Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Friday 4-22-11



It is now 11:25 PM as I type this. This morning I was in Dr. Cooley’s office for my first day post surgery once over. I left his office landed at 4:30 came home changed put on a baseball cap and went out to grab some food with my friends. Conversation went around the table who did what this week…usual stuff, then I causally said oh I had a hair transplant yesterday, some of the guys knew some didn’t, laughs all around and then of course let me see. Wow not what I expected, you look fine. It looks like a little rash or small pimples, and I feel fine as well, on a scale of 1-10 the pain in is less than a 1, no swelling absolutely negligible discomfort.



Dr. Cooley was an absolute pleasure throughout the entire procedure. He was incredibly patient, very forthright in setting expectations and what I found most impressive and most comforting is the meticulous way in which he went about his work. It is patently obvious that he deeply cares about the result and doing the best job he possibly can.



I had three prior transplants in the late ninety’s by a very competent, and deservedly so, surgeon of whom I am sure many of you know. I went back to him recently and thought I would also have him do this surgery as well. The thing was I do not heal well (In general I develop keloids) and my transplant scars were larger then I would have liked. I knew that Dr. Cooley was using ACEL and I thought this may help with my scaring, I also knew he was combining ACEL with the plucked hair technique so I thought it was worth getting on a plane and going out to meet him, especially given my diminishing donor hair supply. I left the meeting fairly confident that Dr. Cooley was the Dr. for me. Again he was very patient and realistic with what he thought he could achieve. I had meet with three prior well know surgeons in about a two month’s time before flying out to meet Dr. Cooley. I live in NY so I was fortunate enough to have quite a few qualified surgeons close to me. Everyone had a different opinion as to what approach to take. Dr. Colley’s approach seemed the most reasonable. 1000 FUT’s 400 FUEs and 100 plucked graphs used more so as a test to see if this would be an option for me in the future.



A few moths latter I called to make my appointment; I had a few more questions and scheduled a call with Dr. Cooley. He got on the phone, again I never felt rushed, we talked about the procedure and he then informed me that since I had been there back in November he was now using a new enzyme that enabled him to make a larger incision which would yield more grafts and he had a good level of confidence that the scar would be the same or better even with the larger incision. I was cautiously optimistic but given my tight scalp and my previous history we thought a good approach would be for us to meet up the evening before my surgery and decide on the best approach. I had planned on flying down the night before anyway so it worked out perfectly. Dr. Cooley looked over my scalp and was confident that with the new enzyme he would now be able to get about 1500 graphs without needing to use any FUE’s and he would be able to excise my original scar and hopefully improve upon it. This was a substantial and much appreciated change from out first meeting where he said he was not comfortable trying to excising my original scar, as he felt if he did so that the likelihood was there would be little if any improvement.


Saturday 4-23-11


The day of the surgery – I was greeted by Stephanie, paper work, meds, basic information; she was very nice, and very comforting, especially given that my nerves did start to kick in a little. Dr. Cooley comes in he takes quite a few pictures and then draws out the plan for the day, literally draws it out on your head. Off to the procedure room, Stephanie hands me two menus, what movies do you want to watch today and what would you like for lunch, there is something there for every taste in both categories. Then face down on a massage table…nerves are kicking in a quite a bit now, Stephanie was very kind and I was glad to have her there. They both are very patient, Injections to numb you up, this is the most uncomfortable part. Dr. Coolly removes the hair stitches you up and now sits you in what is basically a lounge chair. The room is now filled with techs dividing up the follicles. I meet Brandy who came into the room while I was on the table; her and Dr. Cooley are both talking to the techs and giving instructions as to how they want the follicles divided. Dr. Cooley begins to make the receptor sites with Brandy observing and counting. By this time my nerves have subsided and you just sit there as they place the grafts. If you need a bathroom break, no problem, before you know it it’s lunch time. Then back in the chair and the day goes on. The most important thing I can say about the procedure is that Dr. Cooley is in the room placing graphs for hours. He personally places the grafts right next to Brandy; they have a shorthand and what seems to be a great working relationship. The level of comfort I had knowing that Dr. Cooley was placing those grafts was invaluable. He does leave from time to time and Brandy is there working away as diligently and as with much care and patience as Dr. Cooley. Brandy’s sister Amy also places grafts periodically throughout the procedure and they too work very well together and they both made me feel very comfortable. In my past procedures, especially surprising the first time since I did not know any better, the Dr. made the receptor sites and off he went…helooo where are you going, I later came to understand this is how it is done in most clinics, but that is not typically a piece of information that Is volunteered at the consultation. Lollie and Ailene, Dr. Cooley’s consultants did tell me that Dr. Cooley placed graph’s and that he would be in and out of the room throughout the day, from my perspective, and to their credit, I think they under promised and over performed, he was in there for hours at a clip.



