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My Consultation With Dr. Feller!


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Hello all,

 

First, I hope this is the appropriate location for a "hey, just had a great consultation with a reputable doctor and am looking forward to the big day" post...

 

Second, I wanted to, actually, thank everyone here and for that matter on several other forums for being willing to share your experiences and pictures so openly. You really helped me, a guy who's new to this and a little nervous about taking this kind of step, find someone he trusts. Which brings me to...

 

THIS OLD SCALP: PLANNED RESTORATION A LA FELLER

===============================================

As the last part of a great prolonged Memorial Day weekend full of biking, lots of time with my girlfriend, and hosting a big cookout on Monday, I made a road trip (actually, rail trip)up to NYC for my consultation with Dr. Feller.

I was there early, being the over-cautious type who didn't want a train delay to mess things up, and he was glad to see me ahead of schedule.

 

I could tell from his office that I liked the guy...professional but not "slick," if that makes any sense; it looked like the office fo someone who actually uses it for work and research rather than just for impressing clients. There was a long table covered with, er, hair-a-phenalia...mirrors, samples of the blades he uses (damn, that thing is tiny!) alongside more standard ones, purple markers for delineating the location of thousands (!) of hairs, and a monitor with literally hundreds of anonymous patient photos. He had me sit down, immediately walked over and took a closer look, and in about a minute said "OK, I'll tell you what I'm going to do." He commented on my vast donor area and, er, large head (it's true), and seemed enthusiasic that I had all the ingredients for an ideal scenario, and explained why.

 

Background; started receding/thinning, more or less, around 21, and things have more or less leveled off by 36. Based on a prior consultation and research (and perhaps a little wishful thinking thrown in), I'm at the "Norwood 3v" stage, give or take a lowercase letter. What this means aesthetically is a really high forehead, which I've always had, coupled with lots of recession in the temples, and definite thinning at the top, and some at the crown. Creative combing, light skin and hair, and my hair's texture and behavior more or less work favorably, at least with what I have to work with.

 

What Dr. Feller proposed was a 3-4000 graft approach that would lower the hairline at the front/temples (but not excessively, restore the temples, thicken the top all the way to the back. What he pointed out (this may or may not be relevant to someone) was that because my case was a "v-shaped" recession with the point of the "V" at the back of my head, it was more optimal than the reverse.

 

Interesting point on the graft count; when I told him that a previous consult (which was actually with what I assume was the sales guy; the doctor stepped in for about 38 seconds...no, it wasn't Bosley or MHR icon_smile.gif) suggested 1600, he was almost amazed..."I wouldn't touch you at that amount...it would be a waste." He pointed out that given the excellent scalp laxity/head size/volume of donor hair, a larger session would not only be entirely reasonable but would get considerable bang for the buck. He had quoted the 4000 as a benchmark, he said as well that more would be possible, if I were open to it. All of which I had suspected, reading about people who'd had transplants in the 4000 range and seeing their photos, and taking a less denial-based look at my own in places, chrome dome...

 

I have to say that I was glad, going in, to meet Dr. Feller, having heard so many positive impressions, and liked him immmediately; he came across as someone who was confident, compassionate, very straightforward, and genuinely interested in helping his patients. He was willing to answer any and all questions and told me to call if I had more, and was thoughtful enough to recommend a plastic surgeon who as it turns out works about a block from my office to have the sutures/staples removed when the time comes. He also showed me his own transplants, which I would not have guessed were in fact transplants...a testament to the skill of his friend, as he called it, who I assume is one of the echelon of surgeons people have mentioned on this board. He also mentioned the names of several other well-known doctors to talk to -- Hasson and Wong and Seager, among them -- for second opinons, which may be a small thing and may be standard protocol, but to me was another positive; that he is confident enough and concerned enough about his patients' well being to encourage them to talk to colleagues. And apart from all the above, he just seems like a cool guy...had I met him in some other context, he struck me as someone I'd hang out with. Which is probably totally irrelevant to a medical procedure, but at least put me more at ease...

 

I'll be glad to post pictures as things progress...looking forward to June 19!

 

Benjamin

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Hello all,

 

First, I hope this is the appropriate location for a "hey, just had a great consultation with a reputable doctor and am looking forward to the big day" post...

 

Second, I wanted to, actually, thank everyone here and for that matter on several other forums for being willing to share your experiences and pictures so openly. You really helped me, a guy who's new to this and a little nervous about taking this kind of step, find someone he trusts. Which brings me to...

 

THIS OLD SCALP: PLANNED RESTORATION A LA FELLER

===============================================

As the last part of a great prolonged Memorial Day weekend full of biking, lots of time with my girlfriend, and hosting a big cookout on Monday, I made a road trip (actually, rail trip)up to NYC for my consultation with Dr. Feller.

I was there early, being the over-cautious type who didn't want a train delay to mess things up, and he was glad to see me ahead of schedule.

 

I could tell from his office that I liked the guy...professional but not "slick," if that makes any sense; it looked like the office fo someone who actually uses it for work and research rather than just for impressing clients. There was a long table covered with, er, hair-a-phenalia...mirrors, samples of the blades he uses (damn, that thing is tiny!) alongside more standard ones, purple markers for delineating the location of thousands (!) of hairs, and a monitor with literally hundreds of anonymous patient photos. He had me sit down, immediately walked over and took a closer look, and in about a minute said "OK, I'll tell you what I'm going to do." He commented on my vast donor area and, er, large head (it's true), and seemed enthusiasic that I had all the ingredients for an ideal scenario, and explained why.

