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  1. While I didn't create an account on this forum over the last couple of years it was invaluable in my research process and I want to pay it forward, especially since I seem to be seeing fewer patient posts with recent dates, at least for Dr. Cooley. Thus I will try to be thorough here in describing my process. Apologies in advance for the length of the post and the variability of the quality of the photos. I know they aren't the best. I am still only a few days/weeks out and will update this with before photos and after photos from the clinic and exact graft count(s) when I get them and try not to disappear throughout the process. My Past Situation I had an ill-advised FUT procedure when I was 21 to address temple recession. I wasn't on meds, it was premature, and I went to a cheap chop shop. CLASSIC, young guy being really stupid. :sigh The procedure (unknown # of grafts) involved putting grafts on the temples and unfortunately also some around the front of my hairline. It did very little cosmetically unless you count triggering massive loss of existing hair (most of which did grow back in fairness). The only saving grace here is that we were talking about a fairly minor temple area and because of my light hair/skin contrast I've been able to get away with a forward brush hairstyle that hid really poor work. Oh and it wasn't big plugs and the scar wasn't horrendous and avoided being in any disastrous region(s) thankfully. No matter what you do STAY AWAY from Samson Hair Restoration in Los Angeles regardless of what doctor they currently have cycled in. Why now Now, 11 years later at 32 with some additional thinning and some recession the previous work was becoming harder to cover, especially when swimming or my hair was wet. Plus, I just wanted it fixed to open up different hairstyles and to get ahead of managing what I believe will be future loss. Almost a gradual "replace" strategy I guess. In terms of meds, I had been on finasteride w/ no side effects for 4 years but then went off for 5+ years (don't really know why). I went back on 6+ months ahead in prep for a procedure and plan to stick with it this time. Not on finasteride or any other shampoos etc at the moment. Picking the surgeon In terms of research this time around I did a lot more homework using this forum as the basis for creating a smaller list of doctors. Ultimately I narrowed my list and research to consults with Lindsay, Bernstein, Cooley, Bloxham, and Nadimi. I felt these were really great doctors that didn't necessarily require a flight based on my East Coast USA location (I was intrigued by Rahal, Hasson/Wong/Kronior and some of the other staple of well regarded doctors as well but with only so much time felt good with my short list). I did not consider India/Turkey etc., not because I don't believe quality results can't be achieved there, but because I didn't want to take the risk and conduct an extra level of due diligence with respect to many of the practices and I was willing to pay $ for that peace of mind. Notes on my Consults During my consult with Dr. Lindsay I felt like he just didn't think I needed a procedure yet. He cited 1200 grafts and it was all relatively cursory. So not a fit for me Dr. Bernstein was a good consult (worth the cost) where I learned a bit and I felt comfortable with him and his work, but ultimately I wasn't blown away by the results I've seen from him either on his website or on this and other forums My consult with Bloxham was really terrific and I got a great feeling from him. He was ultimately my #2 but I did not choose him mostly because he is just relatively newer with fewer posted results. And right or wrong, some of the (rare/older) negative comments about customer service/interactions from Feller put me off. I did NOT have any of this sense from Dr. Bloxham and have never met Feller but the posts are there nonetheless. I will also say, they need to upgrade their facility. Not the medical side hopefully, but the rest of the place was old and run down feeling. Dr. Nadimi was also great (via Skype) and matter of fact but I got the sense she did more FUE than FUT. Similar to Bloxham there are just fewer patient accounts out there that I could find, but based on what I've seen and this consult I was very comfortable and impressed with her Why Cooley Ultimately, I went with the only doctor I didn't meet/ have a convo with directly in Dr. Cooley. I appreciated the consult with Lollie and a deeper understanding of their procedures and liked what I heard about use of Acell, how he preserved grafts out of body, his hands on approach, the tenure of his techs, and so on. But most importantly Cooley's track record of consistent results and patient experiences tipped me over (including one detailed repair write-up by a Blonde haired individual, of which there are relatively few results). I also literally did not find a single negative review (of outcomes) for Cooley in all my research and I valued that apparent consistency. Procedure - Why FUT I knew I wanted FUT as I (a) already had a scar I felt could be improved, (b) wanted to maximize future grafts and survivability, and (c) wanted to minimize recovery time. I am lucky enough to have a lot of Donor and existing hair that can be used to hide a procedure. Pre-Procedure and Day of All things posted about Cooley experiences were true for me. I followed pre-op instructions for scalp laxity. I think this helped as I could feel the sides definitely loosen up, and while the back still felt tight Cooley said it was great and helped with suturing (+ sutures out at 2 weeks vs. 3 weeks). The hotel they set you up in is excellent, easy, convenient and they already know why you are there and what you need. Shuttle drivers, check-in staff, and others there were helpful and discrete and the breakfast and gym is open early enough for day of eating and a last workout. On the day of the operation we met at 7am, had a calm and not rushed discussion where any other questions I had were answered, and re-affirmed my choice of 2500 FUT + PRP/Acell. In terms of hairline we were on the same page to opt for a conservative/mature hairline though Cooley jumped straight to the need for work on the temples which he said he does