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My Story

  1. I am getting back on this forum because it is getting closer to the time that I will be ready to pick and schedule my next transplant. I am sure a lot of you recognize me here is a link to my previous main thread. https://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/topic/52580-dr-koray-erdogan-5000-grafts/ I am currently favoring Dr. Diep for my 3rd surgery because I have seen a lot of high yield results from him and he uploads good results to YouTube every weekend. I'm wanting to get back in here and see what other well established top surgeons people are talking about with the best track records of high yield reliable surgeries with consistency. I'm not really concerned with cost as I am willing to go to diep which charges $8 per graft. I simply want to optimize my chances at a great result with high yield while being conscious of my remaining donor area. Who are the best surgeons as of late that people are talking about? Is it still the usual? Diep, h&w, Freitas,... I only want FUE
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. My first response from Freitas was that he's not able to do a surgery on me because of the density of my donor hair. I find this strange because diep, hw, couto, konior all recommended 1500-2250 grafts for my surgery. Hw estimated I have upward of the high 2000s to 3000 grafts left. The pic I sent Freitas does have my head faded so it's hard to tell the density so I sent him some more with it less faded. For example here is a screenshot of my head when I had it grown out.
  5. Well folks I finally took the plunge after Holding off for about 25 years . A little background about myself, I’ve first notice thinning around my mid 20’s . I’m almost 50 now. I remember having a blind date and all she thought was the younger me without the hair loss. When she met me , She asked where all my hair went... awkward situation but she ended sticking with my for a year nonetheless. Later on I started finasteride and was able to keep the hair that I had dated more women and got married . When I got married I stayed off finasteride due to side effects . After the divorce in 2016...I knew I had to do something with my hair so I went back on finasteride and got good results except the crown and mid scalp .. then I met a gal in 2019 and I knew I had to give up finasteride if I was going to have a sexual relationship. But within half a year after giving it up I notice tremendous hair loss again. All my after the hair loss I stopped taking pictures except a few with my kids . That’s how much it was affecting my life here is what I ended up looking like After giving up finasteride
  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. Hey, so I have waned back and forth whether or not to write a review but I decided it might help those who need it and I don't want people to feel the pain I have. There is so much stuff I could say so I might omit some and it might be poorly written but I hope enough to tell my story. The videos at the bottom are probably better than the pictures I have. Basically, I was balding since 18 which is hilarious because my father in his 70s still has a full head of hair. My grandfather also went bald early. By the time I was mid 20s it pretty much was all gone. I tried everything. Finasteride / Dutasteride (bad side effects so I stopped), Rogaine, some other things I can't remember the name of that you rubbed on your head and stained pretty much everything, minerals, etc. I was desperate and depressed. Nothing really worked. During 2009, I started to look for hair transplants even though I was broke. I figured I was going to learn as much as I could, read as many reviews as I could, and try to find the right surgeon no matter the location. I thought I did, but reviews came in saying the surgeon’s results were very hit or miss, so I decided I might do one of the proteges if I had the money but I decided to keep searching. It's not like I had the money anyway. So, a few more years goes by hoping to save up and finally managed to get earn enough by 2016. So, seven long years since I first started and I decided I was start fresh and start looking for a new surgeon. I joined https://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com because it seemed that it tried to be non-bias except for the people who worked for a surgeon, but those were obvious biases. I looked and looked. I was a Norwood 6/7 so I knew FUE wasn't going to cut it. To get the most, I needed to do multiple FUT and then FUE to even have a chance. I didn't really care about the scar as I cared about being bald. So, I looked for 4000+ FUT reviews and photos and compared so many surgeons. I eventually limited it down to a few, sat on that list and kept looking for possibly better ones. I didn't really find too many, so I looked at my list and decided to book consultations