 

Background; started receding/thinning, more or less, around 21, and things have more or less leveled off by 36. Based on a prior consultation and research (and perhaps a little wishful thinking thrown in), I'm at the "Norwood 3v" stage, give or take a lowercase letter. What this means aesthetically is a really high forehead, which I've always had, coupled with lots of recession in the temples, and definite thinning at the top, and some at the crown. Creative combing, light skin and hair, and my hair's texture and behavior more or less work favorably, at least with what I have to work with.

 

What Dr. Feller proposed was a 3-4000 graft approach that would lower the hairline at the front/temples (but not excessively, restore the temples, thicken the top all the way to the back. What he pointed out (this may or may not be relevant to someone) was that because my case was a "v-shaped" recession with the point of the "V" at the back of my head, it was more optimal than the reverse.

 

Interesting point on the graft count; when I told him that a previous consult (which was actually with what I assume was the sales guy; the doctor stepped in for about 38 seconds...no, it wasn't Bosley or MHR icon_smile.gif) suggested 1600, he was almost amazed..."I wouldn't touch you at that amount...it would be a waste." He pointed out that given the excellent scalp laxity/head size/volume of donor hair, a larger session would not only be entirely reasonable but would get considerable bang for the buck. He had quoted the 4000 as a benchmark, he said as well that more would be possible, if I were open to it. All of which I had suspected, reading about people who'd had transplants in the 4000 range and seeing their photos, and taking a less denial-based look at my own in places, chrome dome...

 

I have to say that I was glad, going in, to meet Dr. Feller, having heard so many positive impressions, and liked him immmediately; he came across as someone who was confident, compassionate, very straightforward, and genuinely interested in helping his patients. He was willing to answer any and all questions and told me to call if I had more, and was thoughtful enough to recommend a plastic surgeon who as it turns out works about a block from my office to have the sutures/staples removed when the time comes. He also showed me his own transplants, which I would not have guessed were in fact transplants...a testament to the skill of his friend, as he called it, who I assume is one of the echelon of surgeons people have mentioned on this board. He also mentioned the names of several other well-known doctors to talk to -- Hasson and Wong and Seager, among them -- for second opinons, which may be a small thing and may be standard protocol, but to me was another positive; that he is confident enough and concerned enough about his patients' well being to encourage them to talk to colleagues. And apart from all the above, he just seems like a cool guy...had I met him in some other context, he struck me as someone I'd hang out with. Which is probably totally irrelevant to a medical procedure, but at least put me more at ease...

 

I'll be glad to post pictures as things progress...looking forward to June 19!

 

Benjamin

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As Columbo says, "oh, one more thing..."

 

A totally practical note on travel to Dr. Feller's clinic, if it's helpful and not totally redundant. My estimated costs, from DC, were:

 

Amtrak round-trip fare* $147.00

LIRR to/from Great Neck about $12.00

Bus fare to Feller Medical maybe $1.50

(walkable)

 

Total $160.60

 

(Follicular transformation... priceless)

 

* The Acela train is a definite step up, and after a what-the-hell moment I actually upgraded my return trip ticket to the tune of about $100 after reconsidering my midnight arrival in DC, so my actual costs turned out higher. For that price you get a shorter trip, a much brighter, cleaner train, twice the legroom, optional "quiet car" or a seat with a table, and a cafe car with beer icon_smile.gif)

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A couple of other things I forgot that might be of use to someone...

 

 

  • I asked Dr. Feller if bringing in older or more recent photos of myself, as a guide to my former hairline, would be of use; he said definitively no -- that the focus was on matching the hairline to my face as it is, now. He also drew what I thought was an insightful analogy to reconstructing or restoring a bukding; over the years it goes through changes, the foundation shifts, etc., and so the restoration process has to be in light of the present and future, not the past.

 

I asked him about the oft-posed question, to buzz or not to buzz...he said, unequiviocally, "oh yeah, we're gonna shave you." His reasoning was primarily that even shorter hairs would make it more difficult to place the new ones accurately and naturally, and "cast a shadow" as he put it. Again, a smal thing and probably common knowledge, but it came across to me as someone who sees his work as art as well as medical science...

 

Getting more excited about this as the day approaches (6/19) and this progresses from a "what-if" to a reality. I will be posting a weblog on that site, soon; hope others can benefit from this "journey!"

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Face... Yes, they are exciting days leading up to the procedure. I just hope your prepared for a few low months post-op. Many people get a little depressed because nothing seemingly is happening. You should look great by Febuary. Good luck to you.

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Good point! Patience is the name of this game...I like to think that after at least a year of going back and forth on the hair restoration issue, and for that matter after several years of living with a less-than-optimal scenario, three months of waiting for an upward trend won't seem that long!

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Gangster story? Fuggedduboudit...

 

Actually, that's a misquote from _Goodfellas_. As much of an amazingly white WASP as I am, I have this uncanny fascination with Mafia movies, _The Sopranos_, et cetera...go figure.

 

So, zerro, may I ask, what's your Hair Repair tale? I suppose I could just look on the forums, but I'm feeling lazy...and that's more impersonal (?).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, Monday is the day of follicular reckoning...the next time I post will be after Dr. Feller has worked his mojo on my ample scalp. As soon as is feasible I'll post an update to the blog I set up, along with any additional photos, for any and all interested...

 

I did attach one, for now; I'm hoping that Dr. Feller will be able to duplicate it for me...

TopView.jpg.a5cb0f89d078a8c5c81e002e43c1d077.jpg

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Good Luck FacelessMan! Dr. Feller has an excellent reputation so certainly you are in good hands.

 

4000 is a lot of grafts so prepre yourself for a long day. Flip side of course, 4000 will pack a powerful punch so you should have quite a happy transformation beginning 5-6 months from now.Patience.

 

Best of Luck.

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