not always do. This process of agreeing on this was FAST as a lot of it was bridging existing hair and the past work plus a little bit of pulling temples out/down. In terms of PRP, Cooley was candid that for me he didn't know if PRP would make much of a difference as he didn't see a ton of minituraization but (a) I'm paranoid and think there is more than there is/I have very fine hair already, and (b) I am hopeful that it will help somewhat with avoiding shock loss or speeding up recovery. I know there's no real scientific evidence to back that up, but I was willing to spend the $ on the chance it helps. I will say that to make sure you get what you need before surgery begins you should 100% come prepared with your questions. For example in my consult with Bloxham he indicated that my past FUT scar had a small area branching into the danger zone for donor and advised forking the scar near my ear. I really did NOT want to do this, so asked Cooley about it. He decided to implant 10-15 hairs in the end of the old scar as part of the procedure and end the new scar in a safer location. I do not think we would have ultimately done this if I had not asked. H/T to Bloxham for noticing it in a really thorough, caring consult. I also asked about a few grafts poorly placed in the front of my forehead below the 7CM mark we agreed to for the new hairline. He said if I was OK With it that he would remove those with electrolysis which I agreed to and am relieved about as they were definitely not natural looking. Overall, it was a good conversation. I, like most others, felt comfortable and cared for by Dr. Cooley and all of his other wonderful team members. I do think the clinic could get better about having all their pre and post op documentation organized and sent in a big PDF but that's super minor overall and has nothing to do with the in-person interactions I had. One other area that I felt could be improved is in discussing recovery times. The clinic (not Cooley himself) were fairly aggressive in terms of discussing post HT recovery periods and timeline (no redness 5 days, not visible procedure at 8 days etc). It's not that they are totally off, it's just that they are definitely giving the aggressive, "best-case" scenario in my opinion and shaded this as an absolute vs. discussing the potential ranges of recovery times based on patient characteristics. Still thus far in my case it has proven to not be too far off the mark so far (devil's always in the details though isn't it). Procedure itself From the Cooley consult we moved into the procedure. Numbing/valium etc was painless. Unlike others I don't think I really went fully under for the ENTIRE duration of the procedure, I even heard a nice little "ripping" type sound on removal, but no pain whatsoever. By 11:30 the donor was removed, there were 5-6 technicians on the microscopes, I had had PRP and he had done the few electrolysis removals needed. I stopped for lunch and then we carried on. Cooley performed all of the donor incisions, with Brandi hovering nearby, and was present for probably 90% of the graft placement. I know for sure he was doing all the immediate hairline grafts. I believe he left for a little over an hour in the middle of the procedure (basically the length of a movie), but I'm not 100% on whether he popped his head in a few times during that time or not. While he was not actively working on my head Brandi was performing graft placement and I believe Amy also worked on placing grafts. Cooley returned and was essentially there the rest of the day long after many of the other techs had left post dissecting the grafts (easily 4-5+ more hours). It was clear he reviewed and had ample time to change, correct, or ensure any grafts not placed with him in the room were to his liking. Like others have mentioned it was clear throughout the day that this was a well-oiled machine, with team members that had worked together for years (decades even). Everyone was friendly and taking a dedicated and personalized approach to the operation, and I couldn't imagine going somewhere with a doctor doing multiple ops in a day. Throughout the process Brandi was constantly checking Cooley and making sure anything "controversial" about his approach was discussed (a few graft placements here and there, reminders about how many grafts were left etc). All of this was reassuring. I am sure the reverse also happened. Ultimately for the 2,500 graft procedure Cooley was able to get over 3,000 grafts (I will get exact counts later) and we did not finish the day until a bit after 7pm, meaning I was there for nearly 12 hours. This extra time and attention, plus the grafts that were not something I had to pay extra for, all speak to his long-running record of caring about his patients and working tirelessly to get results. I am obviously grateful for this. Post Op - Healing, Pain, and Experience (Week 1) Donor got painful at the end of the day during the operation so I was numbed up again before I went home. I was obviously a bit red and beat up but it wasn't as bad as I was expecting and they had already done a pretty good job cleaning a lot of the blood off. Plus I was wearing Saran wrap + a hat so able to avoid any weird looks. On night 1 I took some Tylenol but nothing stronger--which is good because I didn't get the prescriptions until day-of for stronger meds. Cooley's post-op care uses an ATP spray + saran wrap to increase moisture and prevent any graft damage and antibiotic ointment on the donor scar. You basically spray every hour you are awake and wake up and spray every 2 hours for the first 2 nights along with taking some preventative Prednisone for swelling. I followed the instructions religiously here and I think it really helped calm redness and speed healing. On night 2 I was falling back asleep pretty quickly so it didn't feel too onerous to keep getting up. For sure it kept the itchiness to a real minimum in the first 6 days. I went back the next morning for a post-op clean and got the all good from Dr. Cooley. During this cleaning Amy took time to answer any questions I had about the next week of care and was patient with what I am sure are the same questions everyone asks. In terms of the documentation they gave me to follow, I actually think it could have been a