It was a long day, as I think given my previous surgeries my procedure required that much more attention to the process, but as odd as this may sound it was a nice day. I learned a lot and we all had more than a few laughs throughout our hours together. I was tired but not exhausted, I went back to my room ordered room service watched TV for a few hours and slept pain free throughout the night. It’s now Saturday morning, day 2, and I feel perfect, if I was allowed too I feel good enough to go to the gym like any other Saturday morning.



My thoughts for those of you trying to decided what if anything to do about your thinning hair is the following: Meet with at least three surgeons preferable more if you can. Ask about the day, ask who will be placing the grafts; I’m fairly confident very few of them will say that the Dr. will place more than a cursory amount if any. Ask what techniques they will be using and ask WHY they will be using that technique. I felt Dr. Cooley had a lot of tools/techniques in his tool box to choose from. Every patient will have some variation on what is appropriate for them. In my case I already had a large scar and a revised FUT was the best choice for me, you may have different needs. Then in the end defer to who you have the best feeling about. I did as much research as I could but the reality is I am not qualified to say how many hairs should be extracted, should it be FUE or FUT. I originally thought, and was told by two other Dr’s that FUT was no longer an option for me due to my limited donor supply. Dr. Coolly was initially confident that he could harvest about 1000 graphs using FUT with minimal scaring. Then he had the tool/enzyme become available so he revised his estimate to about 1500 It the end it turned out that he was able to harvest not only the 1500 graphs that he estimated the day before the surgery but he harvested an extra 150 graphs bringing the count to 1650 graphs using FUT exclusively…no need for FUE’s. Again delivering more than he promised, he then put in about 250 plucked hairs in a tight circle and took corresponding photos for latter review.



I will have my stitches out in three weeks where I hope to see a greatly improved scar and then 9 months or so to see my new hair line. My closing thought is that if you are thinking about having hair replacement surgery Dr. Colley is a good guy to have on your list of people t meet with. Both Dr. Cooley and his staff genuinely care about the quality of their work and it was clear to me that they did their very best to provide me with the best outcome possible.


All the best.


February 12, 2012



I flew back out to see Dr. Cooley this past Thursday, I knew my hair had improved quite a bit, but the before and after pictures that he took showed just how dramatic the changes are. I think the interesting thing was that the friends that knew I had the procedure noticed the change in my hair. Around 6 – 7 months in a number of them said, unsolicited, you hair really looks so much better, it really did work. Whereas the people I did not mention it to seemed not to notice, which was more than fine by me. Initially it seems like nothing was happening. I was told to expect this so after the surgery I decided to not think about it and went back to my daily life, then one day I am combing my hair and its different, fuller, and then it continues to get fuller with the passage of time, its a fun few months. I comb my hair and I am out the door in two minutes now as opposed to trying to strategically comb it as I did in the past. It is the greatest thing!



Dr. Cooley feels that I have reached the end of the road for FUT, given my previous surgeries and my propensity to scar. To paraphrase, we got a great result let’s not risk going backwards. I forgot to mention my old scar, that was what he was referring to. Of everything that old scar from my previous surgeon really bothered me. It was wide and left me with a weird bald spot in the back of my head and a line that was visible across the back of my head as well. Even though my hair was covering it, anyone who knows about hair transplants would have known that I had one with that scar and the way my covering hair was indented over it. The work he did to fix my scar was tremendous. It is night and day, the bald spot is gone, the girl that cuts my hair says that hair is growing though the new scar. The best thing for me is that I no longer notice that I have a scar and I know no one else notices either. I could not have asked for more than that.



The plucked hairs that we did as a test worked as well, I was curious as to how he could tell. Dr. Cooley took out a camera that magnifies your scalp and projects it onto to a monitor. He patiently pointed out which hairs were the plucked beard hairs and which were the plucked head hairs. Then later on in the consult when he brought out the, just taken, before and after pictures you could see that they grew as he placed them in one specific area that had very little hair prior to the procedure. The pictures are worth mentioning as well. What he does is he looks at your old pictures and then poses you in the exact same way with the same lights and takes the exact pictures again, there is no trickery going on, and the difference is dramatic!



