think" i've stabilized. Typically i style my hair up in the front, comb the back over and i use some toppik to hide the thinning. I've been wanting to do surgery for a while now but im reluctant because of my age. Ive consulted with many doctors, all of whom said I'd be a good candidate (Dr. Feller, Dr. Diep, Dr. Rahal, Dr. Ferreria, Dr. Bisanga to name a few). My plan for hair transplant is to reinforce my hairline and add density from the front to midcrown. Do you think i'm too young or should i wait a few more years? Ideally, i'd like to have it done before my 30th birthday. Keep up the good fight fellas! Thanks.
  8. Hi all, I am a 28 yo male that just had 1650 grafted implanted to my frontal hair line and corners. It was done by Dr . Diep via FUE 1650 grafts. I would really appreciate any recommendations / your experience with donor area pain. I have a very high pain tolerance and this by far is taking the cake for me. I have broken my wrist and collar bone from sports and my donor area hurts more than that ! I can describe it as constant dull pain/ scalp tightness . I am unable to get comfortable to sleep no mater what position . Over the past 3 days i probably only got like 6-7 hours of sleep so i know sleep has alot to do with it . Things I have been Doing : Washing donor area as instructed Applying neosporin x3 a day Took all antibiotics/swelling medication Meds Prescribed : Tramodol Norco I have no been taking the norco i think i will bite the bullet and take it today i have however been taking advil x400 miligrams and the tramodol and it does nothing for this pain what so ever. Once again thanks for the input and if you have any suggestions on how long this will last let me know !
  9. Journey & Decision After thorough research, I decided to pull the trigger and get a HT at Shapiro Medical Group with Ron Shapiro and Dr. Josephitis/Dr. Joe. SMG spent many hours over the phone with me and answered all my questions. I emailed Ron Shapiro directly and Matt Zupan (Patient Educator), and they always addressed all of my concerns/follow-ups. Matt called me very frequently to check up on me and has pretty much become a friend at this point. The front office staff, Matt Zupan (Patient Educator), and everyone involved wanted to make sure that I had the best care. They did not care about making money or getting the "sale" as they honestly wanted what was best for me. They even recommended other great clinics if I decided not to go through with SMG. SMG was the only clinic out of the 5 places I contacted who actually walked me through the concept of donor supply, how to look at the future for when my hair loss progresses and what I can do to prevent more hair loss (medication, exercise, etc.) They have a concept to not blow your entire "wad" with a mega session and see how the first procedure goes to ensure you can make revisions later on and assess where you are. This approach makes perfect sense and gives the patient more donor supply to fine tune their hair in the future. I originally booked with Dr. Diep but decided to back out due to a lot of recent negative reviews and concerns about his ethics. Please review my other thread here and post here about the situation. I want to give a major shout out to aaron1234 for coaching me through the whole process and recommending me to go through SMG/Ron Shapiro. This is the best decision I have ever made and I would not have gotten this far without him. Aaron, thank you for everything, I owe you. Also, notable mention to jimcraig152 for giving me some solid advice regarding my surgeon decision. Shapiro Medical Group (SMG) Review This clinic is hands down one of the most professional clinics I have been to. It was an amazing experience and I felt right at home at SMG. The staff/technicians/doctors are so genuine, caring, and love what they do. Ron Shapiro took his time with me to explain the process and decisions behind the HT and hairline. The staff and technicians were very friendly and we got along well. They introduced themselves and wanted to know more about me. They cared about my personal life, we joked/laughed together and we were all just having a great time during the procedure. This made everything so much easier. Oh, and everyone is super organized which is a huge plus. The office itself is super clean and everyone followed COVID procedures to a t. Great atmosphere and I felt 150% comfortable being there. Pre-Surgery Appointment Mattt Zupan (Sales Consultant) took my before photos in their studio. Pamela (receptionist) took my food order for the procedure day. I got to meet with Dr. Ron Shapiro and go over our game plan. He let me ask as many questions as I wanted and was very patient with me. He also showed me many photos going over this donor supply philosophy and why he likes his conservative approach versus mega sessions. Before Photos Surgery Day 1 Got in at 7:30 AM and was greeted by Pamela (receptionist). Dr. Josephitis/Dr. Joe greeted me and had me change into their provided shirt. He asked if I had breakfast and I had not. He immediately got me some breakfast/energy bars and apple juice so that I was not hungry. Dr. Joe cut my hair (in their barber room) short enough, but left enough hair so that Dr. Shapiro could see how to properly blend my grafts with my hair loss appropriately. Went into the surgery room and my vitals were taken. Everyone introduced themselves and I hit it off with the staff immediately. They got me blankets, water and let me pick out a movie on the Apple TV. The technician (Vicky) numbed my head so we could make the incisions. They used massagers/vibrator on my face to distract me. Ron Shapiro came out and began to make the incisions on my head. He did roughly 2000 incisions. Hole sizes were predominantly meant for 2s and 3s. Some 1s for hairline. Ron took his time and did not rush the incisions which was awesome to see. He did them with intent and purpose. I got numbed in the back of my head for extractions and received a back massage + face massage for a