bit more detailed. It wasn't that it was bad, but I felt like an "FAQ" or just more exhaustive detail would have helped. For example, I asked about caffeine / alcohol / ibuprofen which were not listed (Cooley says moderate amounts of both are fine), and it doesn't give you much about how to sleep (when can you sleep sidweays on the grafts) and so on. To give you a sense of how smooth this was, I drove almost 7 hours home the very next day, which was completely fine and painless. Overall I found the post-op regimen easy to follow, the spray and saran wrap seemingly very effective even if I did probably use it too quickly/aggressively to try to get it through the native hair as I ran out a day or two earlier than I think the clinic expects. One curious thing with post-op care from the clinic is that it seems that Cooley's overall instructions,are more aggressive than many other docs (like the timeline to shampoo (next day) and return to regular shampooing (7 days) . I'm sure this is because Cooley is confident in the healing/quality of the grafts and incisions etc and has refined his approach over time but it does make me just a little nervous when looking at the instructions online from so many other places that are much more conservative. But he's my doc and I'm in his hands and so far so good. On night 3 I slept poorly but not really due to pain, I think I just missed exercise. On night 4 and 5 I had more pain when putting the back of my head on pillows (I slept elevated with an inflatable travel pillow partially inflated these nights to help with any potential swelling) and I did take a valium one night and the other pain killer + tylenol combo prescribed drug the fifth night. It almost felt like the donor was a little more stretched these two nights with whatever position I could find that didnt have too much pressure. If this continues I'll call the office to make sure it's normal. Some posters here have mentioned this as the return of nerve sensation but I'm not sure. Otherwise I have had some very very minor swelling which made me break out some ice on my forehead and eye area a couple of times and take ibuprofen periodically as well. It was never uncomfortable or especially noticeable to anyone else however. Last point, I am using the Hair Shake protein. I don't really think it'll do much but I've used protein powder a lot anyway so I don't mind and if it helps at all with speed of growth or minimization of shock-loss, then it's worth a couple months of it for me. I am not planning on using it long term and no one at the Cooley office actually mentioned it directly despite having it stocked there and having it listed as an optional part of the post-op procedure. Post Op Appearance - First Week The scar in the back is perhaps slightly visible with wet hair (first 3-4 days) but completely hidden with normal dry hair. As mentioned it wasn't giving me much trouble the first 3-4 days, although of course everything felt really "tight" there. At night or with pressure on it day 5-6 it actually has felt a bit worse and I've taken some of the prescribed meds just to make sure I get decent enough sleep. We will see of course on final healing and appearance, it is early days. Redness in the recipient has subsided each day, and now at day 6 is not bad at all. It's probably worse in the pictures than in real life. I am fairly pale skinned but had a deep tan going which some say can help. There is definitely scabbing, it is super mild/light and looks like when I return to regular shampooing and rub the grafts a bit it will easily flake off and be gone within the 7-10 day timeframe that they gave. In any case, it's really mild and not that noticeable. I have used their given shampoo and started leaving the conditioner in a bit longer which I think has helped. I have a couple spots of dried blood left but overall it's pretty clean and I haven't noticed anything remotely like grafts falling out. Really, not even many/any hairs yet. The kicker here for me is that I 100% had to hide from the world during this time because I was (a) spraying every hour and (b) couldn't style my existing hair for fear of touching/disloding existing grafts. So you could see the grafts taking hold and small stubbly hair, plus weird caked native hair that was a bit long already awkwardly plastered to my scalp. So all in all, a real lovely mess. Now had I managed this aggressively with a blow dryer on cool or if I was more comfortable touching and styling my scalp in this period I am sure I could have made it look better but I didn't want to take any risks. On Day 6 I did a bit of finger styling and with my existing hair I can make it look decent (see 1 of the pictures). Decent is not invisible however. The temples are harder to disguise and any close inspection things are definitely still visible so I feel I am very much still in hat land. To be fair, my wife says it's pretty hard to tell unless you get up close and personal already. We will see if my extended family at Day 11 notices anything. Summary of first week So far the difference from my first procedure has been remarkable. Basically instead of an immediate "oh shit what have I done" I felt more like a "I'm already looking better than I expected 12 hours later. and everything is going exactly like they said" It's nice to already feel like I made the right choice. The recovery seems to be text book according to their expectations, but I most certainly don't want to be out and about without a hat yet as it would be noticeable. The things I am worried about are (a) appearance at 10 days and masking it, (b) avoiding shock-loss as no work was done in the middle of the frontal third, and (c) continued management of the donor scar pain. All the rest is of course the standard, hurry up and wait, concerns about linear scar etc that we all have but if I can avoid shock loss I feel comfortable looking like I did for 6+ more months. I hope this is helpful and of course any feedback on the pics and actual quality of the work is welcome as well. Again, apologies on the photo quality I will get better ones from clinic later. I will try to post periodically as I hate the posts where people disappear but I also intend to try to live my life and not obsess over the progress over the next few months.
