Jump to content
BaltoBill

My Great Experience (Repair) with Dr. Jerry Cooley and his Team

Recommended Posts

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

Edited by BaltoBill
Mispelled Names

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is great to hear.......Dr. Cooley has an excellent reputation and his work always looks great. Good luck to you and I hope you heal well. Hopefully you will be able to post photos and keep us updated on your progress.


Surgery - Dr. Ron Shapiro FUT 6/14/11 - 3048 grafts

 

Surgery - Dr. Ron Shapiro FUE 1/28/13 & 1/29/13 - 1513 grafts

 

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/orlhair1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BaltoBill,

 

Excellent write up! I haven't heard much of Dr Cooley on this forum so this was an interesting read.

 

A quick couple of questions if I may;

 

1) you stated that Dr Cooley did the plug removal and strip procedure all in one session. How many plugs were removed (ball park figure)?

 

2) would the plug removal and grafting into (or near to) the same area increase the likelihood of trauma?

 

3) Is a repair procedure not usually a separate procedure (to allow healing and reduce trauma?)

 

I would be most grateful if those queries could be answered by either yourself or Dr Cooley ( I ask these questions in good faith and not criticising)

 

A fantastic experience and I wish you all the best,

 

Jessie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jessie,

 

Ballpark figure was about 20 plugs or more (including the entire "half smiley face" in front and some near the crown) were either removed or reduced. I can see them shrinking substantially already and when they are all "closed," Dr. Cooley said they should be about 1 mm in circumference.

 

The likelihood of trauma was something that Dr. Shapiro, who recommended plug removal first followed by grafting later, mentioned as a risk. Dr. Cooley showed me pictures of the procedure he has performed on others and given the use of A-Cell, does not believe this is an issue. I asked Dr. Cooley if we should do a two step process, and, while he recognized that was a legitimate course, said one step would be fine given my needs and finances as well.

 

Other doctors do a repair in one procedure as well -- you just need to ask around and decide what is best. One doctor recommended linear excision (removing the entire front row of plugs and coming back later, another plug reduction/removal first and coming back later for transplant, and Dr. Cooley recommended doing it all at once. Other doctors recommended just camoflauge (no reduction) but I didn't prefer that option although I've seen some good results. I always was unhappy with that thick line at the front of my head and wanted it gone. I also wasn't sure if I had enough donor to do camouflage and then have sufficient density further back in my head.

 

If you are going through what I went through, feel free to pm me.

 

Regards. Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe all of these pictures are from the day of surgery. I really hope this helps those who are considering going forward with a repair. The strip photo shows where Dr. Cooley clipped the hair, the actual strip cut was a little narrower.

 

The photos with the blue background are pre op. The photo (#06, with the plug reductions showing) was post op.

5b32cf695bf80_DSC_067(2).JPG.57c35de7b990ab14109c5bb85226a07c.JPG

DSC_0680.JPG.67649dbd6b21a3cc14e83e37782967a5.JPG

DSC_0681.JPG.c5bbcfbd8bda216d0bd19f3cab572d75.JPG

DSC_0685.JPG.ca4ad97190a95b535ef82d88cd4f6757.JPG

5b32cf69d49b0_DSC_06(1).JPG.1b17c973d1d4f3ce8f32ab3db7fd05c6.JPG

5b32cf69e8ac9_DSC_79(2).JPG.e75f13b30a370ade783e97b48ae4efab.JPG

Edited by BaltoBill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weird bumps on the shaved area are because I had the old style, open donor procedures rather than a strip procedure when I had my initial hair transplants long ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The weird bumps on the shaved area are because I had the old style, open donor procedures rather than a strip procedure when I had my initial hair transplants long ago.

 

 

Congratulations, Bill!

 

I am so happy things went well. I knew Dr. Cooley would take good care of you. I cannot imagine what a difference Dr. Cooley's procedure was vesus the open donor procedures. Heal well, my friend!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking good Bill, I'm happy you were able to fix your hairline. Looking forward to seeing pictures of your results grown in. Happy you are putting all that previous work behind you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baltobill,

 

I am sooo happy everything worked out for you. And especially glad to see Dr. Cooley and staff were able to get 3,000 grafts to redistribute.;)

 

You will be amazed at the result in 12 months. Thanks for sharing your pics with us and please keep us posted with your progress.

 

There are many guys that will want an improvement to their hairline from having similar open donor surgery (plugs) like you had in the past.

 

I truly have enjoyed all of our past conversations and finally meeting you in person at my office several months ago. Don't forget about the densiometer that you can purchase at Radio Shack just like the ones that I use.

 

I can hardly wait to see your new transformation!:D


Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

 

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

 

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Jim Harris, Denver, CO - Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dr. Cooley is a wizard in these cases. He works magic on subpar cases and can make a persons life normal again. Your case is no exception!


Finasteride 1.25 mg. daily

Avodart 0.5 mg. daily

Spironolactone 50 mg twice daily

5 mg. oral Minoxidil twice daily

Biotin 1000 mcg daily

Multi Vitamin daily

 

Damn, with all the stuff you put in your hair are you like a negative NW1? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Bill I am very happy for you getting the repair done . I know it is a tough decision to make after having the old style open donor procedures . I myself had those and can relate . It looks like you will have a great transformation as this heals and grows in .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the nice comments guys. I especially want to thank Gillenator, who took the time to meet with me, discussed my options, and gave good opinions on doctors and the options of my case. Still feeling good and being careful with all the grafts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all the nice comments guys. I especially want to thank Gillenator, who took the time to meet with me, discussed my options, and gave good opinions on doctors and the options of my case. Still feeling good and being careful with all the grafts.

 

You are most welcome Bill and am very happy for you.

 

Repair situations can be complex yet today most guys have the potential for awesome transformations like yours.

 

Put the latest technology and tooling in the hands of a reputable talented doc and it's truly amazing what can be done today that were not options years ago when most guys had open donor (plugs) done.

 

Again, I wish you the very best Bill and keep us in the loop my friend.;)


Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

 

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

 

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Jim Harris, Denver, CO - Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attached are pictures at the three month mark. No hairs have started growing yet, but the plug reduction sites have healed remarkably well in my opinion. I am able to walk around without having to worry about my hair and it is great to be able to be in the wind or rain without serious worry. I know I have a long way to go, but am posting these pictures so that everyone with a pluggy appearance can see what can be done with plug reduction in one session. I hope that I'll start seeing growth soon and understand that since this is a repair case, my new hair may start growing a little later than in a new case. You can see my other photos on my album. Also, note that these pictures were taken in relatively bright light and that the picture from the front is the one that shows how I look to others who are not focusing on my head. I don't know how to straighten the photos on this post but they will be straightened on my album.

photo3.JPG.06516172768a9eb298ff15589ad20f0b.JPG

photo5.JPG.9b8d48d8414421846c71022890399e43.JPG

photo2.JPG.49ccc2d5ba4e3925596318f3dc25ffc2.JPG

photo4.JPG.f546cdb30868c5a1f753ebf1d35b255f.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always try and PM BaltoBill for more recent pics.;)


Gillenator

Independent Patient Advocate

 

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

 

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Jim Harris, Denver, CO - Dr. Robert True & Dr. Robert Dorin, New York, NY

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×