distraction. SCORE! Dr. Josephitis came in to perform my extractions and got roughly 1620 Grafts from the middle section of the back of my head: 674 3's | 782 2's | 164 1's Dr. Ron came back out with the technicians and supervised for a bit while they began to implant the grafts. He also made some additional incisions for 1's that Dr. Joe extracted PS: Lunch was amazing! Lunch Break Photos End of Day 1 Surgery Photos Surgery Day 2 Front staff fed me again, provided blankets, movies, etc. Technicians numbed me again for procedure Dr. Ron made an additional 1000 incisions in anticipation of harvesting a total of 3000 grafts. Ron took his time and did not rush the incisions. Dr. Joe finished my extractions on the sides of my head and was able to extract a total of 1600/1700 grafts and exceeded my expectations. Dr. Ron and I were pleasantly surprised here. This surpassed our planned 3,000 graft count and hit 3332. Dr. Ron came back and added more incisions to cover the new grafts. He finished my hairline and advised his technicians on where to place the 1s, 2s and 3s. EDIT: Ron injected 5cc's of exosomes into my scalp which are derived from stem cells. This is supposed to be better than PRP and has major benefits from a single session. SMG has seen great results with hair growth from this treatment, and I decided to give it a shot. This exosomes were diluted to 10ccs and injected all over my scalp. You can learn more about exosomes here. End of Day 2 Surgery Photos FINAL GRAFT INFORMATION COMING SOON Summary All in all, I am super IMPRESSED by the professionalism at SMG. Ron Shapiro did all the incisions in the recipient area while Dr. Joe (Very experienced surgeon) did all the extractions. Dr. Ron supervised and helped the technicians with the implantation. Ron came to the surgery room frequently when the techs were implanting and always made sure I was taken care of. Always took his time to re-asses the hairline and make sure it looked good. Dr Ron & Joe took their time to ensure that the incisions made sense and that the extractions were super clean and spread out. Dr Ron & Joe answered all my questions during the procedure as well and you can tell they are both super passionate about what they do. I got thorough answers and learned a lot in the surgery room. The staff was super friendly and we talked about our lives, kids, family, interests and etc. Made the experience really fun. I would definitely recommend everyone who is looking for a US surgeon to go to SMG as this is a world-class clinic which provided an experience I will never forget. They made my first Hair Transplant an amazing experience and I look forward to returning if I am going to get another procedure. I left the clinic thrilled and ready for my next steps in life. The final graft count is as follows: 1’s - 663 2’s - 1912 3’s - 757
  10. Hi! I met with several clinics virtually. Mostly All from the restoration recommend physician portal on this website. 1/4 had 1 year wait times and were also beyond expensive which was out of my view. Other 3:4 were Hasson and Wong, feller, dorin, true, Konior, erdogan, motion clinic, asme clinic, dr diep, Lindsey. Lindsey and Konior said my hairline wasn’t bad and didn’t really need surgery but PRP and increased dose propecia. The rest all recommended grafts ranging from 800-2k. I narrowed it down to couple clinics who gave me the same grafts, hence why I’m looking at dorin. my age is definitely young for a HT, but with propecia, minoxidil I could prolong it for several years. My hairline from 20-23 hasn’t changed.
  11. Background: 28 years old with a NW2 type recession and very mild thinning in the crown. Family history: Mother’s side has great hair genetics (her father and brother had a full head of hair well into their late years), MPB present with my father and his late father, however, slow and gradual loss, my father is 65 and has more so thinned throughout the top rather than lost hair. I don’t have siblings, and my first cousin who I share my grandfather with from dad’s side, is 36 years old and shows no signs of thinning. * Important to note - I believe that looking at family history could be relevant to some extent, but should not be relied on. If you have experienced hair loss, 95% chance it is from MPB. It's due to genetic variations, your genetics are complex and unique, and MPB is progressive. It is wishful and naive thinking to believe you may “stabilize” one day or try to determine your final form so to say. Prevention: Propecia - Currently 1mg/ED (every day) - Started January 1, 2020 at low dosages, and worked up to 1mg a day. Experimented with 0.25mg EOD (every other day) and gradually increased the dose as I felt comfortable. - More time is necessary to judge entirely how efficacious finasteride has been for me, but I believe it is maintaining my hair. My hope and goal at the core is prevention, any added density or regrowth would be a blessing. Minoxidil - Rogaine 5% Foam 1x per night ED - Started about 1.5 years ago - Love/hate relationship, does occasionally irritate my scalp and other times its fine. The application itself is not a hassle as it takes a couple of minutes to apply, however, I'm not a fan of how it leaves my hair feeling clumped and greasy. - Hoping for the minoxidil sulfate test to come out asap to determine whether or not topical minoxidil is ultimately effective for me. (Might switch to oral) Microneedling - 1.5mm 1x a week, no topicals for 24 hours after session. - I use Dr. Pen microneedling device - Apply it all over my scalp other than my recipient area for the time being. - Takes me around 10 minutes, and I rather enjoy it oddly enough its therapeutic for me Shampoos - Nizarol 2% ketoconazole, Regenpure DR 1% Ketoconazole, Selsun Blue 2.5% (extra strength). - I alternate the use of these. I aim to use nizarol only once a week at most as it drys my scalp, Might use Regenpure once a week on a different day, and will only use Selsun Blue when my scalp feels irritated/itchy, I find this shampoo to