  2. This is 4 weeks out from 2000 grafts with Cooley in the front sides. This amount of shedding is normal, right? Just want to make sure the testosterone supplement (Nugenix) isn’t the cause. Been in that about a week, but taking 1.25mg of finasteride 3 times week. Just need some reassurance :)
  3. Hi folks, I just wanted to share my recent experience following an FUT procedure with Dr Jerry Cooley yesterday. I apologise if this post is long and detailed but I took a lot of value from all the various posters and wanted to give the same back. Days leading to the procedure I had been speaking to Cooley’s clinic in September and had various conversations with Lollie as well as telephonic conversation with Dr Cooley himself. After speaking to them both I kind of knew that this was the clinic I wanted to go with. I paid a deposit at the end of October for a 4000 FUT procedure. During the lead up, I must admit it was a mixture of emotions and last week was possibly the worst. At one point I just wanted to cancel and not go through such was the nerves and anxiety. But ploughed through it and as the day got closer the more excited I felt. Travel to Charlotte from LHR Some of you may be aware the UK experienced snow fall which as per usual played havoc with some of the outbound flights. I was due to fly out at 13:30 and came to know in the morning prior to reaching the airport that the flight had been delayed to 14:20. 14:20 came and there was still no news about what gate to go to or if the flight had been delayed or even cancelled, despite repeated attempts to find out information from the relevant information desks. Finally, we were given a gate and told to expect to take off at 16:30. We boarded the flight around 17:00 and didn’t take take off till 19:30. Which meant we didn’t arrive in Charlotte till 23:30!! Immigration control was no issues, just told them I was here for vacation and they asked some additional questions such as “where I am staying, how long, what I do for a living, how much currency I have etc?”. Breezed through with no problems. The clinic had arranged for us to be put up in the Hilton Garden Inn which is about 20 mins or so from the airport and approximately 5/6min drive to the clinic. Day of procedure I was advised by Aileene to be at the clinic at 7am. The hotel offers a shuttle bus and because of the late check in they were unable to schedule this for me at short notice, so had to get an Uber to the clinic. Arrived at the clinic and was greeted by Stephanie and taken to a room where I was asked to complete the normal paperwork. These were actually sent to me prior so I could’ve made my life a little easier by completing these prior to arriving. Stephanie was very kind and didn’t make an issue out of this. She was very calming and friendly. Once the paper work was completed, I was asked to choose some movies (like most clinics they had a large range) and also lunch (again loads of options and if anyone is interested I had a turkey panini wrap). Once this was all done Dr Cooley arrived to greet me. Following an initial conversation about goals etc I knew this guy was top notch, such was his confidence, personality and straightforwardness. I had my photos taken and the hairline drawn not that there was much to draw as I already had frontal tuft it was just a case of bridging the areas which had been lost. He looked at my donor and said it was excellent and that laxity was very good. We both agreed that the frontal third would be the most dense and continuing in to the mid-scalp area with less density and also shrink the crown outside in but not completely fill. Once this was all agreed, I was given my meds; antibiotics, valium and two prednisone’s (these are to help reduce any swelling). Once that was done, I was taken to the room. The room was exactly how I expected it to be. I had previously watched Joe Tillman’s visit to the clinic and if anyone wants to see it, take a look on YouTube. My hair was then slightly shaved where the strip was due to be taken. At the same time Brandy was taking my blood pressure. It was a little high, not sure why as I was super calm and excited. Anyhow, I was asked to lie face down on the chair for strip removal and was also given something to calm me down. After this was done I don’t remember much. I vaguely remember the anaesthetic shots and these were not as painful as I thought they would be. After this I must have dozed off as I cant remember anything thereafter. I do remember it was around 08:30 when I was asked to lie down. I woke up later and asked for a rest room break (I was literally bursting!). Dr Cooley advised that it wasn’t an issue as he was almost done closing the strip. I got up and felt a bit light headed, so sat down, I looked at the time and it was 10:30. Dr Cooley advised that it was a straight forward removal and there was no heavy blood loss or any other issues which I was very happy about. The strip was closed with sutures. After the rest room break Dr Cooley and Brandy started to make the incisions in the scalp and at the same time I think I counted six technicians in the room doing the graft dissection. I felt absolutely no pain at all during this process. I just had my headphones in and probably nodded off a couple of times. I cant stress enough how painless everything was so far! Time for lunch around 12noon. I asked Dr Cooley how the work was going and he mentioned that they had done around 2000+ incisions and would be inserting the grafts after lunch. We broke for lunch for about 20/30mins or so. I ate and at the same time was talking to the extremely friendly technicians. After lunch the work continued and at the same time I was watching the selected movies. Don’t really remember the first two films. I had selected the Batman series and I do remember during the Dark Knight, Dr Cooley saying a few dialogues which I found pretty funny. Dr Cooley and Brandy meticulously inserted the grafts for the next 7 hours. Yes it was that long but this is purely down to both being perfectionists. One thing to note the anaesthetic shots (I actually don’t remember where these were placed in the front, I assume around the forehead area) but a couple did hurt just slightly but literally lasts for 5/10 seconds. It really isn’t that bad at all! During the latter part of the procedure I was quite alert and conversing with both Cooley and Brandy. They are both amazing people and extremely friendly to talk to. They actually bounce off each other was really refreshing. I did joke with them that they are like husband and wife which they found quite funny! The last hour was probably the most discomforting mostly because I had been in the chair for almost 11 hours and my shoulders and neck were getting pretty sore. Again I ploughed through. We eventually finished the entire procedure around 20:30ish. I asked how many grafts I got and was told over 4000 which I was really happy about. Post op pictures were taken and I was shown the back of my head and the top. I was slightly nervous about strip and where it was being taken from and if it would be visible. I can honestly say that Dr Cooley and Brandy have done a fantastic job