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  1. For some time now, I’d been contemplating doing something beyond what had become a daily routine of finasteride and minoxidil usage, which, quite frankly, helped me considerably over the past decade. I seem to recall becoming a member of this forum years ago, but email account changes and usernames and all the rest were long forgotten, so I’ve started anew. An aside prior to my transplant story: as long as any side effects are tolerable with the combination of these two aforementioned drugs, I’d still encourage anyone out there with hair issues to give both of them a solid year of dedicated use, taking before and after pictures and objectively comparing results. Everyone is different, as is their individual level of success under the finest/minox routine, but for me at least, it got me through my 30’s and I can honestly say I had better hair at 40 than at 35. Fast forward, and I’m a few years past 40 now (although I really don’t feel it), but my frontal/temporal recession started to continue - along with a slight bit of crown thinning – and the situation just continued to nag at me. I’d made all the usual excuses for not seriously investigating surgical alternatives (work, life, etc.), but something just clicked in my brain earlier this year, I re-discovered this forum, and I began reading pages and pages of posts here. I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank all of you who’ve shared your experiences, and most certainly those senior members, doctors and advisors, whose comments and postings I’ve read many of over the past few months. For most people willing to take the time to read and search this forum, I’d argue you’d be 90% of the way there, with your questions answered here before taking the plunge into hair transplant options. The remaining 10% to get you there is a combination of personal fortitude to start the process in earnest, do a series of doctor consults to assess individual invasive or non-invasive action options, and finally, make the most informed decision and action plan as to what is best for you based on your own goals. All of that said, I can’t really imagine I can offer anything particularly substantial in contrast to the wealth of knowledge already here on this site, but for whatever it might be worth to some, I’ll dive into my experience, and fully commit to updating this thread with photos and observations for at least the next 18 months, if not beyond. Certainly there are numerous qualified clinics and doctors both in the U.S. and abroad. And I researched many of them. It seems as though with FUE in particular, “hot zones” crop up in on a somewhat randomly rotating basis from country to country as Doctors progress in their advancements. And it seems as though overseas remains a very viable alternative for us here domestically. For me personally, where to go for the surgery was of little concern, as I typically travel 100,000 miles or more each year for work, most of it outside of the U.S. Other US cities, Canada, Europe/Eastern Europe, I looked at them all, but to be honest, I felt most comfortable staying local for a variety of reasons both work related and personal. Or maybe it was, since I’m sick to death of sitting in a chair at 30,000 feet for hours at a time. The bonus for me was the fact that Dr. Umar’s clinic is literally ten minutes from my house. The double bonus related to available open dates Dr. Umar had for what would be a three-day procedure – the calendar just worked out perfectly. I finally decided to “pull the trigger” while on a trip in China in mid-March 2015, did all the correspondence with Dr. Umar’s clinic via email, and actually went from deciding to schedule, to day one of my surgery within three weeks time. So good timing and location swung my decision somewhat, and of course a careful review of Umar’s work. Dr. Umar’s original recommendation was 3,500 to 4,000 grafts to restore a solid, but realistic hairline considering my age, address the temples a bit for framing and fill out just a small amount of crown thinning. I settled on the conservative approach of 3,500 grafts. Day one of surgery was April 7, 2015, bright and early (7:15 AM) at Dr. Umar’s clinic in Redondo Beach, California. His clinic occupies two floors – one suite downstairs and one in the penthouse of a multi-use structure which also houses an athletic club. Anyone familiar with the area will know what I mean when I say it’s about 50 feet from the boats in King Harbor. I live at the beach, so no big shakes to be on the ocean, but for anyone prepping for life-altering surgery, positive vibes from the ocean aren’t necessarily a bad thing… So I checked in with one of his staff in the penthouse clinic first thing, got a room assigned where I could change, stored my backpack, etc. Those of you considering a HT do what I did – I wore baggy shorts, flip-flops and a button up shirt. Once you put on the gown and booties, you’ll be confined to various laying positions for hours on end, so wear whatever is most comfortable – trust me, I was glad I did. I brought socks if my feet got cold, and they provided a blanket if the rest of me did. It can be a gigantic pain in the ass to hold still for hours at a time, and the last thing you want is some restrictive clothing binding into your crotch as you lay face down. Next up, blood pressure check, HIV check (they do the OraQuick swab, so no blood needs to be drawn) and the usual pre-op pills in a cup. Blood pressure was a little on the high side (no shit, I’m about to have 1,500 grafts moved from one part of my skull to the other), but nothing too high as to not proceed. Dr. Umar came in, and we discussed the hairline as he marked me up. Upon further inspection, the Doc noticed I have an odd recession of hair that sort of curves in a smallish line on the left side of my head (if looking straight down at my dome) from the midscalp towards the crown. Sort of looks like a sperm facing backwards atop my head. It was hard to spot from my consult pics, as my hair was a little long (for me at least) at the time. Regardless, we decided we’d address it as we proceeded. Hairline now decided upon, time to shave down for the ol' Telly Savalas, then lay flat on my stomach on what looks very much like a massage table. OK, so everyone has a different take on the initial scalp injections. For me, they sucked. And no, they didn’t suck less the next day or the last. They continued the same level of suckage back or front, regardless of day or state of mind. But the Doc did work some solid mojo to make the injections less painful by pinching and messaging the skin, so props to him for that. Lying perfectly still during the extraction process - while the chair remains flat or tilts you slightly right or left - was something I found quite challenging. But the Doc understood this pretty quickly, and they gave me a small injection to help keep me calm. As the hours ticked by, the injections and/or meds started to wear off a bit, so the latter part of each session was a bit tricky for me. I didn’t want more meds, so I just tried to focus on the positive and