be the best at clearing up dandruff and dermatitis. - Otherwise I use some mild organic shampoo without sulfates, that includes all the fancy ingredients like biotin, nettle, tea tree, etc etc & currently using Herbal Glo EOD. Hair Mask - - Occasionally I put on a hair mask, not for prevention towards MPB (will not do anything to address androgenetic activity), but to moisturize my dry scalp. - I use coconut oil, castor oil, pumpkin seed oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil & I use 1 egg yolk that helps bind all the ingredients together so it's not dripping all over the place. Supplements - - Not super important in my opinion, as I have tested my blood levels for deficiencies for many years even before I realized I had hair loss. My Iron, B12, folate etc levels have always been intact. - Still I recommend anyone to test for any deficiencies as they could be hindering healthy hair growth. - I take Vitamin D, MSM, a collagen powder that contains biotin ED. - Cleaned up the diet and started exercising more consistently Considering: Oral Minoxidil - 1 - 2.5mg ED - Still searching for a doctor willing to prescribe it to me Dutasteride - Topical or Oral - 1x a week added to my finasteride regimine CB-03-01 - Topical Anti-Androgen to address remaining androgens in the scalp including testosterone & DHT Restoration - 2,401 FUE with Dr. Rahal on September 9, 2020 My search for a surgeon was narrowed down to Dr. Hasson, Dr. Bisanga & Dr. Rahal. I told myself I would be comfortable going to any of the three as each were very capable doctors for dense hairline work and had over 25+ years of specialization in the industry. Ultimately I made a decision to go with Dr. Rahal as the pandemic offered a unique opportunity for me in terms of timing to get my hair transplant. Being in lockdown meant that I would have the luxury to recover at home for at least the first 4 months, and likely further to 6 or 7 months as well. Dr. Rahal’s clinic offered a date in September that really worked for me, and being the first surgery after a long holiday period that meant 5 days of rest for him and his staff, while also being the only patient they operated on that day were big bonuses for me. Day of Procedure - The surgery went better than I could have hoped for, we started at 6:00 am and finished around 1pm, time seemed to fly by with some conversation with Dr. Rahal and his staff who were all friendly, and I felt little to no pain. Initially I was booked for 2,500 grafts, after drawing up a hairline and doing measurements, they determined they would aim closer to 2,200 grafts. They extracted 2,200 grafts and during the incision process, Dr. Rahal determined I would benefit with 200 more grafts added in for density, they flipped me over and extracted again; to total 2,401 grafts. I was returned the difference as I originally paid for 2,500. Dr. Rahal had two main techs who extracted and implanted the grafts, and I believe I counted 4 other female techs who were under microscopes sorting and analyzing the grafts. The team worked very efficiently and one of the women came over to tell me that “my grafts looked very good”, which was nice for me to hear at that moment and hopefully it wasn’t just something she was saying to make me happy. Dr. Rahal checked into the room once in between extraction and placement, and it seemed he had a lot of trust in his staff. Dr. Rahal’s demeanour is calm and soft spoken, and also gets straight to business. I spent the night at their guesthouse, and my family and I expected to find accommodation at a hotel in Ottawa the following day as I didn’t know what to expect in terms of recovery, however, to my surprise I felt nearly no pain and we left immediately after the post-op the following day (4.5 hour drive back to Toronto from Ottawa). Fun fact, their clinic in Toronto is a total 7 min drive from my home, but the date they had available in Ottawa that week worked much better so we made the trip instead, which we rather enjoyed anyway. Everything considered, I was very happy with my experience on the merits of the work and attention I felt I was getting, minimal pain & swelling, and overall the immediate recipient area looked clean and dense and the donor looked good and healed quickly. My recovery was standard, I took a high level of precaution for the first two weeks, followed their instructions to the T and the post-op rep was always available to answer my questions. Why I chose FUE - For a few reasons. Every doctor I consulted with, including Diep, Zarev, H&W (consultant), Pradeep Sethi, Bisanga and of course Rahal told me I was a great candidate for FUE. I was told my donor had a fairly high capacity that I could tap into in case there was some more recession even on medication. The extracting tech ended up telling me he suspected I could achieve approximately up to another 6k, so in total 8k grafts. The other reason is that ever since I started getting haircuts as a kid on my own, I always kept my sides very short, I’ve always faded my hair and there may not have been a time since I was like 13 that my sides were longer than a 3 or 4 guard. So it was important to me to have this option. Lastly, I felt that FUE may offer a greater exit strategy if down the road things didn’t go according to plan and the Norwood Reaper wins the battle. It might be easier to shave down having done an FUE vs FUT, however, I don’t believe it would be easy with either. Surgery Details: Total grafts: 2,401 Total hairs: 5,458 Average hair per graft: 2.27 Graft break down: Singles - 407 Twos - 1,034 Threes - 857 Fours - 103 Recipient area size: 43cm^2 Recipient graft density: 55.8cm^2 Photo Dump: Clinic Photos: Day 3: Day 10 Day 14 1 Month 2 Months Month 3 This forum helped me get through this process and I'm grateful for it & I wanted to play it forward. I'll try to update month to month, any feedback is appreciated and welcomed. Special thank you to @Melvin-Moderator & @Raphael84 who were very helpful answering the many questions I had.