as I couldn’t find it at all. The top of the head looked pretty good considering I had over 4000 grafts inserted. I was given my post op instructions, shampoos, meds, my post op ATP spray which I needed to spray every hour and every 2 hours when sleeping for the first few days. Dr Cooley showed how it is to be done (very simple!) and he asks to put a cling film type thing on top immediately after to help with healing, keeping the grafts moist and for the spray not to evaporate. He calls it the ‘green house effect’. Once back at the hotel, I sprayed as instructed even through the night although not every hour, every two hours in fact. In terms of pain, I feel minimal pain around the strip. Out of ten, I would rate it a two/three. I’ve honestly taken a pain killer since the procedure and today is the day after. The strip area does feel numb which I fully expected and also expect this to subside over the coming weeks. Post-Op Day 1 As I said earlier I took a pain killer in the morning as I was expecting the pain to increase. However, after the pain killers had worn off I still felt the same, no increase at all. Since then I have had very slight plan on the left hand side of the strip. The rest of the donor area is still numb but pretty comfortable. I did notice minimal swelling above my eyes, nothing like what I have seen on the forums and defiantly nothing major. Dr Cooley advises to take two prednisone’s the following morning after the procedure which I did and the has gone down. As also mentioned above I’ve continued following Dr Cooley’s post op instructions in spraying the post op ATP spray every hour. I also got my hair washed at the clinic and what can I say, the work looks extremely clean. Just a few blood spots but generally it looks just how I expected the work to be. Amy who washed my hair even mentioned that she found it difficult find the scar as she needed to put some antibiotic cream on it. This was refreshing to hear! Dr Cooley came in after the hair wash and checked things over and he mentioned that all looked well and that it looks exactly how it should be. He also mentioned me as the ‘model’ patient as I barely moved in the surgical chair and also kept the whole team entertained (while I was awake of course!)!! I did ask how many grafts we managed to get and he advised that the final figure was 4108. I’ll get the break down later this week and will share. He also mentioned that he could get another strip of about 2000-3000 if needed and some FUE grafts after that (again if needed). Dr Cooley also recommends a Help Hair whey protein shake which I purchased and have started to take this as well. I just felt it cant do any harm. Any how the day has been pretty comfortable and very pain less. To summarise my experience so far, I’ve definitely had a great experience with Cooley and his team. They all work extremely hard and are very meticulous in everything they do. Cooley (and Brandy) is a perfectionist and wants everything to be 110% correct. I know the whole team has put in 110% effort so that I can achieve the desired result!! Dr Cooley and Brandy were by my side every time I would look up and I probably remember Cooley walking out for a short while but I am 110% confident that he was there and doing most of the work throughout the day!! It really does ease any anxieties when you know the lead doctor is there playing a pivotal part during the procedure and being so heavily involved! I’m on my iPad and will be receiving a CD with post / pre op photos which I will update later this week. I have some on my phone and again I will post later (just need to blank out the face). If anyone has any further questions, please feel free to ask here or PM me. Apologies for the long write up, I hope anyone considering Dr Cooley and his clinic finds this useful. If anyone is due for a procedure in the next forthcoming days with Cooley, I am staying at the hotel until Sunday and am more than happy to speak to anyone!
  4. Hi everyone. Been reading up here a ton and looking at surgeon options. I've already had a consult at Dr. Parsley's office after high recommendations here. However I didn't meet with him but rather with his associate, Dr. Waldman. I really liked Dr. Waldman personally, but can't find any reviews of his work here or anywhere else. It's hard to discern his work from Dr. Parsley's, though I'm confident Parsley wouldn't partner with a surgeon who is sub par. So just wondering if anyone can vouch for Dr. Waldman's work, OR recommend anyone closer to Tennessee. I met with Dr Fisher years back. Liked him, but also can't find much by way of reviews, other than that he's expensive. Dr. Cooley and Konior are also on my short list. Both their reputations precede them, so if I were to go with either of them it would simply come down to price. Thanks for any input! Big decision!
  5. Hi All, I have been following this website for a little over a month and read through all possible threads, surgeons, experiences etc. I got 3368 grafts with Dr. Cooley and will try to be succinct in my post. About me I am a 32 year old male who has been losing hair from the vertex going outward. I still have hair in the front, and this according to Dr. Cooley was a preferred hair loss pattern. I tried rogaine (foam and solution) 3 years ago and developed rashes and acne, and am skeptical about propecia so already have that off the table. Thus, my objectives were stated and expectations calibrated keeping these in mind. Which Surgeon? I live in NC so Dr. Vories and Dr. Cooley were obvious options. Additionally, I am originally from India so Dr. Bhatti was in the mix as well. I did not consider docs in Europe due to logistics and possible complications. My first meeting was with Bosley - it was good because they gave me information about hair transplant and better because they seemed like an assembly line which meant I should stay away from them. Dr. Bhatti has very good reviews but having lived in India all my life, I must confess that given an option and less binding monetary constraints, I have a slight preference for the US when it comes to cosmetic procedures for which, the medical guidelines are not as well defined in India. Again, this is purely my personal opinion and in no way reflects the quality of work performed by Dr. Bhatti. I met with Lollie at Dr. Cooley's and felt comfortable enough to go with him without even meeting Dr. Vories. I understand he is extremely good but I had a good feeling about Dr. Cooley, was able to get a date within 2 weeks due to a cancellation, and was willing to take a few weeks of pain and sutures. Finally, I am a bit of a sucker for active researchers - not to say that newly researched methods always work but at least it says something about the doc. We agreed to 3000 grafts and I additionally decided to have the PRP (given my reluctance to get on propecia). During Procedure As has been mentioned time and again, Dr. Cooley is very professional. I was scheduled for 3000 grafts, he told me we could harvest 3500 and cover the crown better but the marginal effect of that may not justify the cost. Given that a surgeon's job is to do surgery, it's always nice to