listen to “hits from the 80’s” the tech decided to pump into the room. Dr. Umar hums along a bit to some of the songs, and quite honestly, that kept me calm. Sort of a “he calm, me calm” sort of Zen thing I suppose as I stared at the floor/the Doc’s shoes/etc. for hours on end. Post the morning extraction, up for lunch out on the killer balcony overlooking the harbor (they order from an Italian sub/calzone/salad joint). Shortly thereafter, back to the chair, facing semi-upright this time for temple/frontal implanting. The Doc does the slits, the tech does the implanting. Dr. Umar’s implant tech has been with him for a decade, she’s got great hands, she’s very serious, and I felt as ease with her. I’d joke around a bit with the other non-implanting assistant techs, but I left his primary tech to do her work. Dr. Umar comes in during this process to look things over, in some cases make a few adjustments, etc. I will say that for me, the extractions and prep process I came to not like nearly as much as the implanting. Implanting the grafts was sort of like getting a very light scalp massage. As an extra bonus, you typically face forward in a semi-reclined position (at least for the areas I was having addressed), so I just caught up on the news on the tube during this portion of the procedure. Around 1,500 grafts give or take on day one. In at 7:15 AM, out at around 6:30 PM. Slept fine all things considered, although sleeping upright on your back isn’t my preferred position. Made a nice mess of the provided pillow covers with all the gunk on my donor however, but that was to be expected. Day two, up, quick neck down shower, out and at the clinic at 7:15 AM again. Otherwise, lather, rinse and repeat as extractions are done and new grafts implanted working back from the frontal hairline placed the first day. Started to become a fan of the 80’s music we pumped into the room again on day two. Although we had originally decided on 3,500 grafts, towards the end of day two, the Doc and I got to talking about the snake-like recession midscalp and small spot on the vertex, so we decided on day three we’d address it with either 500 or 1,000 additional grafts. I left it up to him, and in the end, he decided 500 would do the trick. So to keep on schedule, we did slightly more grafts on day two versus day one, which allowed me to come in again on day three and get out mid-afternoon. Day three mercifully ended with all the usual post-op things – a baggie of goodies, my week’s worth of Cephalexin pills, some pain meds, prescription AVO Cream and bacitracin zinc. Post-op, you mix the AVO and zinc ointment and apply on the donor area twice a day. The zinc ointment once per day on the recipient areas starting day three out from post-op. No issues now in the week or so since this whole thing started, other than annoying donor itch, staring in the mirror and the usual paranoia of losing grafts from sleep, etc. Follow up via email with the clinic has been good, with me asking the usual questions one would expect (although the post-op instructions are pretty specific). A couple of tips for what it’s worth: first, as I suggested earlier, wear comfortable clothing. Trust me. Loose fitting, comfortable stuff. I’ve learned this from years of airplane travel, but it really came in handy with all the “staying perfectly still” that is required for a successful procedure. Second, leave a bottle of water (or in the case of Dr. Umar, they gave me Gatorade) with a straw in the room during the procedure. One of the techs will simply hold it under the table so you can suck up some fluid while on your stomach, or otherwise while lying on your back. Saves everyone time, you don’t have to get up, and the Doc and techs would prefer to keep moving to stay on schedule while your meds are still effective. Third, don’t drink too much liquid night before/day of surgery – it prevents interruptions due to numerous restroom breaks. Forth, since I live at the beach in California and it’s pretty much been sunny every single day for the past year, I purchased a really soft bandana that provides UPF 50+ UV protection. Better than a hat, particularly as I’ve had work done on the temples, making hat scraping nearly impossible. I’ve gotten clearance to work from home for the remainder of April, so I might hit the deck for a little vitamin D once in a while with the dome adequately protected. Notes on Doctor Umar/clinic staff: there is no “sell job” involved here. No patient coordinator or sales person to encourage anything, sell anything or talk you into anything. Some might consider that a positive, others a negative. I considered it a positive, as I’d done my homework and didn’t need any further encouragement to take the plunge. Doctor Umar has been reviewed on this site before, and he’s pretty much as described – low-key, friendly, mostly business and professional. I’d describe the vibe this way: by the time you make your appointment and get to the office on day one, you are there to get the work done, and they are there to do the work. Not that there isn’t banter and whatnot, but it is a clinic that does the work efficiently without a lot of needless handholding. For the three days I was there up in the penthouse office, it was me, the techs and the doc – never saw anyone else, patients or otherwise. As has been discussed on this forum before, Dr. Umar does leave the grafted areas “unmolested” post-op for the most part aside from essential cleaning (as to not disturb the grafts), and you leave the office each day with nothing covering your head. So immediate post-op isn’t necessarily sexy. He also subscribes to the method of keeping the grafts moist with ointment for the first week, and this makes things a bit messy as well. That’s it for now. Including a good number of pre-op pictures to give you an idea of my “before” situation, but at this time, I really only have one post-op picture, as I can’t for the life of me find my camera. But I’ll get additional shots up soon. Again, I most likely can't provide more than many here have already outlined as to the experience, but if you are looking into Dr. Umar, I can certainly help guide you with what to expect.
  2. It's been a minute. Got busy, life got in the way, lost my password - you name the excuse. A Picture: Before (I started the first step with Umar) and after (as of today) un-retouched, zero product used or otherwise any BS tricks to inflate the appearance of current hair in any way, etc. is attached. FWIW: Dr. Umar has almost completed (it appears to me as I drive by anyway) a brand new custom clinic a half block or two South from Rosecrans on Sepulveda, right in the heart of Manhattan Beach, CA. Almost directly across from Manhattan Village. Pretty much as close as you can get to LAX and still be in the best part of town, with a great hotel (The Belemar) a block away. All of which tells me the Doc is doing something right by his clients. Hope all is well otherwise for everyone. Now four years in I can say that your transplanted hair only continues to thicken during the cycling. I am now able to cut my hair pretty short, parting it the way I used to.