  12. Let me start by saying that Dr. Diep does not perform place the grafts!! EDIT: From discussion, seems that 90% of clinics, the surgeon does not place the grafts. Assistants do this. And it is standard operating procedure. The above sentence has been updated accordingly as is the post's title. From what I can relate his asstants do it. I'll detail the rest of this process here with pictures and my objective thoughts (insomuch as I can be) here for any others. The jury is still out and I'll reserve the recommendation for others to go to Dr. Diep once I get to through the 12-month post op cycle. Ultimately, it is about the final result. But I'll detail everthing here so others can make informed decisions. Let's start with the hi-level details: Procedure Date: 7/24/20 Gender: Male Ethnicity: Southeast Asian Age: mid-40's Hair-type: Fine straight black Procedure type: FUE 2250 (original estimate), 2337 (final graft count) Cost: $8/per graft ($18,696 total cost) Finasteride - Started May 2020 (once daily @1mg) Minoxidil - Started May 2020 (twice daily to vertex) At the time of this writing, I am 4 days post procedure. The Free Consultation: I initiated contact via the website on 11/3/19. Recieved a confirmed appointment about a week later for 12/26/19, the day after Christmas. 2-month wait period just to speak to Dr. Diep. We discussed FUT for FUE. Being Asian and that our hair tends to grow perpendicularly from our scalps, FUT isn't really an option. Other ethnicities with fine straight hair, growth tends to be perpendicular from the scalp radiating from the vertex. You are luckly in that the FUT strip scar can be hidden better by the way your hair grows from the scalp. But it was FUE all the way for me, being of Southest Asian decent. He drew the proposed hairline with a pen which I was fine with. Mentioned that he would be filling in and blending with my current hairline. I was also fine with this. He explained some payment options and financing. He asked if I was on a restoration plan already or have taken anything to combat hairloss. The answer was no, for which he seemed pleased. I had to ask for a Propecia prescription as he did not offer it. After I raised the subject of propecia, he did tell me where to get it for the best cost savings: Walmart $7/month & Costco $6/month. He said he would have the prescription sent to a Walmart/Costco near me for pick-up. It would take a few days (maybe a week) with me following-up by email before his staff sent the prescription to Walmart near my house for pick-up (I live about 80 miles away from the MHTA clinic). Ultimately, I had trouble getting it fulfilled at Walmart. I ended up getting my Kaiser Dr. to write me a prescription. I feel Dr. Diep should have offered the prescription during the consultation, and he should have written it so that I could just take it in. He gave me a number of the grafts estimate 2200-ish. I asked, "Is that a lot?". "It's a good amount." He responded. "Will you be able to harvest that much from the supply?" "Yeah." Afterwhich, I was lead back out to the lobby and was told when my procedure date would be: 7/24/2020. The only way I could gaurantee that day was if I put down a $1000 dollar deposit which was non-refundable after 1 week. I paid for the deposit then asked if there could be a sooner opening. His office assistant told me that there would always be opportunities for an ealier procedure as folks drop out. Then was asked how much notice I would need before hand to be ready for the procedure. "A month would be best." She asked me to shorten it to a week. I told her I would need minimum 2 weeks (request time off work and procure funds). She said, "Ok. 2 weeks then". Then I was passed to the money lady who took my deposit payment, handed me my financing options, and away I went. The consultation was brief but I did feel good about it. Post-Consultation Follow-up (12/26/19-till-7/24/20). Early Procedure Opportunities Little if any contact is initiated from MHTA. Emails with payment reminder notifications mostly, some spatterings that follow-up dicussions with Dr. Diep were available through Skype appointment. COVID-19 hit between my consultation and the date of the procedure. Before the pandemic really hit, I had two early procedure opportunities that I was not ready for (mostly due to financial constraints). By this time anyway, the non-refundable $1000 deposit was lost to me. Ultimately, I had to wait the almost 8-month period of my original procedure date. Full payment was due 2-weeks before the procedure, which I was able to make. Some slight issues with charging the amount to the bank requiring the payment to be split up into two transactions. MHTA took care of that (of course they would, right?) But each time I called in to ask for information to confirm my procedure date/time or to ask a question, I was always told they needed to call me back. Which would be a up to a day later. This tells me that MHTA has a terrible organizational system. Definitely, this statement I am making is a criticism. Also, this would manifest again on the day of the procedure which I shall detail later. Day of Procedure: Finalizing the Business Stuff The call time was 7:30am sharp. I walked in right on time and entered into a seemingly empty office. Some 5 minutes passed before I someone came to attend to me. Then I was asked for my name, which I found odd. The person attending to me then searched through a stack of papers before saying. "Ok, Mr. ----. I need you to fill out these papers. We will be serving lunch to you. You can order anything but no spicy food, no caffiene, and no carbonated drinks." I should have been greeted with something like, "Hi! Are you Mr. ------?" but I was not. You would think the staff would at least be prepared enough to know who was on deck for an operative procedure that day but that wasn't the case. I was put off by this. The papers that needed to be filled were mostly about allergies to medicine. If I would like two additional recovery treaments at a $600 price each. If I would allow them to shave my head (I answered no, but should have answered yes). If they were not able to harvest through FUE, if they could take grafts from a FUT procedure (I answered no). If I the grafts that I already paid for were not sufficient, would they be allowed to extract up to 100, then 300, or leave it to Dr. Diep's to figure out; a blank check of grafts if you will (I originally answered no). Then there were the disclaimers. No lawsuits. Agree to arbitration. Mind you, I've already paid for the procedure. Don't you think this sort of stuff should have been brought up for agreement before hand? About an hour after I arrived, I finally was able to see Dr. Diep in his office. We had to cover business stuff. I relented on some of my original answers and allowed him to harvest beyond the estimated 2250 grafts (In the end, 87 extra grafts were extracted for a total of 2337 grafts). Honestly, I understand the graft amount is an estimate. But I feel this is some corrupt auto industry-type billing. A trained doctor should be able to give an estimated range to the