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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!
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!