hear one say we don't have to do it, or don't have to do all of it. Thus, we decided to stick to 3000, which resulted in 3368 grafts. Dr. Cooley thought it was best to spread the grafts uniformly throughout the top to provide density, reinforce the hairline, and put some in the crown. Below are some pics from before and right after the procedure. The procedure was painless; we started around 7.45am and finished at 6.15pm. Barring a small window (of 15-30 minutes I think) Dr. Cooley was there the whole day, and worked on the implants along with Brandi. Brandi left late afternoon and Dr. Cooley finished the job himself. Much has been said about docs performing the procedure themselves or having it done by techs. Agreed that Dr. Cooley did not implant all the grafts himself but in response to my question, he mentioned that his HT was done entirely by his techs. This bestows plenty of credibility in the capability of his staff. Here is a break-down of the nos.: 1's - 833 2's - 1640 3's - 239 4's - 20 D's (Doubles) - 327 Dr. Cooley mentioned that the Ds are 1+2 so count as double follicular units, resulting in an equivalent of 3368 grafts. On a separate note, I would like to mention that Dr. Cooley treats the patients well. Apart from putting up in a hotel, the shampoo, condition, spray etc. are provided at no charge. Ailene and Dr. Cooley have been extremely responsive over emails and have promptly addressed my concerns. This may be a standard practice but after shelling out this kind of money, it's good to see that you're not being "nickel and dimed" over petty expenses. Days 2-4 I am now day 4 (counting procedure as day 1) post-op. I have been spraying the solution every 45 min to an hour and 1.5 hours in the night. I reduced the frequency today to once every 2-3 hours. In the follow-up, I asked for more spray and Dr. Cooley was happy to oblige. I have to confess, so far, I am really happy with Dr. Cooley's work. I do not notice any swelling and haven't had to take any pain medication at all. I was able to sleep in the bed with my head on the pillow (with a airline pillow around my neck), and did not experience any pain or discomfort. I'd like to thank everyone for posts and questions. I learned immensely from this site and am happy to address any questions anyone has. Of course, I may not have researched as extensively or met as many docs as some of the other members, but am happy to share my experiences and help in any way I can. More updates will follow as things change. Cheers!
  6. I would like to start off by truly thanking all the people of this community and all the information this group has provided for a countless number of folks suffering with hair loss and now a little about me. I am 30 years old and started loosing my hair in my early 20's and thanks to this forum and modern medicine I managed to save a lot of my hair with Propecia and a few other regimented drugs. My primary hairloss is in the frontal region and that will soon be filling in nicely thanks to Dr. Jerry Cooley in NC. Like many young people looking for answers to an age old problem I started with google and found many places to research and learn the options now a days when dealing with hairloss. I floated on this forum and several others for 3 years reading and searching and rereading about every surgeon I could find it seemed. It was thanks to this LONG dedicated research and LOTS of reading that I believe I narrowed my search to one of, if not the finest hair transplant surgeon around. I didn't just read posts and peoples opinions I looked at photo after photo until I almost drove myself mad. After all, letting someone alter your physical appearance for the rest of your life is truly no small choice. Mostly, it was not just the final result and fullness of the transplanted hairs that concerned me but since I decided to go strip I had the donor scar to think about as well. As many know some of the horror stories from strips gone wrong have probably given a lot of folks anxiety about it. So after all the research the calls the asking advice from many, many people I decided to go with Dr. Jerry Cooley and as many of you have known or read he has an amazing reputation and true passion for what he does. He really is a great guy and also I liked the fact that the guy doing my procedure had been in the same position I was putting myself in. There is a comfort in that. My procedure took around 10 hours I would say since I got in around 4-5 movies during the procedure. The strip removal portion I can honestly say I do not remember one bit thanks to a friend of mine named Valium. I laid on my face, passed out, and woke up when they were leaning me back up and flipping me around to start the recipient sites. All in all a easy day for me and a long day for Dr. Cooley and his staff. Dr. Cooley was in the procedure the entire time minus a few short breaks to rest his hand and to let me have some lunch. Brandi and Dr. Cooley are a well oiled machine and all the folks that work with him make the entire operation quit enjoyable.. I am now 11 days out from my procedure with Dr. Cooley and I can honestly say besides sleeping propped up for the first few nights specifically the two nights right after my surgery, the process had been a smooth one. I have not had to take any pain medication and the only thing I can say I still feel today is a slight bit of tension in the back of my head, but after having a strip of your scalp cut out and closed up, I don't consider that odd. Dr. Cooley and his staff did VERY clean work and besides the redness not a soul would have noticed the work. Now, I do tend to go above and beyond anytime I do anything so for sleeping at night I bought a soft neck brace and slept in it to keep my head upright and lessen the odds I fell asleep and wacked my head. The neck brace along with a recliner and a few pillows made the sleeping not all that terrible for the first two nights and a couple tylenol PM. I had some slight swelling in my forehead and on the bridge of my nose that lasted maybe 2 days and went away but this swelling was still very slight. I also opted to go back to Dr. Cooley's office for a 1 week follow up to have them wash my hair and I am glad I did cause I would have never scrubbed my head as hard as they did for fear of knocking out a graft just from my own paranoia. Today as I write this, my recipient site is only slightly red and that is almost completely gone at this point. My girlfriend also states that finding the incision to place the cream on it for post op care would be almost impossible if it wasn't for the sutures she could see and feel to find it. I will be posting some photos shortly as I am writing this before I head out to the girlfriend's company christmas party. If anyone has any questions feels free to message me and asking anything you would like. If your hairloss is bothering you and you just aren't sure where to turn this community is filled with amazing people to help you along the way. I can only say I wish I had pulled the trigger on getting my hair fixed so much sooner. And now....I begin the waiting game! Thanks, G oh, and my graft count was around 3300!