patient. If under, then the patient should be due some money back. If over, some transparency would go a long way to fostering confidence for the patient to at least know what they are up against. This running up billable hours/events practice is off-putting. I am pretty sure, no one has left Dr. Diep's office with a windfall. Before I was lead out of his office, there were two final things that I found peculiar. One was this question: "What do you do for a living?". Then the cocktail of pills I had to take that included Xanax. I stupidly answered the question. Then later realized that it could be used to run up billing/hours events. As for the Xanax, I've lived a wild life and know what Xanax is used for recreationally. I would find out later why it was given to me. Day of Procedure: Operations Prep I was given a smock to change into. Then directed to the restroom where I was told to use it as I wouldn't be able to later. There was no mirror in the restroom. My personal belongings were to be kept in the cupboard in front of the operating chair. Then my blood pressure and temperature were taken. I was then told I could lay back in the chair which was uncomfortable as heck. There were pillows which would have helped, but I was not offered them until I asked for them. I was on the chair for another hour before the procedure started. As I waited, I must have asked if Dr. Diep was with another patient. He was. Then I asked how many procedures they do a day. The answer was 2. My procedure was scheduled for 12 hours. Around 10am, Dr. Diep walked in and asked me if I was ready. "Let's do it." I answered. Then I was wrapped up so my head could be shaved. Regarding the shaving, I understand the donor site must be shaved for extraction. But the receipient site was also shaved back. This would add to the recovery time. Shaving the receipient site is to ease the procedure for the clinic, not taking into account how off-putting this would be for the patient. The entire sides of my head was shaved. The back shaved up to the vertex. The front shaved from the hairline to the vertex. As a man, I wear my hair long, shoulder length. I expected a 90's boy band shave around the sides and back. I was left with a rooster puff/Roman praetorian helmet hairdo, although it was sideways. I did not allow them on record to shave my head bald. And they didn't. But the shave job I was left with effectively rendered me with needing to shave my head all the way on my own after a few days of recovery, which I did. I can't imagine if you are a woman that this would fly. as a man, I am fine with it. But it is clearly a sign of not putting the patient first. The woman that shaved my head would play a bigger part in all of this later. As the shaving is going on, I was given general anesthesia for what I was told "to relax me". One shot to each upper arm. Now the procedure call time was an early 7:30am. I am not a morning person, plus I slept maybe 3-4 hours the night before. I ended up being under most of the time. Then I was told the worst part of all this was going to occur: administration of the local anesthesia which required about 20 needle shots to my forehead and around my scalp. Yeah, it did suck and was painful. But that was no where near being the worst part. The worst part was yet to come. Day of Procedure: Into the Procedure I must have fell asleep sometime after the local anesthesia was administered. But I woke up at some point during parts of the extraction due to pain and discomfort. No biggie. I told Dr. Diep I was in a bit of pain. He told me to let him know if I felt pain. And I could feel him administer more local anesthesia. Then I went under again. Don't know if I was given more general anesthesia. But what needs to be called out at this point is that this was the last time I was aware that Dr. Diep was hands on with the procedure. I did not see him or hear his voice again until the very end. I didn't see him as we broke for lunch. I didn't see him as we returned from lunch. Later when I woke up during the grafting, I did not see or even hear his voice during the most important part of the procedure: the grafting. From what I know, Dr. Diep was hands on only during administration of local anesthesia and parts of the donor extraction. We broke for lunch. Dr. Diep's assitants handed me my food and drink. I finished it. Used the batchroom. Then was lead back to the chair which looked quite awful from the blood and fluid drip. I could feel the blood and fluid drip on my back through the smock. Now I know it wasn't a good idea to be handed another smock to change into as that would risk grafts being yanked out. But at least they could have changed the beddings on the operating chair during lunch. It looked like I was climbing into the pits of a meat processing plant. I went under again after I climbed into the chair. Don't know if I was administered more anesthesia or not. I came to on the precipice of full consiciousness. The Xanax in full effect as the television playing in the background made me utter a silly joke. Then the worst part of the procedure came into play. The joke I uttered drew a response from two female voices. It was then that I realized, the artistry that Dr. Diep speaks of in his Youtube videos and where he gained his reputation and skill from years of experience was not being performed by the board certified surgeon I hired to perform the transplant. The woman that shaved my head worked on my left side. Some other woman worked on my right side. I know nothing of either's qualifications and did not know before hand anyone other than Dr. Diep would be handling any part of the grafting procedure. I asked some question, specifics of which I don't remember. But the answer I received was "Dr. Diep just tells us how the grafts are to be applied and that's all we do." I went under again. Now I know why the Xanax was given to me. EDIT: From discussion with other forum members, assistants placing the grafts into the incisions is done at 90% of all other clinics. So I do feel better now. But that also does not change that coming to know this during the middle of the procedure was the worst part of the procedure. You can read further discussion on this subject in subsequent replies. Finally, it was done at some time around 10pm. I finally see Dr. Diep. He mentions two things: He was able to keep the extra graft amounts to right around 2300 (from 2250), which was good. And he mentioned that I moved around a lot. Then he walked out. His assistant gives me final instructions, meds, head wraps, fluid barriers. As I grabbed my stuff, I found the only mirror in the operating room. It was laying on the counter. A frosted brown tree branch covered parts of the mirror. I could see the some of the early results. It looked good. But I was very disappointed with the shave job. The assistant then walked me out. At this point, some of the misgivings I woke up to by finding that two people other than Dr. Diep had worked on the grafts had been temporarily forgotten. I was just happy the job was over. I drove the 80 or so miles home. I know I shouldn't have but I felt