  3. With so much misinformation coming from various factions, it is easy to get a false picture of FUE. I thought I would write up a list of advantages and disadvantages. Now there will be glaring comparisons to FUT, that is a given. I will say that the disadvantages of FUT listed are not in the majority, but I feel obliged to mention them because they can occur and sometimes do. I feel that patients and potential patients have the right to know the differences between the two methods so they can really make an informed decision. The list will be quite exhaustive and brings up many factors that are very rarely spoken about. Advantages -No linear scar: This is the most obvious advantage. With FUE the follicles are not taken in a linear fashion. They are scattered about. And while the remnants are scars, they are usually much less detectable and scar visibility is reduced especially when hair is wet etc. This also allows for different hair styles such as messing up the back and sides. Braids or cornrows can be had without the exposure of a linear scar. Here are some examples of FUT scars: Excellent FUT scar: Bad FUT scar: It is important to note that even with the best FUT surgeon using a trichophytic dual layer closure, there is no guarantee the scar will end up thin. Alot of it has to do with your physiology. FUE scars after 4,200 grafts shaved down to a zero: FUE scars after 3,489 grafts: Patient with very short hair at months 1, 9 and 20 post operative after 2,810 FUE grafts: _______________________________________________________________________________________ -Less chance of nerve damage: Due to the punch sites being smaller and less confluent, the nerves repair themselves much quicker than FUT. With FUT, a large section of tissue is removed so it can take longer for the nerves to re-adjust and realign. Some people who have undergone FUT say that they still have feelings of numbness/tingling in the donor area many years after their procedure. Permanent nerve damage, although rare is possible. Permanent nerve damage is possible with both FUE and FUT, but less likely with FUE. _______________________________________________________________________________________ -Less invasive: Because a small(.75mm-1mm) punch is used and not a scalpel that cuts into deep tissue, healing time is usually much quicker and mostly less painful than FUT. No sutures or staples are used as the punch sites are so small that they heal without such methods. The donor area can look untouched within a few weeks without the redness of an FUT scar that can linger for over 6 months. That said, FUE is not a painless surgery and temporary shockloss can still occur. A picture of a typical FUE extraction intra-operative: A picture of an open FUT extraction before it is sutured: __________________________________________________________________________________ -No increased scalp tension: With FUT, with each procedure a patient endures, laxity is taken away from the scalp. Most are lucky in that they do not notice but the unlucky few can experience a tighter scalp. Some have reported a 'facelift' effect on their scalp where the hair above the ears and the nape is raised after a FUT procedure. One patients with an already tight scalp, these effects can occur in just one procedure. _________________________________________________________________________________ -Graft selection: This is a big one that not even the ardent FUT enthusiast can debate. FUE allows the Doctor to 'cherry pick' grafts that are necessary for an optimal result. He/she can select finer hair to use in the hairline, he/she can target 3-4 hair grafts for the crown and/or added density. He/she can extract only single hair grafts for hairline designs. These factors are left to chance with FUT. Surgeon can target specific grafts: Patient had FUT(top) and then FUE(bottom, same surgeon). Cherry picking allowed for a more refined result __________________________________________________________________________________ -Retains donor growth patterns/swirls/direction/angle: With FUT, the natural direction, swirl, wave etc of the donor area is eliminated(for lack of batter word) due to the removal/closure of a section of donor area. In some cases the effect is minimal but in others it can be more drastic. It can created a "step" in the donor area where it looks like hat-hair or just unnatural. In patients with wavy/curvy/frizzy hair, the effect is much more noticeable. With FUE, the direction/swirl etc retains its natural course as the donor area is not manipulated in such a way that a large section is removed. "Additionally, strip surgery will destroy the natural geometry of the donor region by obliterating the natural linear arrangement of follicular groups along the consecutive spirals" -Quote from Dr Umar Yellow lines show the eradication of natural flow of direction. Green lines show the untouched natural flow: Another example. Noticeable difference in direction. The natural flow has been eradicated. ___________________________________________________________________________________ -No transection of follicles from strip incision: During FUT, the surgeon carefully cuts the strip with a scalpel. However, it is almost impossible to avoid cutting through follicles given that the intersect like a zig-zag pattern. Those follicles are transected and rendered dead. Now if a strip is 30cm long, you have to factor that that is 60cm of follicles at the top and bottom edge of the strip(plus the corner). I don't have the exact math as it would be based on patient density and doctor skill but you are going to transect something. ________________________________________________________________________________ -Retains natural hairshaft diameter gradation/groupings: With FUT, a section of scalp(usually 1-1.5cm wide) is removed and dissected with the open wound closed up. Much like how FUT distorts the natural angles, direction and swirl of the donor area, it also destroys the natural gradation or progression of the hairshaft diameter/groupings. You may find the coarse, multi-graft, thick caliber hairs in the middle of the donor abruptly meeting the finer, smaller caliber single hair grafts toward the bottom of the donor. The smooth natural transition is obliterated. This is avoided in FUE as no area is cut out and closed off. The abrupt meeting of thick, multi-hair grafts(top) and fine single-hair grafts(bottom) after FUT: ________________________________________________________________________________ -Exercise and weight lifting are not prohibited for as long: After a FUT procedure, most surgeons recommend against weightlifting and strenuous exercise. This can range from a month to 3 months as it could result in the scar stretching. With FUE, it is usually after 7-10 days as there is no chance of the FUE scars stretching. To athletes or people that are passionate about sports and/or weight lifting, this could be paramount to decided which method to choose. ______________________________________________________________________________ -Exact graft count: The surgeon can stop at exactly the right quantity he/she desires. No overshooting. You need 2,000 grafts and only 2,000 grafts? That is what you will get. This is important for donor conservation. We all know with FUT that it can be hard to estimate donor density and sometimes the doctor overshoots leading to more grafts than needed or undershoots. FUE graft counter documenting every single graft taken in real time: _________________________________________________________________________________ -No dormant hairs are discarded: At any given time on any person's head, about 10-20% of the hairs are in the dormant cycle, meaning in their resting phase and are unseen for that given time. As they move into the cycle they become live while other live hairs become dormant etc. When a FUT strip is excised, it contains some dormant hairs which cannot be seen under microscope. Those dormant hairs(which would become live) are then discarded. However not all dormant hairs are discarded as some multi-hair grafts may contain a dormant follicle next to a visible active follicle. 