with doctors. I was hesitant and embarrassed because they wanted photos of all my bald head. I did it anyway and booked a consultation with a doctor I felt I might do a good job. The doctor was Dr. John Diep in California. He has consistent results for FUT even though some reviewers had some over harvest concerns for FUE. But I was going for FUT as of now and was going to need a shitload off grafts anyway. So, I chatted and he said I had very advanced hair loss (obvious) and would need multiple surgeries. He said he was booked for like 9 months and to schedule a surgery if you felt comfortable. I kept looking but I felt I had done enough research and decided to go with Dr. Diep. I had to reschedule the first surgery for very personal and painful reasons regarding my family so I won't get into that but Dr. Diep understood and told me reschedule the surgery because of what happened. So next month I go back and everything goes as scheduled and I get ready for surgery. He said he would try to do as much as he could for the front half with FUT. It was around 4500 FUT with focus on the hairline and front. I go in and out of consciousness in surgery and before I knew it, it was 7:00 PM. I was there for almost 14 hours. The nurse gives me instructions of what to do and be careful with not bumping your head. I go back to the Airbnb and sleep upright all night until I have to go back for a checkup the next morning. They slightly clean the area and put another cap on. I get a TSA pass so I won't have to remove anything and fly back to Florida where luckily, I have some time off and my brother would help me with things while I healed. I follow everything to the letter and take what I need. My whole head felt weird but the again I had surgery. I sleep up every night and some of the pills help me with the pain and sleep for the first few days. Few months goes by and I hit the ugly duckling phase. No hair and now a nice linear scar. But thanks to forums and such, I knew this was normal. Several months later I start to see some progress and at the six-month mark, I felt confident in the results enough so far to book another session to finish the back. So long story short, I do it again except this time it is 3100 FUT. I try to do everything the same or at least better. It was less stressful but still stressful nevertheless. Luckily, I see some decent growth around the same timeline as the last surgery. My hair was thin but more or less got full coverage. Dermatch and Toppik when applied helped fill in some of the areas. The video of me here is four years past my first surgery and three years past my second. 7600 FUT in total. So, some advice: PRE-SURGERY: -Do research like you are studying for law school -Know that no surgeon is perfect -Look for consistency with doctors -Do it for ONLY yourself and don't feel bad about spending the money. I could have bought a new Lexus but I don't care. I rather would have done the surgeries. -Be extremely careful and follow all instructions of the doctor -Buy a good neck pillow. The ones they give you aren't great. -Hope for the best.
  8. Some background: 28, Male Hair loss noticeable since 21 Hair loss seems to be heavy diffuse thinning, combined with hairline/temple regression Started finasteride and am currently on it for about 2 months Asian hair, fine, thin Got on a call with Dr. Diep and he quoted two options: 2250 FUE ($17,000) or 2500 FUT ($13,000). What would this forum recommend? Some thoughts and questions: As a diffuse thinner, I'm weary of my donor area being overharvested during FUE. I'm open to multiple surgeries over time. Thus, FUT seems better. I'm seeing a lot of people being quoted ~3000-3500 grafts for FUT. I was only quoted 2500 FUT. Any theories why? After seeing Diep's YT videos and being located near his office, I am excited to choose Diep. However, there are a few negative reviews about him on this forum. Should I exercise caution and look into another doctor? Diep seems to specialize in hairline and I definitely need one. How bad is Diep's FUT scar? After surgery, is it particularly gnarly and eventually heals into something more acceptable over time? I live with family and don't want to come home sporting a bloody, mangled scar. Any Asians who did FUT or FUE with Diep and would recommend? I am desperate to look for success stories for people similar to me and my loss pattern. I could write an essay on how miserable this HL process has been, but I'm happy to have this forum and look forward to everyone's input and help. Thanks!
  9. Yeah I considered them a long time ago when I was debating between them and diep and I had my mind set on diep for awhile but I'm hesitant to go with him now because of some things I've seen on the patient posted results here so now I am looking at as many results from hw and Freitas as I can to choose between them.
  10. 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.