fine and made it home safely. Post Procedure: Day 1-4 DAY 1: Saturday There was significant swelling on the right side of my head. But there was no pain the day after. Just some discomfort. I felt no itching either. I could now have a close look at the job that was done. In looking at the receipient site, I could clearly see the differing result of having two separate people of varing skill worked on either side. The right side clearly shows some grape-vinyard like rows that you would see across a hillside winery. Some of that was also visible on the left side, but less so. The woman that worked on the left side was the one that shaved my head. She must have been the senior-most assistant as her work was better. I have no idea which of the women worked on the right side. But the right side was clearly inferior work. In looking at the donor site, the incisions did not look bad. But I came to an immediate conclusion in that there was no donor grafts left. This is going to be a one shot deal. In looking at the new hairline. I do like the shape and do think it will work with my face. I have a big forehead and head overall. But I am ok with the hairline's arc. I am not so sure about the feathering and naturalness of it. It is very much a line. I am following the hygiene guidelines to the letter. DAY 2: Sunday Swelling on the right side of my face/head began to subside. I am feeling fine. Some discomfort. Lots of secretions still. But less than after the first night. I can't believe I am saying this, but thank God for the pandemic. The shave job they gave me is horrible. Good thing we are locked in. I order a set of clippers from Walmart. They arrive tomorrow. I look forward to shaving off the rest of this rooster top that is left on my head. I am still following the hygiene guidelines. DAY 3: Monday Swelling on the right side of my face/head is almost completely gone. But has flowed into my right eye area. My eye is now completely black & blue, darn near swollen shut. I am feeling fine otherwise. Some tingling. No pain. A random itch here and there. I am taking the swelling and infection meds. Skipping the pain and sleeping meds that I've been given. I am still following the hygiene guidelines. By the late afternoon, I get the follow-up call. I tell them I am fine and am only taking the swelling and infection meds. I'm told the other meds are to be taken on an as needed basis. The conversation quickly goes into the business part. There were 87 extra grafts taken at $8 per graft. An extra amount of $696 which I'd have to pay. I am fine with the extra payment and let Dr. Diep's office assistant know when I expect to make payment. By now I remember waking up to find two people other than Dr. Diep performing the grafts. I want to speak to him to express my misgivings. I am told even a phone discussion is going to have to be scheduled and that he would be out the following week. Or I can send an email in. Nooooo. I want to speak to Dr. Diep. Email is not going to cut it. I want to ask how many grafts can be harvested if I need a follow-up procedure. I want to ask why he did not perform the grafts. I want to ask about the qualifications of the people that performed the grafts. I want to know what the follow-up schedule is going to be like. I hang up the phone. Knowing from experience that it is always best to get things in writing, I call back and ask for a written invoice for what I owe and state I will not make further payment until I receive it. I am told it will be sent to my email. As of this writing a day later, I have yet to receive that final invoice. DAY 4: Tuesday The clippers arrive. I carefully shave what is left of my once shoulder length hair. I am clean shaven for the first time in my life. But am looking forward to using the medicated shampoo to on the receipient site for the first time I drip on lather. It feels good. I gently squeeze lukewarm water from the sponge to rinse it off. In the heat of summer it air dries quickly. I feel some weight off my head. My blackend right eye is getting better. Some bruising can now be seen near my right ear. My left eye is beginning to swell up. No blackening or blueing on the left eye however. I am looking foward to getting beyond Day 7. The sensation in the donor site goes from being mildly discomforting to a near soft heat radiating on the back of my head. It is not warmth that I feel. It is more of a reminder than there are close to 3000 holes poked in the back of my head. ========================================= If you've gotten this far, you can put together for yourself there are some flaws with Dr. Diep's practice. I'll try to be objective as possible so that you can make your own decisions. I'll edit this post with pics shortly. But let me ask for those that have had work done with Dr. Diep, who performed the grafts? Did Dr. Diep do them for you? If YES, are you happy with the results? If NO, are you happy with the results?
  13. Sorry your in so much pain. Have you now been in contact with Dr Diep ?
  14. *As I’m writing this, I’m 8 days post-op Hey fellas, I hope you all are doing well. I’ve decided to share my hair transplant journey with you guys. About 2 weeks ago, I had a transplant performed by Dr. John Diep in Los Gatos California. I decided to go with him because he specializes in curly hair. As a black man, I couldn't go with a regular surgeon. Another user by the name of “Norman Osborne Waves” inspired me to share my journey. I’ve decided to play my part and help my fellow brothers out. I won’t reinvent the wheel, I’ll more or less use Norman’s template to share my journey. Background Information I’m currently 26 years old. I started losing hair around 2015 when I was 21 years old. The hair loss mainly occurred in the hairline area. I was losing my hair very slowly at first, but by 2017 it started accelerating. Like pretty much everybody around here, I jumped on Rogaine. For a little while, Minoxidil helped me stabilize my hair loss. This was very short lived. I soon understood that Rogaine wasn't going to fix the issue. I needed a more aggressive treatment, so in 2018 I started using Finasteride. I've been on Propecia for a little more than 2 years, and it really slowed down my hair loss. When I started this treatment, I really hoped that my hair density would improve. Unfortunately, it has pretty much been the same for the past year. Luckily, when my hair is long (wolfed out), the hair loss isn’t that noticeable. However, I can’t wear my hair any shorter than that. If I do so, too much of my scalp is exposed. * Hair long with a line-up from the barber * Hair short with no line up Consultation Anyways, around March this year, after watching countless videos on YouTube, I’ve decided to get a hair transplant. Initially, I was supposed to go with another surgeon. As great as that surgeon is, I soon realized that his surgeries involving black people didn’t yield good results. My second option was going with Asli Tarcan, but then Covid-19 struck and going to Turkey became way to difficult for me (I’m Canadian btw). One day, I stumbled across Dr. Diep’s Youtube channel and that