So now ten months in I am very confident recommending Dr. Cooley and his staff. He cares about his work and he and his staff are very good at it. One of the girls happened to knock on the door during my consult, it was Amy. Dr. Cooley takes the pictures out and says look at these with a big smile, genuinely pleased, as was she based on her response, to which she added that is my side, jokingly taking credit for the result, and they both laughed. And I left knowing that they did their very best and delivered a terrific result. In the end I think that is what all of us that are losing our hair are looking for.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for providing such a detailed account of your HT journey and experience with Dr. Cooley. He has a great reputation! It would be great to see some photos if you can post them. Congrats on achieving the results you wanted.

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


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



Link to post
Share on other sites

Dr. Cooley is a leader in the field of hair restoration. He is top notch all around. We'd love to see your before and afters, but if you are a private person, I understand.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites



Congratulations and thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed account of your experience. Dr. Cooley is as good as they come and I'm sure you'll be thrilled when all is said and done.


I hope you will continue to update us on your progress. Happy growing!

David - Former Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant


I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and my advice should not constitute as medical advice.


View my Hair Loss Website

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I understand that photographs would be helpful but I'd perfer not to have them on the web, I hope you can understand. I am scheduled to go back to Dr. Cooley on May1st for 2000 plucked hairs and 500 FUE, i will update the results in about ten months from the procedure.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Hi, all. I’ve been a lurker here for years and I won’t go into great detail at the moment. I wanted to post a brief account of my recent hair transplant with Dr. Jerry Cooley in Charlotte, North Carolina.

I had 2500 grafts placed on 4/5/2012 with Dr. Cooley. I’m only 90 minutes away from his clinic, which made my decision to go with Dr. Cooley easy, plus the fact that over the last few years (6, I think) debating whether or not to proceed with a hair transplant two other well- respected dermatologists I see in my home town enthusiastically recommended his work. Of course, it’s been only 3 weeks and I have quite a wait ahead of me before I’ll see the results, but at this stage I just wanted to say what a wonderful experience it was and to heartily recommend Dr. Cooley and the Hair Center to anybody still in the shopping phase for this kind of surgery.

I don’t know that I can add a whole lot to member 18934’s account of his day with Dr. Cooley posted last April. I will say that even though I had already decided well before I read his detailed review to have my procedure done by Dr. Cooley, his comments certainly reinforced my confidence in the decision I had made. As he said, the day begins early—7AM!—and, depending I imagine on how much work you’re having done, lasts well into the early evening. I was surprised by how many people are involved throughout the procedure—I believe I counted 8 or 9 techs working away behind microscopes most of the time while Dr. Cooley or his assistant placed the ­­­­grafts. I wasn’t sure what to expect regarding any pain or discomfort. The drugs they give you must be really good because the only pain I experienced the whole day was just for a couple of seconds from what I suppose was the numbing injection at the start. In fact, I didn’t have any pain that night, either, which is really remarkable considering the extent of my particular donor incision. As I say, it’s a long day, but with a lunch break (while you’re still seated in the chair, of course) and several movies you can watch throughout the day, plus that mental fog from the medications which are part of any surgery, it really doesn’t seem that long. And while everyone is extremely focused on the procedure at hand, at the same time they all are very helpful and solicitous of your needs. As they will tell you there, the day is all about You.

I’m lucky to live close enough to have returned the following week for the post-op follow-up, in which one of the techs, Stephanie, gently shampooed my hair and scalp to dislodge many of the residual scabs from the transplant. Also this was a good time to ask any questions I had about post-op care. Then I returned again after two and a half weeks for suture removal from the donor incision. It’s a weird sensation but again, no pain. Everyone really does a wonderful job at each step of this whole process from the initial consultation with Ailene or Lollie to suture removal. The hotel which they use is very close by and there’s plenty of food and shopping nearby. The airport, if you’re flying in, is conveniently close.

I hope to have photos later in the year. That’s about all I need to say for now. I’m fortunate to be so close to Dr. Cooley’s clinic, but I don’t hesitate in recommending him to you no matter where you live. A big thanks to him and to all the staff at the Hair Center.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...