10-20% of the single hair grafts cannot be seen however and are discarded while an unknown percentage of multi-hair grafts may have all grafts dormant and discarded. This is not a factor of FUE as the Doctor only targets grafts he can see. __________________________________________________________________________________ -Use of body hair/beard hair: The advent of FUE has also allowed for the exaction of non-scalp hair. This can be extremely useful for repair patients, patients of depleted or low donor hair etc. Say what you want about body hair transplantation, but it is here to stay. Doctors like Dr. Bisanga and Dr. Umar have pushed the boundaries on what can be done with body hair. Dramatic restoration via the use of body hair and FUE: __________________________________________________________________________________ -No sutures or staples: Avoids the discomfort and inconvenience of having to wear staples or sutures in the donor area post-op. No need to return to the clinic for their removal. No risk of going to a non-HT doctor and having them wrongly removed. Less obvious tell-tale sign that you have recently had surgery. Staples in the donor region after a strip procedure _____________________________________________________________________________________ -Avoids the irregularly angled hair protruding through a FUT trichophytic donor closure: Given that a trichophytic closure is the worldwide standard now for FUT closures, one common side effect is that the hair growing through the scar itself will be at a different angle to the surrounding hair. This can be quite drastic and stark and is different to the previously listed disadvantage of FUT "Retains donor growth patterns/swirls/direction/angle". It is also dependent on the patients physiology, luck and surgeon skill. It is especially noticeable when the donor is cut short. Misaligned and mis-angled hair protruding from the trico closure: _______________________________________________________________________________________ -No potential scar stretching: In FUT, the linear scar can stretch, regardless of the surgeon's skill and closure technique. It has to do with the patient physiology and scalp tension. I have seen stretched scars from all Doctors. No Doctor can guarantee a scar will stay 1mm thin. With FUE, the scars won't stretch. I will elaborate on FUE scars in a later section. Stretched FUT scar that can occur regardless of surgeon or closure technique: ______________________________________________________________________________________ -Optimal for small cases/eyebrows/beard work/scar repair: Say you needed 400-700 grafts for some minor hair recession. Undergoing FUT would not be desirable for such a small amount of grafts. FUE would be perfect. If someone wanted eyebrow restoration of 300 of so grafts, again, FUE would be the best method for that quantity. The Doctor could even select single hair grafts and finer hair so get as close to natural eyebrow characteristics are possible. Many patients with stretched scars or discontent with their FUT scar can have a few hundred FUE grafts inserted to fill it in. Eyebrow restoration: _________________________________________________________________________________________ -Avoids the 'traintrack' effect that can occur from a FUT closure: When a FUT closure is sutured or stapled, there runs a chance of killing hair surrounding the scarline if the sutures/staples are too deep, tight etc. It can strangulate the follicles and result in perpendicular scarring to the lateral linear scar much like train tracks. Even a thin scar can have some traintrack effect. Avoided with FUE. A potential byproduct of sutures: ___________________________________________________________________________ -No need for scalp exercises: Given that laxity plays a non-existent role in FUE, scalp exercises associated with strip surgery are not needed. Much like the need for shaving ones donor for FUE, this factor is minor but still an inconvenience to some. ___________________________________________________________________________ That is it for the advantage section. It should be noted that some of the factors like the FUT nerve damage or scar stretching are circumstantial in that they do not occur to everyone, but they can occur, even if they are in the minority. For those member who will jump on this thread and say "I had FUT and I didn't get any of those nasty things you say!" that is fine. I'm glad your procedure went smoothly. But if 1 in 20 FUT patients experience scar stretch or numbness, that makes it a potential disadvantage. I'm just making people aware on the potential pitfalls of both procedures. Disadvantages on FUE in the next post. More details on FUE, the various tools used, the surgeons who use them, their protocol etc can be found here: Click here
  4. I wanted to post results from my two hair transplants. From reading other people's posts, I notice that a lot will upload images from soon after their surgery, but not as much from down the line. And it's from what comes down the line that's the point of this whole thing. My Background: First became aware of losing hair during my late 20's. Since I had long, tangly hair, I attributed this loss each day when showering due to combing out the tangles and pulling some hairs. Really, I was not aware of how much I was losing, since when it's long, you think you have a lot. Eventually I did check out what was going on in my thinning crown using a couple of mirrors and got my reality check. It was probably around 2007 when I started on Rogaine. It's really expensive in Canada, and the only strength that I've seen on shelves are 2%, even to this day. I don't know if it helped slow down my loss or not, but I've been using it faithfully. Eventually I caught on that there was 5% minoxidil in the US and I'd stock up on cross border trips. I've been using the foam variety for some years. When I first cut my hair, I started wearing a cap a lot, including at work. When I started to grow it out a bit I began experimenting with concealers. I used both Dermatch and Nanogen fibers. After getting the hang of them I was able to hide my baldness. Stupidly, when I got a job transfer across the company on a promotion I continued with the concealers. The new people I worked with had no idea who I was so I should have just gone with buzzed hair. But for two years I went through the routine of taking 20-30 min a day to apply the two products, and had to shower twice a day - an extra one at the end to remove the stuff from my hair before going to sleep. When I changed careers after that I just went with my natural hair, and short, but it made my appearance too aged. Back in 2007 I would have found this forum and others like it. Body Hair Transplantation was not much of a proven thing, but I was hoping it would be, as I'd need to utilize a donor supply other than only my head hair. I remember doing an on-line assessment with H&W. The guy who replied, Joe "T", would not answer me when I asked if BHT was a real thing. At that point I dropped my participation in these forums and what not. Really, up until more recent years I didn't have the source of income to consider a HT. Fast forward to 2014. At that time there were more BHT options, whether