same night I sent him an inquiry. · Because of Corona Virus, I couldn’t really go to California, so we decided to have a facetime consultation. Based on the pictures I sent him, he recommended I get 1500 grafts. · The next day, his staff follows-up with me, and we schedule an appointment for September 18th. Luckily for me, because of Covid-19 he had a lot of cancellations. From what I’ve gathered online, he usually has a way longer waiting list. · The 5 months that proceeded might’ve been the longest 5 months of my life. Especially with this covid-19 situation… The border being closed, I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to get in the U.S. Pre-Op After what seemed to be forever, September finally came around. I flew to San Jose on the 16th. During my stay, I stayed at a hotel that the clinic recommended, a Residence Inn which is 2 minutes away from it. The next day I went to the clinic to pick up my pre-op package which consisted of a sponge and a shampoo. The night before the surgery, I was super anxious, and I think I slept like 2 hours. I arrived at the clinic at 5:30 am. I completed some paperwork, and at 6:00am, I was finally inside the doctor’s office. I soon realized that the pictures I sent him of my hairline were a little misleading. My hair was too long in that picture. He then recommended that I get 2000 grafts instead. To ensure getting good results, I went for it. Surgery They gave me some pills. I don’t really remember what they were, but I know they made me really drowsy. I then put on a hospital gown and we got started. As much as I want to describe the surgery, I don’t really remember what happened to be honest. I slept through most of it. I just caught some glimpses of it here and there. Before falling asleep, I do remember them asking me if I wanted to shave all of hair or only the donor area. I told them to only shave the donor. That was a BIG MISTAKE lol. The surgery was painless for the most part. When he gave me anesthesia/stitches on the back of my head, I won’t lie, I nearly cried though. I vividly remember talking to Dr. Diep during the surgery, so I know he was there for the most part. However, his technicians were the ones who inserted the hair in the recipient area. At 5:00pm, we were pretty much done. They took some pictures, give me some post care information and I took an Uber back to the hotel. Post-Op The You can't really see from it from the picture, but the hair density seems really good. Hopefully, it’ll more of less stay that way. When it comes to the post-op side effect, my head was super swollen and numb. They gave me a travel pillow for me to sleep on. I didn’t really get to sleep much that night as it incredibly uncomfortable/painful, the donor area was still too sensitive. I'll give you a super quick breakdown of my first 8 days. The day after the surgery The white film/residue and the blood has dried. My head is still very swollen. I noticed that I have a bruise on my forehead aswell. Day 4 Today was the first day I washed the donor area. The numbness has considerably gone down. My head isn't really swollen anymore. Day 7 Everything is more or less the same. However, as a side note, you can notice that when my hair is long, you can't notice that hair is thinner around the mild scalp area. Day 8 Today was my first wash. I was really concerned that my scalp was "whitish", but after lurking across this forum, I realize that it's pretty common after the first wash.
  15. Hey Everyone. Just wanted to share my 1.5 Year update of my FUE with Dr. Diep. I had 2 transplants, with ~5000 grafts total Was on minoxidil for about 8 years before my first surgery, but hit a plateau around on the 4 year mark. Even after upping the dosage I was still receding horribly. Tried PRP, Laser hair therapy, all of that stuff. There are still some issues I see with density behind the temples, but there was literally nothing there at all just a few years ago. Still have a very strong donor area, and everything looks good when I keep a haircut every couple of weeks or so. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with where I'm at. You guys can take a look at the video I made below for a full view if you'd like.
  16. I am very impressed by the overall experience with Dr. Diep’s office. The hair transplant was successful, and I would highly recommend Dr. Diep. and Medical Hair Transplants & Aesthetics.
  17. Hello everyone, After much thought and consideration i have decided to share my Hair transplant journey. I first initially noticed my hair loss at the age of 26 which started off mild with the receding of my hair line and thinning of hair behind it . By the age 30 it had advanced to a more aggressive form and i began to seek help. My head is naturally large so a receding hairline with thinning shows pretty bad. I begin my search for help in 2018 after searching all over the country i ran across Dr Diep and his Famous YouTube videos, Also DR Diep has been proven to be a specialist for AA men. I contacted his office in 2019 but never moved forward with procedure until 2020 which now i am 33 years old. So to make a long story short one of my associates, an ( African American ) man did a Fue 2100 grafts with Dr Diep in November of 2019 . After 8 months of seeing his results i was convinced and assured that a Hair transplant was my solution to my hair loss. I contacted Dr Diep's office in May of 2020 to schedule a consultation with Dr Diep. After consulting with Dr Diep via FaceTime due to Covid 19 he recommend FUE 2250 grafts. I immediately scheduled surgery which was set for May 2021. From curiosity and anticipation i called Dr Diep's office asking if i could somehow get an earlier date maybe if someone cancelled. The next day his staff contacted me and let me know there was a February 2, 2020 date available i took it and surgery was scheduled. The Goal of this procedure was to lower hairline and fill in with whatever was left. 1mm Norwood 3/4 This post is a work in progress so please let me know if there's anything you would like me to add this is my first time . i will be doing weekly updates for now and taking all questions Thank you Before Procedure Pics
  18. I haven't done much research but getting transplant surgery from Dr. Diep in Los Gatos, California on Wed July 21. I am nervous to say the least. 1. How soon can I do any office work from home with video turned off and with video on? I have extremely important meeting next day? Usually do people have enough energy and senses to be in meeting next day after transplant? 2. How long before I can wear something on my head to turn on video. My company requires video to be on for all calls 3. They are going to offer AminoFill and A-cell as per the first Zoom conversation. Is either useful or beneficial and worth the extra price of $500 each? 4. We have a family vacation coming up. Usually (I know everyone is different) when can one go out and look like a monster and even spent a couple of hours on the beach? 5. What else should I keep in mind for successful transplant and less anxiety/nervousness? Thanks in advance for any help/pointers.