  7. Hello, I am new to this forum, although I have been reading the posts for years. I am really hoping that someone can provide me with some guidance. I am 31 years old. I have always had a high hairline but was told I have "luscious" hair throughout college and my mid-twenties. It was awesome hair! I wore it really shaggy and girls loved it. My hair is very soft and there is a lot of it in the midsection and back. But like most guys, over the last few years I have seen my temples recede. I am told I am somewhere between a NW 2-3. Fortunately, I still have a lot of hair (blonde) in the back and in the middle. I have always combed my hair forward, so the extent of recession is not completely visible. Although, it is clear that I have receding hairline as I had to get a shorter haircut for work. I have scheduled 2,500 graphs with Dr. Cooley in March. I have been researching HT transplants for years and believe I have chosen a great surgeon. However, during my research I have also come across so many horror stories. And not just from the 90s, but recently. The thing is my hair isn't bad enough that it bothers me too much, and I am OK with the status quo. Obviously I would like to fill in my temples, but not if it means that people are going to know that I had a hair transplant. I also don't like the idea of scarring (not so much worred about the back) but in the front. I have heard that there will always be little red bumps. Could someone please provide some guidance? Is a HT really worth it? Not in terms of money, but results. Should I just keep what I have now (I am on propecia) and forego the transplant? Or have I chosen a good surgeon and my results will be worth it? Thank you very much!
  8. Hello, I have seen a few other posts in this forum regarding PRP/ACELL. Some say that it provides a substantial benefit, some say the jury is still out. I am scheduled for 2,500 graphs with Dr. Cooley in March. I elected to get the PRP/ACELL for an additional $1,500, which isn't that much in the grand scheme of things. I wanted to know if anyone has actually undergone PRP/ACELL and can share their thoughts/opinions on it? I am not so much hoping to grow any new hair out of it (although it would of course be nice) but rather to help minimize any scarring and prevent shockloss. Dr. Cooley is a big proponent of the procedure, but a lot of other well respected doctor's say it is not effective. I don't mind spending the money, but perhaps the money would better be spent on some more graphs. Although, that of course gets into the issue of not doing too many graphs and depleting my donor hair in case I need it in the future. Pictures of my hair in its current state can be found on my profile page. Thank you!
  9. Some of you may have followed some of my posts on here in the past -- I am so thankful to this community and the advice I received. I talked to some amazing doctors and, after months of thought as to what was best, on August 30, 2011, I went through a great repair experience with Dr. Cooley. I will have to change the picture, get some to post, but, the current picture looks nothing like me now. After having surgeries in the early 1990s when I was very young (I'm 42 now), I thought I had no hope. I would always have a pluggy hairline and never see the real "me" in the mirror. I could never eat outside in a cafe without a hat, or feel comfortable at the beach (again, without a hat). Why had I made such a mistake when so young, was a thought that often went through my mind. After seeing a friend who had a repair by Dr. Vogel in Maryland (excellent work, by the way) and then finding this and other forums, I went on a search for the right doctor for me. It is clear that there are so many good doctors on this forum. I ultimately chose Dr. Jerry Cooley, because of the time he spent with me before surgery in a phone consult (as did some other doctors who I would also recommend) as well as emails (as well as his great staff of Lollie and Ailene), patient recommendations, and the fact that I thought his plan was what I felt was the best one for me. That of course was my individual decision and I'm sure whomever I selected would have created topnotch results -- one factor was the ease of traveling from my home to Charlotte and that Dr. Cooley said that he felt comfortable doing the repair in one procedure. What I liked most about the doctors in this network was that all of the doctors (and their staff) I spoke with who are on here acted in my best interest, wanted what was best for me, spent time with me, and all spoke highly of the others whom I was considering. I never felt pressured. I basically had several choices to correct my pluggy hairline. I had had 4 open donor procedures in the past (not strip surgeries) and was very concerned about how many grafts I would have left to have to use. Dr. Cooley recommended a conservative approach to the hairline, did not think comouflage (just implanting new hairs in front of and around the plugs without plug reduction/removal) would be enough, and recommended an aggressive punch removal/reduction of the pluggy grafts and strip surgery all in one procedure. He also said that in his experience that A-Cell would help with the healing of the areas where the front row of plugs and some others where reduced/removed. When I arrived at his office by shuttle on the morning of surgery at 7:00 am after staying at the nearby hotel, we met, went over the plan again, and I totally trusted what he was saying (after I had asked so many questions before, at the end of the day, you have to put your trust in your decision to choose the best doctor for you). When Dr. Cooley asked whether I wanted to be as aggressive and get the best result, even though initially it might not look the best because of the open holes where the plugs would be reduced/removed, I said to go for it. Then, it was into the chair. This was nothing like the earlier procedures I had and I felt no paid at all the whole time. While I slept some of the time, I know that Dr. Cooley had his team of about eight techs working to get the follicles ready for implantation, and that Dr. Cooley made the