in the US, Europe, Turkey or India. I had read the good reviews that Umar had received as he pushed ahead with using beard and body hair to repair bad HT cases, and in it, developed his skill set. So I put out some online inquires. In addition to Dr. Umar, I contacted Doctor "D" in Turkey and Bhatti in India. From the contact at Doganay's clinic: "Thanks for the pictures, however, we regret to inform you that your donor is not eligible for FUE. Therefore, we wont be able to do the surgery on you. We are sorry." They never answered my follow up so I took my money elsewhere. With Bhatti, it did not appear that he was willing to do a 4,000 to 5,000 graft procedure using at much beard hair as possible. He would only to up to about 1,000. His concern, which is valid, is that he wanted to see how my skin would react to the procedure. I forget the term but in some people they will develop a reaction that removes the pigmentation in the donor area, and if he took a lot of grafts from the beard and that happened the results would be be able to be covered up. As I am of part Asian ancestry, my skin tone is darker and loss of pigmentation would be very visible. But I was not going to go half way across the world for that small a procedure. My communication with the DermHair clinic went well. I felt confident that with Umar's experience with taking grafts from the beard that I would be in good hands. The trade off, of course, it the price. I booked my first HT for October of 2014. First I scheduled it for 4,000 grafts, head and beard, then I added 500 more, from the chest. I wanted to know if all three types of donor grafts would work in my case, and if so I'd get more down the line. The tentative amount at the end of my procedures would be 10,000 to 12,000. My case: NW6. I went into this understanding that BHT was not optimal, but since I'd be willing to live with short cut hair, that would camouflage the fact that non head hairs are mixed in. 1st HT: 3189 grafts of head hair 803 grafts of beard hair 602 grafts of chest hair 4594 TOTAL I was scheduled for three days. The clinic does up to 1,500 a day, so that was pushing things. Wound up taking an extra day, but I'll get to that. Dr. Umar does the extractions in the morning with the assistance of his techs. I took the pill cocktail so that I'd be very drowsy throughout. The needles didn't hurt too bad, but since I had previously hurt my back, spending four days on that table was the worst part. After the catered lunch, he'd make the incision slits through the recipient area. A bit funny to hear the "crunch crunch crunch" as these are made. I recall hearing a click peddle being pressed, so I assume it was a means of counting grafts. The next part was when the techs would insert all the grafts. There'd be TV going, but I often dozed off. One time I shushed two of the techs because they were talking quite a bit and I imagined they weren't focusing on the job. As someone else has mentioned in another thread, the team at the DermHair clinic does not thoroughly wash down the surgical area, so as to not disturb the work done. Be warned that some of the pictures therefore look rather gory. It didn't hurt nearly as bad as it looked. The breakdown for recipient areas was my large balding crown area, plus lowering my frontal hairline. Nothing was added for the mid-scalp region in this HT. Dr. Umar wanted do give a result that I could live with if I never had another procedure, but that would set me up for the next stage if I did come back. The first two days were donor hairs from my head and beard going into the crown, and the next two days using chest and head donors to fix my hairline. My nape is a poor donor candidate, so it worked out well that I had included 500 chest hairs, which acted as a substitute. One problem that arose was that some of the donor hairs on the sides of my head were difficult to extract, meaning it slowed things down. I am glad I went with Dr. Umar, who took the time to get these out carefully and to not wreck them. These grafts were angled sharper that normal head hairs, but with this custom FUE tool he was able to get them. As my surgery was on W/T/F, I asked if they'd come in on Saturday so that we could hit the objective count. The staff was kind enough to come in on a day off, and I am very appreciative. The four days of needles took their toll though. By the end of it my face looked like it was shaped like a football. When I asked about the time needed for it to go away I was told a week for the fluid to break down. Rather naively I didn't purchase pain killers. I underestimated the need for it, such that when I drove out of state the day after the fourth day of surgery I was in a fair amount of discomfort. Phoned back and was told to pick up something like Advil. I got Nyquil also, for overnights. As you'll see in my photos below, it looks like the grafts taken from my beard didn't make much of a dent, I still had a lot for future surgeries. The instructions was to not use hair coloring products for a year, so I didn't do anything for my greying temples in the follow up photos. 2nd HT: 1300 grafts of head hair and beard hair (split unknown at this point) During the follow up photos that I sent every few months it was becoming apparent that the mid-scalp area was weak. I decided to do a small HT to address this, using head and beard donor. No grafts were used in the crown or to lower the hairline. My appointment for this was in May, 2016, single day procedure. At this point the clinic had moved into it's new building. Not on the waterfront anymore, but on the upside the new surgical bed was much more comfortable. Having had my 2nd procedure there is little head donor left, and what I do have I want for my hairline. Going forward is to utilize the beard and chest and/or other hairy body parts, of which I have much. My next hair transplant is this upcoming May, which will be a year between surgeries. The results of the last one will have manifested itself by then. This next one will be another 4,000 grafts. That would bring my total to just about 9,900. An experiment I have been doing since late summer, perhaps the end of August, has been to let my hair grow out. I'll keep doing so until May. I am curious about the growth rates of non-head hairs. And I wanted to know what my density looks like. My photos with buzzed hair look good. But when I let it grow out then the fact that I lack density is readily apparent. However, if after all my procedures I can both achieve the density I want and if my beard and body hairs grow long enough, then I'd let my hair grow out long enough and tie it back in a loose pony tail. Relive the youth. I could very well fall short and rely on the buzz cut for the rest of my life, but I'd like to go for this. Pre-Hair Loss Prior to undergoing hair loss I had a pretty good head of hair. I know it's hard to project what while happen to someone who's under 18, but with some younger people I have a look and it seems like a NW 6 waiting to happen. No idea why it happened to such and extent with me. The first photo is from around gr. 6. That would be a NW0/1. The next two are from high school. Recession hadn't started, but perhaps some thinning on the last of the two: Hair Loss - 7 Years Before 1st HT: At this point, in 2007, I realized how bad the loss was, and I cut off the braid so that I wouldn't have any more hairloss due to tension. Hair Loss - 2 Years Before 1st HT: It was in 2012 when I started looking into clinics and preparing photos for assessment. I was pretty much shaving my head every few days to obscure the level of hair loss. Day of 1st HT: I took these on the morning of my first HT in October 2014.