  11. Hi everyone, Im making this thread because there might be alot of guys out there in my situation, I was a diffuse norwood 6 thinner with retrograde alopecia, before deciding to do a hair trasnpant I often searched hair loss forums, members would constantly dissuade individuals from receiving hair restoration because of extensive hairloss. At 29 years old I decided to do it, I had my first procedure with Dr. Behnam in Santa Monica I had 1,800 grafts put in my midscalp in a diffuse pattern. I recently decided to have 2,120 grafts implanted to my hairline by Dr. Diep in Los Gatos, im one week post op, but I just wanted to address some apprehensions. When deciding to have hair restoration you need to first stabilize hairloss, ive been on minoxidil and ketocanozole shampoo for over 4 years, no hair regrowth but my hairloss hasn't gotten much worse, I tried Finasteride but couldn't handle the sides, but I encourage everyone to at least try it. Secondly, what is your goal realistically, it should be always be natural, address the hairline, midscalp and lateral humps first and foremost, the crown must be something you're willing to leave thin or completely bald. Thirdly, you must be willing to step outside the box should worst case scenario come in to play, what I mean by this is that you must be willing to invest your time and money if the hair transplant should not come to fruition, for example I have average to below average donor density due to my retrograde alopecia, my hair characteristics are fairly good though, so I plan to use as much of my donor as possible with the possibility of going over 50% donor density. My back up plan is body hair transplant (BHT) to the donor area to make up for the donor depletion, luckily I have alot of body hair I could probably use over 30,000 follicular units just on body hair alone. I also wear my hair short on the sides so the change in hair characteristics from body hair to scalp wont be too apparent in the donor area. All things considered, MONEY, what I plan on doing will cost me the price of a brand new Mercedez Benz, are you in a position to afford this? Is it worth it to you? I truly dislike when people automatically write off Norwood 6/7 as hopeless, there is still hope if you have managed your hair loss and have realistic expectations, with body hair transplantion you're not solely reliant on hair from your scalp anymore. So with out further ive attached some pics of my first procedure before and after exactly 14 months post op, picture taken same place same lighting with Crew hair wax (not a concealer just hair product). The other pictures attached are my recent hair transplant sides and donor area. Its been exactly 8 days since I had the procedure done, both procedure were done via FUE.
  12. @JohnAC71, it seems FUT is my best option. I lean towards Diep since he has a long history of good results (albeit with some controversy) and he lives right in my area. Healing from surgery while being on home turf eases a lot of the anxiety. That being said, Bloxham is also another great option and I'm considering him greatly. His FUT scars are nearly invisible and his transparent honesty in his videos is extremely appealing. I just can't seem to figure out why Diep's results are more spectacular than Bloxham's, who seems to go for a more conservative approach to hair restoration. Ironically, Diep quoted me 2500 FUT while Bloxham quoted me 3000 FUT. So if anything, Diep is the conservative one in this situation. Not sure what to make of that. Perhaps Diep just has more experience eyeballing Asian hair from pictures (Bloxham's YT channel seems to only feature 1 Asian guy on it). Edit: Further thoughts seem to be I'd be rolling the dice with Diep, or I could go for the more conservative, consistent Bloxham.
  13. *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.
  14. I am Diep's patient and my FUT scar is undetectable after about 6 month. Here are the latest photos.
  15. This could be a bit of a specific target, but I was wondering if anyone on this forum could recommend HT surgeons who have a demonstrated history of success working with: Asian hair Asian hairlines FUT, density I'm currently looking at Dr. Diep as my favorite, but there have been some concerning threads lately and I am now exploring alternatives. Thank you for your help!
  16. Sorry folks, work is getting crazy and I skipped my month 10 update. I decided to wait another month to get the haircut, and there was no real different than the month prior. Here is my month 11 update. Just got a fresh haircut this weekend. You can tell my overall hair is looking better but I think it is more to do with longer length than the density. It definitely passes the eye test and I got quite a few complements on looking younger. It is exciting to get the same hairstyle that I had in my 30's. Frankly, the whole hair transplant meets my expectation but definitely was hoping for more. I am still on Fin 3 days a week and Min mousse every day. Btw, I did not reach out to Diep. Frankly, not sure does it make any real difference. Anyway, here are the photos.