  19. ontop

    Dr Diep

    Getting peed off with Dr Diep. Spent a small fortune with him back in 2017 with HT & trying to get my prescription filled with him & surgery is becoming a fight everytime & I don't call very often bugging him or anything. Made a phone call to his surgery they made me a appointment for a quick chat on phone, standard stuff, takes like 30 seconds basic questions between patient & Dr & they staff made me wait 3 wks for a quick phone appointments chat at 930pm my time & 630 California time. Then set my calendar to date & time waited for the call till 10pm & nothing, called surgery no answer & could not even leave a message due to VM inbox fill up. Sent a email same night 2 days later reply was sorry for inconvenience we have rescheduled you in August to speak with Dr Diep. Are they real or what? We all know that Dr Diep bedside manners are not good but this is piss poor post service to his past patients who spent a lot of money with him. I'm well pissed off & 3 wks ago at the start I ask the girl can you not refill my prescription? She said point blank no you have to speak with Dr....okay so now today email says they can fill it while I wait till August.......well why didn't that 3 wks ago then? Need to find a different method in getting my Meds cas Dr Diep & his surgery is hard work & not very good commications I like the guy but still.....( shake head, roll eyes) just to get a dam prescription called in is a act of congress. Before admin ask no I don't want you guys to get involved but want to give people here heads up of what his & his surgery ways are especially past patients & must be noted for the community to see. Anyways Rant over just wanted to vent a second😉🙄👍❤
  20. Hello all, I'm new to the forum, and eagerly working to find the right doctor in Turkey. I'm currently a NW4, and I'm hopeful to get an HT in the next few months. I've been looking for places in Turkey, primarily because I flat out can't afford to go anywhere in the US. The issue I am having is that it is exceptionally difficult to find reviews of African American hair being done anywhere other than Asli Tarcan or HOI, and I am not going to be going to either of those. Far too many of the Asli Tarcan transformation I have seen, they destroy the donor area. HOI is unfortunately out of my price range in a post-Floyd Mayweather world. Does anyone have any suggestions for where I can search for Afro FUE in Turkey? If any of you have gone somewhere other than Asli Tarcan or HOI, I'd love to hear your results. I'm hoping no one tells me to go to Diep... I'm like an hour away from him and I can't afford it lol. Thanks to everyone for all of the information you guys contribute to the hair loss community.
  21. @BeHappy I'm 2.5 years past surgery. The transplant hairline hair is pretty curly while the native/natural hairline hair is straight/unremarkable. My donor hair can be curly if I grow my hair out, so perhaps it is just a result of the transplant hair naturally being curly. Or it may have been a surgery error. Regardless, product tames it into a good hairstyle. So while its kind of annoying to use product all the time, my hair can still look great and I've learned to just live and accept it. At the same time, last yr I had a consult with Dr. Diep about it and he said it is not too uncommon, and hair can soften/straighten up to 3-5 years. So I have hope, but still look great with product regardless. Thanks for your comments on shampooing! Really helpful.
  22. This is just to share my experience with FUT from Dr. Diep. Will try to update this thread pictures throughout the year and final review. Hopes this helps others add another data point when making a decision. Schedule the appoinment back in early January 2020, earliest appointment time was October. Did get an email for earlier appoinment in May, but couldn't make it. Details: Total Cost: $17,000.00 + $1,888.48 (Extra Grafts) = $18,888.48 Procedure: FUT Date: 2020-10-19 Grafts: ~3680 Norwood scale: V It's only been about a three weeks (in shedding phase). Waiting til 8-12 months before posting a review. But here are some of the initial concerns I had with Dr. Diep: - Hairs graft placed in rows. - Wish they just shaved my all of head instead of giving me a tonsure-like hair cut. *They requested that I keep my hair long. I guess this help with the procedure. - I did not see Dr. Diep a lot during the placement of the grafts. Was a total of three times for a total of 15-30 minutes during the 12 hours procedure. Reason likely is that the following day I stopped in the office for hair wash of the donor area. Met fellow patient who had FUE procedure yesterday (Same day as my FUT procedure). So Dr. Diep is doing multiple procedures throughtout the day and dividing his time. - FUT scar is bigger on the left side then the right - No follow ups from MHTA Clinic after, you need to follow up them. Takes a while to hear back sometimes. These are just initial concerns; wanted to write them down so I don't forget and help others. Wish I found this site before before procedure. However if after 12 months if I have great result (*subjective*), then I don't mind brushing some of these concerns off. Pictures: Before: One day after: Five days after:
  23. It's harder to notice more density and volume when you analyze it closely every day. However, your hair will continue to grow into the 12 month mark and fill in. I thought I was not getting any progress from Month 7 to 8, but when I looked at photos from each month, there is a marked difference. I would only start to analyze your hair transplant results at 12 months and reach out to Dr. Diep if there is anything you do not like. However, this is quite the transformation and it's looking great imo. Lastly, I got a haircut which made my transplant hair look weaker when compared to prior months and made me freak out. It looked like I thinned out and I got super concerned. My recommendation is to let the front grow out and use a clay or styling gel to provide a uniform look. I picked up some Aveda clay which volumizes the hair and lets me style it to make it look more dense. It's a natural look (no shine) and really helps the transplanted look. It's pricey but worth it: https://www.aveda.com/product/17776/16733/styling/mens-styling/aveda-men-pure-formance-grooming-clay#/shade/2.5_fl_oz%2F75_ml Also, you may want to up your frequency of Fin as twice a week will have little effect. I recommend Mon, Wed, Fri and then increase it to M/W/F/Su once you are comfortable with it three times a week.
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