  5. Well Done HLPToronto, we got the almost same story and worries. You did a great research and studied the market well. I was into 5 doctors (3 in Turkey and 2 in India), however I chose Dr. Bhatti for my future OP in August because he listens very well to the patients and discuss all the matters from A to Z unlike my previous experience with Rahal where he drew a hairline and sent me straight to operation room. I wish you all the luck in your progress. Keep up the good post. I am so impressed with your writings, very informative indeed. Dr. Bhatti is a very challenging doctor in repairs as well, he never say NO. Reminds so much of Dr. Umar in utilizing donor (scalp + beard). Money is never a big matter to him compared to customer satisfaction. Indeed an Asian HT gem.
  6. It boils down to one thing genetics. I mean I was very healthy, exercise 5x a week. Clean diet, supplements etc and still want bald. He’s a fan of Dr. Wong, he’s mentioned to me in discussing the industry who he feels is doing good work. Also, Dr. Umar for BHT. If I had to guess he’d probably go to Dr.Wong. Luckily, he’ll never have to choose cause he’s blessed lol.
  7. Several other surgeons perform hair transplants on black curly hair, Dr. Umar, Dr. Cooley to name a few. That said, I don't know what you've heard about Dr. Diep, but I can personally attest to his skill, I owe my result to him. If it wasn't for him who know's how my hair would like today. But there are several other surgeons out there to perform surgery.
  8. Of course! A number of reasons: 1. Dr. Baubac's results have always impressed me, his clinic is about 30 minutes away as I live in the Los Angeles area, and he had an opening on Friday, March 1, 2019. I am looking to do this procedure ASAP and before my upcoming 40th birthday. Dr. Baubac also does beard hair as well as donor hair, while Dr. Koray Erdogan does not do any body hair transplants. As I mentioned, and as everyone knows, head donor hair supply is a precious and limited resource, and 10,000 grafts from anyone's head donor is a lot. So, I have the option with Dr. Baubac to do a mix of head and beard hair, yet to be decided with Dr. Baubac on the day of surgery, and I am still mulling that over that option. Using beard hair has multiple pros and cons to consider which I am thinking about. However any difference in beard graft price versus head graft price is not factoring into this major decision. 2. As I mentioned Dr. Erdogan does not do body hair transplants. His estimate of my remaining head donor was on the more conservative side, somewhere between 1,000-2,000 head grafts, but based on his assessment 18 months ago he was not able to say if he would be able to provide me with satisfactory coverage for my vertex on a third procedure. Again, that was 18 months ago in Turkey after Procedure # 2. Dr. Baubac recently analyzed my current donor and was not as conservative in his estimate, and says he think I have more like 2,000-3,000 head grafts available, but also agrees I have good beard donor supply should I choose that. He understands why I would potentially choose a mixture of beard/head hair over just 2,000 more head grafts, so at least with Dr. Baubac I have that option which I would not have with Dr. Erdogan. I also sent Dr. Erdogan's patient coordinator who I worked with before photos of my current donor, but never heard back. This is not to say they ignored me, I am sure they get tons of e-mails, but oh well it is what it is. I would definitely not go back to Turkey again without a strong feeling that they will provide ample coverage on the crown on this third procedure. My next choice in Turkey, HLC Clinic which does do beard hair along with head hair FUE, quoted me around 1,000-1,500 grafts, and it would take an entire week of staying in Turkey. I felt that was a low estimate especially given the cheap graft price per graft in turkey, and when I followed up to tell them I would want to be able to know the max amount of grafts they would do after seeing me in person since I would be travelling all the way to Turkey, I never heard back. 3. I also met with two other highly reputable doctors in the LA area, Dr. Umar and Dr. Marc Dauer. I have nothing bad to say about either consult. Dr. Umar quoted 2,300 grafts as a mix of head and beard hair, but is not available until the end of May at the earliest. Dr. Dauer quoted 1,500 grafts, a mix of head and beard hair. I think the first opening was in at least six weeks. In the end, I just liked my consult with Dr. Baubac best so it was my personal preference, the prices for FUE in Los Angeles for all the top docs are basically all in the same ballpark, I have the option of beard hair, and the fact that he had a March 1 opening worked out perfectly. I hope that answers your questions and I will be sure to keep you updated!.
  9. I had scalp scarring alopecia from a childhood condition which caused balding in my frontal hair line. I had a previous transplant procedure from another Dr. who says he specializes in transplanting african american hair and the results were minimal. I had smp done after that transplant and wasn't satisified with the results. I went to Dr. Umar and had around 2400 grafts done in two different sessions over 2 years. I am pleased with the results. I attached a picture of before, and at 9 months post second procedure. I had fue the previous procedure with the other Dr. as well as with Dr. Umar. In my humble opinion I believe if you are aa and wear your hair short like I do you should only get fue and not strip (fut) just my opinion once again. Thanks all.