  17. Looking for US only. Not single anymore, can't just take off for a couple of weeks on some medical vacation 🙂 So why are you not a fan of Diep. Did you get work done by him? @Melvin, I'm not spreading false information about Diep. I'm just repeating what I learned on this site. And of course if I'm not confident about going with Diep I'll find someone else, which is why I'm on this site. To learn and make an informed and confident decision. I started reading this thread today. It started out very negatively. In fact he said half of his forehead was done by an experienced tech, the other half was like grapevine by a non-experienced tech. The thread is a like novel. I jump to the end and his result seems to look pretty good. https://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/topic/57329-fue-experience-wdr-diep-mhta-clinic/ Then, there's this other novel of a thread, where he almost went to Diep but ended up with Shapiro. Look forward to reading that whole thread too. https://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/topic/58171-3332-fue-grafts-dr-ron-shapiro-dr-josephitis-smg/
  18. I tend to agree. I appreciate all the help Melvin gives to this forum, but sometimes he is just plain stubborn. Anyone can see that Jim’s hair was planted in a cornrow fashion. His hair looks “good” despite Dieps work, not because of him. I think Jim has good genetics and his hair would look amazing if it wasn’t planted cornrow style. Ive noticed there is a lot of defending of Diep by influential people here. I had a negative pre-surgery experience with Diep’s team and Melvin literally locked the thread instead of letting it go on.
  19. @JohnAC71 Yeah, Diep's experience and long history does not go unnoticed. Bloxham's partner is Feller, who seems to have been in the business for a long time as well. As of now, it seems the most critical information for my research is Diep's performance with FUT and his FUT scars. If Diep's FUT scars are within range of Bloxham's, then I'd be comfortable going forward with Diep. If not, then this is still a toss-up and I'll continue spending my work day considering the two of them haha.
  20. Jim, I'm a prospective hair transplant patient (considering FUT between Diep and Bloxham currently) and wanted to say a few things: Your well documented post has been great. Really appreciated from someone anxious about the process like myself. I appreciate your candor and your openness to critique Diep, who on other social forums typically enjoys unanimous praise This whole post reminds me to be diligent with my research and of course, Caveat Emptor All that being said, your result looks fantastic. You have better hair than I did as a 15 year old. I agree that the hairline looks a little artificial (with its straightness) and you wanted a more natural/imperfect hairline. However, I just feel 99% of people would not notice it and again, your hair looks damn great. If I got that result, I'd be a happy customer. If you have any posts or anecdotes you want to share about Diep's FUT scars and results, I would love to read through it. As of this time, while I was initially very excited about Diep, I am now more cautious with my optimism.
  21. I just wanted to share my thoughts and opinions here, but Diep does get some great results. However, his front office staff is absolutely awful and unorganized. You can never get any of your questions answered, you wait weeks for any new information and it all seems like a shit show. When they tried to setup my consultation, they were late and failed to send me an email after multiple calls to them to find out what was going on. They were all very confused and I was shocked at how they can even operate as a business. When I finally met with Diep, he said the following comment to me during my consultation. "I will make you look like Elvis. Full head of hair." This is such bullshit because no surgeon can promise this result, and they must be realistic. I told this to another surgeon/office and they said that comment was super unprofessional and just plain wrong. Diep is a nice guy and loves his job. He also gets some amazing results. However, I canceled my surgery with him due to the front office staff, some horror stories on these forums regarding his donor management, and overall technique I have been seeing with some recent cases. There are a couple repair jobs that people have had after Diep as well. Again, Diep has great results, but there are too many inconsistencies for me to be 100% confident in him.
  22. 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.
  23. @JohnAC71 yes Dr Diep website shows he does great work. So does the donor bank matter more or less with an FUT & FUE? I would think if I was getting an FUE it would matter more than the FUT. Am I correct in that thinking?
  24. It’s pretty good for 1750 grafts. Afro hair usually requires less grafts for coverage. Maybe go back and do another consultation with Diep ? Review your situation, see what’s left in the donor bank 👍🏽
  25. You could quite easily bolster your frontal third area where you have experienced further loss - how many life time grafts did Diep say you had back in 2014? SMP would also be a great option for you, I feel.
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