incisions for implantation. I believe that Dr. Cooley and two techs did much of the implantation in the recipient area, and in the end it was Dr. Cooley and Brandi, his head tech who were working on my head to finish up. It seemed that Dr. Cooley was in the room the whole time (at least when I was up) and the whole atmosphere was top notch. On a side note, for those other busy guys out there, it was nice not to have to worry about the blackberry. And, when all was said and done, after I think more than 11 hours, I couldn't believe it -- my hair looked pretty good -- there wasn't much redness where the follicular units were implanted, and, thanks to my stretching exercises that I did for 6 weeks before the surgery, and an enzyme that Dr. Cooley uses on the strip, I was able to get over 3,000 grafts (when other doctors had told me my max would be 1,500 to 1,800). And, I might have another 1,500 left if I need another procedure. One thing I'm happy about is some of the open donor scarring in the back of my head was removed by Dr. Cooley's removal of the strip and closure. Dr. Cooley also did not require me to shave my head, which was important to me given my profession. That night, I went to the hotel, had some dinner, took the valium and demoral, used my airline pillow (I recommend this), and slept fine except when I woke up as directed to use a spray to increase blood flow that Dr. Cooley recommends. The next morning, I went to Dr. Cooley's and got shampooed and I couldn't believe it -- I was finally looking at me again (albeit with smaller holes where the row of plugs in the front had been removed/reduced) and not at some guy with a bunch of plugs in his hairline. I told Dr. Cooley that when the holes healed up, I would even be happy if I just look like this (without the grown in hairs from the transplant), as opposed to seeing that half smiley face in the front of my head with pretty much bare flesh behind it. Dr. Cooley said he had heard that many times before before. My scar (75 stitches or so) also feels relatively fine and Dr. Cooley said it looks good, as did some of my friends who looked at it. I could not be happier and I hope to post some pictures soon. Here's the most amazing thing. I had a big assignment at work today (2 days post surgery) and I went in wearing my hat (with saran wrap underneath to protect the grafts) and have continued to use the spray that Dr. Cooley said to spray on the grafts. After an hour at work, I took the hat off as the holes from the plug removal have already shrunk to about half of their original size. There are two other HT patients (from older techniques) at my office and both were impressed, as has everyone who has seen how clean the work is. I can only hope that when the time comes, it all grows in as expected. Basically, after major HT surgery, I looked like a guy walking around with a slightly wet head -- thanks to the spray and my not coming my hair to not affect the implanted follicles. I of course am not doing any physical exertion or exposing my head to the sun. I owe so much thanks to Dr. Cooley, Brandi, Ailene, Lollie, Stephanie, and everyone else on his team. Their kindness and patience throughout is to me what medicine should be all about. I never felt pushed or that anything was being sold to me, and I know Dr. Cooley was the captain in control of a well-run ship. The whole time, I honestly felt that everyone on his team was looking out for my best interests and were extremely competent in their field. I know there are multiple approaches to HT repair, but, if you are considering one, now may be the time to consider it given how the technology has changed. And, if you are just considering any type of HT procedure, I highly recommend consulting with Dr. Cooley and his team. Finally, to all of you with whom I've corresponded, you have my sincere thanks. Best. Bill
  10. So here is the deal guys. I'm young by HT standards (26) and african american, I have been on and off this site about 2008. Losing your hair this early really really sucks. I refuse to go places without a hat which is messing up my life to a certain extent. Oh and I could go on and on.... My first concern was would I be able to wear my hair short with the scar and everything. But with a Trichophytic closure, Acell with Dr. Cooley, and just good care on my part im sure the scare will be barely noticable in time. Until then I figured I could just cover the scar up to some extent with Dermmatch for a while, until either A. The transplanted Hair grows out and I can grow the rest of my hair with it or B. I can get an FUE into the scar. If I had just go bald for a while I think I would be fine with that. But I found out I have a scalp condition called CVG, which makes my brain look like its coming out of my scalp. So, I really would not like to keep my hair that short in any case. And if I had to choose between plastic surgery (only opiton) to get my scalp fixed or a HT, I choose HT. Most of you guys said I should wait because I am so young. So I did, tried some hair products. I've pretty much made my mind up to do it but I'm really thinking I should've done it sooner. Nothing has changed in my hair condition. I had a work at home job, which was absolutely perfect for recovery. Now I am in between jobs, I have the money saved up, but I'm not sure now is the ideal time. Because say I get the HT tomorrow and I get called up for an interview next week. What am I supposed to do?? But at the same time its like now or never (or a while). My next job most likely won't be a remote job, and I will have to work a while to even accumulate recovery time. Which from searching looks anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. So what should I do?? Any suggestions or comments about anything at all I would appreciate.
  11. I am highly considering HT. I live in NC. I searched the forum for Dr Koher and I could not find anything. I see a lot of info for Dr Cooley. then there is Bosley. If anyone has any info on Dr Koher please share your info. Her is website (Link removed by moderator - See Terms of Service) Thanks
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