  10. Hi, just wanted to post my experience of my fue hair transplant I've just had on the 15th/16th Dec, I had my surgery with dr. Raghu reddy at the private clinic in Harley street. I've been receding for about 20 years, so decided to do something about it! After my initial consultation with dr. Reddy and David (patient co ordinator) it was decided I would need about 5500 hairs to be transplanted, which I was happy with, I've got slight thinning in the crown, but the dr agreed it wouldn't be worth surgery at this time, so we decided to concentrate on the frontal area. The day of surgery I was quite anxious, not knowing what to expect etc, but all of the team were friendly and put me at ease very quickly, the team worked together very well, they've been together for a number of years, so know exactly how each other work which I think is a very definite bonus. The surgery itself was painless ( think the worst part was having to have my head shaved!) only slight Little scratches when applying anaesthetic, definately less pain than I was expecting! In the morning they will do the extraction, then a break for lunch, they give you a menu in morning to choose what you would like to have, then back again in afternoon for implantation. As with all clinics, I think you find senior technicians help the surgeon with extraction/implantation as well, shiva (extraction) umar (implantation) they were both brilliant as well, the time went very quickly, could watch tv, talk to the dr and technicians as well. I'm extremely happy with the hairline design as well, which was something I was worried about, Dr. Reddy, shiva and umar spent a good amount of time making sure it looked right, which I was really pleased about as its now permanent! I did alot of research before I chose my doctor and clinic, as I think everyone should as its such a big step, and I'm really pleased I chose Dr.reddy and team, the donor site the morning after I was quite shocked at, I was expecting a bloody mess of holes everywhere, which I'm seen plenty of times online in my research, But in all honestly I could barely see the extraction pointswhich is a testament to the skill of the team, and also I haven't had any pain at all:..it hasn't been just the surgery I've been happy with but also the way I was looked after by everyone at the clinic, the whole thing was great from start to finish, if anyone is thinking of having a procedure, obviously do your homework and take your time when choosing your surgeon, I'll get some pics up as soon as possible if anyone is interested, I'll keep updating as well, to let you know my progress, if anyone has any questions about the procedure or clinic just let me know. Thanks
  11. I’ve had three hair transplants and two with Dr. Diep, I’ve visited Dr. Gabel, Dr. Mohebi, Dr. Konoir, Dr. Umar and Dr. Wong all of them in person and none of them told me my donor was damaged after having three hair transplants mind you. In fact, I’ve been told I have at least another 1,000-1,500 grafts left which would put me around the 7,000 range. I understand you decided to withdraw Dr. Diep from your selection which is totally fine, but these statements simply aren’t true. I’ve heard every argument and counter argument in the book. I’m well aware that several posters claim 1mm punches damage surrounding follicular units. However, a smaller punch transects more follicular units. At the end of the day it is up to the skill of the surgeon. If the surgeon is careless they can damage the donor of a patient regardless of the punch size or tool. With that said, Dr. Rahal is a fine surgeon and I really have no problem with you saying hes better than diep if that’s how you feel, but making claims such as going with Diep compromises future procedures simply isn’t true. @jkm3 had two procedures with Dr. Diep close to 5,000 grafts @spyk777 had several procedures I believe three with Dr. Diep via FUE @E39 had two procedures with Dr. Diep around 4,000 grafts
  12. First surgeon was Dr. Umar Never had issues importing chemicals in Asia or bringing those to the USA on trips as powder in bags. Those are not illegal and in very small amounts for personal use. I got questioned a few times but always cleared eventually. I mentioned my HT in this thread https://www.hairlosstalk.com/interact/threads/how-much-does-my-doctor-matter-american-local-corporate-or-turkey.119417/
  13. anything is possible man. just have realistic expectations. you can set get smp and grafts put into the scar to ease the contrast. look at Dr. Umar sedond part would be holding onto what you have on top and fix up the frontal third/hairline with the remaining grafts via FUE
  14. On the market for the latest hair transplant technology? FUE hair surgeon in LA Dr. Umar has spent many years perfecting his FUE system Dr. UGraft ™. At the heart of his creation is the Dr.UPunch i ™ FUE punch, a landmark design that has greatly expanded the potential of FUE treatment. The FUE process is safe and relatively non-invasive. Some patients come to our office expressing concern about scarring in the donor area. While no surgical procedure is completely scar-less, the Dr.UGraft ™’s patented Dr.UPunch i ™’s FUE punch tip is engineered to minimize FUE scarring while simultaneously harvesting the healthiest, bulkiest, and most viable grafts possible for your hair transplant procedure. The graft yield and survival rates made possible by the Dr.UGraft ™ system are unmatched, especially in patients of color suffering from sudden hair loss and severe baldness. Dr.UGraft ™ makes FUE hair replacement and BHT hair transplant possible for every patient seeking relief, regardless of their circumstances or hair texture. The Dr. U Hair Clinic in Redondo Beach firmly believes in FUE treatment as the best hair transplant method. We’ve created this short video that goes into much more detail on what makes our FUE equipment so radically different from those of the past.
  15. Hi! Dr. Umar is a well-known inventor in HT field. My question is ' is the ugraft the same thing with implanter pen with u-shaped end invented by Dr. Umar'?
  16. Dr. Diep is excellent for afrocentric hair, I would also consult with Dr.Umar, both are in California, so if you’re in California it may be worth while.
  17. Hey Guys, Dr. Umar, a well known and respected physician has created a new FUE hair transplantation device called the Ugraft. I encourage everyone to take a few moments out of your day to read the article, provide any feedback, opinions etc. uGraft FUE Hair Transplant System and it's Advantages
  18. Dr. Umar was the only surgeon that that I met that charged me money for a consultation.
  19. In my personal opinion THE BEST IN REPAIR AMERICA: DR. UMAR (USA) EUROPE: DR. BISANGA (BELGIUM) ASIA: DR. BHATTI (INDIA)
  20. Thank you home1212. That must be a great feeling to feel comfortable with your hair after living with a bad HT. I've been living with this for 20 years and want more than anything to be done with it. Going to see Dr. Umar in a week, hoping for a miracle.
  21. sorry to hear about your situation, I can relate because I had a HT when I was in my early 20's in the 1990's, no idea what I was getting into other than I thought it was a solution to my fear of starting to lose hair, but it was the exact opposite, I got plugs put into my hairline which was fine for a several years until I lost more and more hair. I suffered for decades styling my hair in the most creative ways to try and conceal my hair loss, using hair sprays, gels, comb-overs, etc. I finally had enough after doing quite a bit of research and coming across this site, doing my research on new techniques, best in class doctors, etc. I finally got a few consultations with some top notch docs including Feller, Hasson, Shapiro, Konior, but settled on doing FUE with Rahal. I can't tell you how freeing it was to finally correct a problem and fear I was living with for years ... it was the best thing I could have done for myself. I hope you find a solution to your issue to, maybe Dr. Umar?? If your donor is depleted, he does some great work with body, beard grafts. Post some pics of your condition so others can give you some advice as well. Best of luck to you.
  22. FUE hair transplant is one of the most versatile solutions for those suffering from hair loss, male pattern, hormonal, premature, or otherwise. As an expert in the practice of FUE in all types of patients, Los Angeles-based hair surgeon Dr. Sanusi Umar has spent some time developing his own proprietary system of FUE tools, all under the Dr.UGraft™ brand. Dr. U’s Dr.UGraft™ system not only makes body hair transplant procedures more effective than ever - its intelligently-flaring punch tip is especially conducive to FUE hair transplant procedures done on individuals with curly, Afro-textured hair (where only manual punches were a viable choice prior), completely eliminating the need for an FUE hair pre-test. It drastically reduces rates of transection, achieving higher graft yields and follicle survival rates in the recipient area. This video introduces the system and goes into detail about the many benefits it offers patients and practitioners alike. For additional information, you can check us out at UGraft.com .
  23. Kindly, no need for further discussion. on this matter. You guys are kinda strange with your ignorant arguments. So, if someone post a passionate review you call them "paid agents"?? That's kinda weird for you to even say, and instead of this back to back responses about how bad Dr. Huebner or a particular doctor is.... why not just post a evidence of poor HT outcome done by Dr. Huebner? That's all I have asked a million times, and NONE of you has anything to provide, all I keep hearing is "his methods are outdated, his procedures are not normal...." All those baseless arguments means NOTHING without any prove or evidence of what you're talking about. On this very post, I pointed out the 2 guys who tried to post LIES, and misleading negative information using one of Dr. Huebner's patients, Mr. Lance, to validate their baseless claims, and when I pointed out their FALSE claims, because I personally know Mr. Lance....all over sudden I became the bad person, what a joke!! My claim is very simple, and is this, Dr. Huebner is one of the best HT doctors we have here in America. Followed by Dr. Diep, and Dr. Umar, among other. My experience with him was the BEST, and all the reviews that I have seen about his work is great are outstanding, almost ALL of them! That's my claim and I own it. My main goal was to point out about you guys deceptive reviews about him, Dr. Huebner. And some of you are so lazy can't even go to his website and see the meaning of HUE (High-Yield Unit Extraction®,) and it's well explained there, ....and you have guts to criticize stuff you don't even know what you're criticizing. Anyhow, have a good day guys. You kinda hurt my feelings but I still love you guys, have a great evening.
  24. A little bit delayed in posting....But finally getting around to writing this. Had a procedure with Dr. Umar mid-March. I was scheduled for two days and 2000 graphs. 400 head, 300 chest, 1300 beard. Very low donor area dictated this selection. (A few transplants were done in the 90s and early 2000’s ) The goal: 1) Scar repair in the back of my head. 2) fill-in area that has become bald from the receding hair on the sides of my head that have happened in the last 15 years. This has caused the transplanted hair from previous years in the middle of my head, to be more obvious. The plan was to use 800 beard hairs to repair/camouflage scars in the back of my head. The other 1200 were to fill in the area on both sides of my head, from hairline and extending toward the back. Basically, a 1“ x 2 1/2“ area on the left, and the same on the right. The actual procedure turned out to be one day only. This was due to the doctor having a very bad flu. He was a trooper and performed the day one procedure while sick. Day 2, wisely he stayed home. Because their schedule was already full for the week I was not able to finish my procedure at that time. The day 1 procedure: 400 graphs from my head, and 300 from chest. Transplanted to the sides of my head. 700, instead of the 1200 total that would’ve been accomplished with the day 2 procedure. Scar revision/camouflage was not done. That was also going to be day 2 It was disappointing everything was not completed because of the recuperating downtime I scheduled and planned for. Time off work and such. But.... no complaints. That’s the way it goes. I did have another procedure rescheduled for May (just to take care of the scar)… because I was so anxious to get that part finished, But just canceled that when reality set in. Can’t take time off work. Can’t prolong the ugly duckling period all the way through the summer. My hair is very thin back there and would not cover up the work on my scar areas. Client meetings, weddings, just general life would be extremely uncomfortable. My thoughts on the procedure that did take place: Of course it will take some time to see the growth until I know how it looks. I’m assuming it will be a bit thin because of the small amount of grafts that were placed. The procedure was less painful than I remember in the 90s. Also, I was surprised my head was not all bandaged up… Again, like they did in the 90s. Another difference, previous transplant had me hooked up to an IV the entire procedure. This time I was not. That’s a plus for me. The office staff was all very nice and seem to be knowledgeable and caring about every aspect. The chair was comfortable and they had a TV going where I was able to watch the NCAA basketball tournament games. My overall impression was the procedure was much more comfortable than what I remember from my previous procedures. And after we were done, 2 assistants walked me out and waited with me until my ride came. This was a car service they arranged for me. Nice touch. Dr Umar was quiet and serious during the procedure, but during consultations, and postop check ups, he is engaging, knowledgeable and is there to answer any and all of my questions. Very professional and a likable guy. It’s been just over six weeks, and as of now, there is the usual shock loss and shedding so I have less hair than I started with… But that’s to be expected. Recipient area is still red but looking better. The donor area of my chest has healed nicely. Just little red dots that are fading every day, and would probably not be too noticeable to anyone else. When the time is right for me, I will go back to Doctor Umar and have the scar taken care of and perhaps add some density to the sides if needed. For now, I anxiously await the new grafts to grow. I will try to add photos here of the before, during, and when I have growth, the after
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