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DV8

Help me Obi Wanthair Kenobi, you're my only hope...

Which doctor should I go with?  

2 members have voted

  1. 1. Which doctor should I go with?

    • Gabel
      1
    • Hasson
      1
    • Wong
      0


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Help me Obi Wanthair Kenobi, you're my only hope...

 

Hiya. I'm 43 years old and have noticed my hair receding over the past five years more and more, but now it seems to be really thinning out over the last two. I posted lots of pictures in my profile. I am apprehensive and confused as to what I should do at this point. :confused:

 

I'm pretty positive I don't want to take the current choices of drugs (which is basically Propecia/Finasteride at this point in time). I don't want to be stuck on them forever and also I'm not a fan of modern medicine -- seems there are always side-effects. Shaving/buzzing my hair doesn't seem like a real option though either as I just don't have the head for it (more on this later).

 

I have been wavering on HT for the past couple of years. I went to visit Bosley about 1.5 years ago, but didn't leave with a very good impression as you probably already know. They seemed more interested in "When can you schedule" than anything else. I then put this thought on hold, hoping (like many of you probably) that maybe a solution was coming just around the corner.

 

I started to work from home this past August, so that is a plus and I decided to do something about this hair loss while I have this ability/job as it would make recovery less stressful -- or so I thought. I see some doctors require buzzing my hair! This thought is really tweaking me as it means I will be quarantined to my home until my hair grows back out. I really don't look good in hats at all, and I think if I wore one socially, it would be a dead give-away as I have NEVER worn one before.

 

I had gone to see Dr. Goertz a couple of weeks ago now (as he's very local), and he seemed like a good guy. He did the drawing on my head thing, and the template tracing thing -- none of which Bosley ever did. I even saw someone post a log of his work and it seemed a positive experience. Well two days ago, I called to put the $1k deposit down and the office turns out is closed on Wednesdays. A blessing in disguise it seems as I decided to punch his name into this site and was horrified to see the warnings! I literally got queezy thinking that *I* might have just been one of the horror stories I read about!

 

I then researched a bit more and see that both Hasson & Wong and Gabel are very highly recommended. Both are equidistant from me (3 hours). Both appear to be roughly the same price. H&W do offer 2 day accommodations which I like, but it also involves travel across the border (which can be a multi-hour hassle). Given the choice which of those three doctors is THE best for me?

 

Price is not an issue -- I just want "the best" as this isn't something I can really cover up if it is done wrong. And from what I gather, I'm probably looking at only about 1800-2100 grafts anyways (would you agree)?

 

I am terrified of:

 

 

  • a botched job!
  • an un-natural looking job!
  • a huge scar (although I wear my hair short/long enough in back #2/#3 or longer this is less of my concern)
  • pain of staple removal (I read that they are not as easy to remove as sutures and can be quite painful to work out) also that given the distance, I'd most likely have to get them removed at a local hospital.
  • a shaved head and being stuck home alone until enough of my normal hair grows in to cover the HT area -- possibly 2 months?! I just got a very short haircut last night to try and get people used to me with short hair, and I had her buzz the sides and back to a #1 so that I can measure how long it takes to grow out to say 1" or so.
  • pain of needles shoved into my head! YUK! (I hate needles)
  • pain of recovery (I read stories of numbness for months, or headaches, or sensitive scalp, or tight skin, etc.)

 

I know the needle thing sounds like a big deal considering the whole process involves them effectively, but I have been mentally preparing myself for it and I realize I don't have any other choices here. I should mention that I have had Alopecia Areata off and on for probably since 2002. It has been dormant for the past 3+ years though. But back when I'd get the little bald spot in the middle/back of my head, I'd get 5-7 Cortizone injections, so I am hoping the numbing needle and follicle transplant is not worse than that.

 

Other concerns are that I don't want to go through this again. I hear many people talking about their 2nd and 3rd procedures. Given my NW3 head and those grafts do you think I will have to have another, and after how many years if so?

 

Is it the case that my hair loss will stabilize (given my age) or will I forever be losing hair till I'm bald on top? Meaning, if I get a HT, is it going to start to look wonky in a few years b/c my "natural" hair will have fallen out and now I'll have weird patches or something -- forcing me to do this again?

 

What's this business about "shock loss"? Is that something I should be concerned with (given these three doctors and the buzz cut they require)?

 

I read Dr. Lindsay (I think) talked about removing the sutures on day 7 to minimize "railroad tracks". Other doctors all seem to say 10-14 days. Thoughts?

 

Are there any kinds of "guarantee" with these procedures? or are you basically at the mercy of the doctor and just hope things are going to look good in the end -- 8+ MONTHS later?

 

Is there a list of questions anywhere I should ask the doctor (so I can cross check with my own list to make sure I'm not leaving anything out), or is that even a moot point with those three doctors as I can just have faith they are "the best"?

 

Lastly, and this is the doozy, how many people have remorse over their HT? I have read a fair amount of people wishing they had never gotten it done! This really scares me. Is it that those people went to horrible doctors and this is not something I should concern myself with with H&W/Gabel?

 

Thanks for any and all advice, guidance, help, recommendations, thoughts, encouragement, etc...

Edited by DV8

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I don't see any crown loss, so your just looking at front 1/3 and I'm shocked Rahal is not in your list. If you have no crown loss, you need to give him the Rahal clinic a first second look. Also Keller in Chicago. With your type of loss, I would think you would be more concerned with the hairline and keep that metro 'pretty' thing you have. So both of those doctors deserve a look.

 

There is also a doc in India that does FUE, who has been showing some impressive results. I just usually consider the Wong/Hanson team for big jobs, but obviously they are super skilled and the results are consistently awesome

 

"I read Dr. Lindsay (I think) talked about removing the sutures on day 7 to minimize "railroad tracks". Other doctors all seem to say 10-14 days. Thoughts? "

 

Of course it depends on your laxity, BUT I think Lindsey is just absolutely wrong on this point. I would rather have the 'possible railroad tracks' rather than a 'possible wide scar'. Take the sutures or staples out to soon and the scar can and will stretch. AKA me. I have also consulted with several docs and all say the same thing 10 to 14 days. BUT of course it depends on your laxity.

Edited by nativeremdies

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Thank you for taking the time to reply. I was really only looking at "local" doctors and since both H&W and Gabel seemed very highly recommended I didn't see a need to look much further. I'm not loving the idea of traveling 3 hours away as it is, and certainly not wanting to go as far as Chicago, Ottawa or India! :)

 

Thank you for your opinion on the sutures too.

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DV8,

 

Thank you for your interest in our clinic. We have a local office in Seattle where you can meet with our consultant and he can even introduce you to several patients in the area. Regarding the staples, you don't need to worry about their removal as the consultant in Seattle can do this for you. I think that taking the sutures out 7 days after a procedure is a way to avoid the train tracks but I think the better way is to just use staples to begin with. Our standard requirement is that you keep them in for 14 days.

 

All of your questions can be answered in person so if you'd like to meet with our consultation just call him up at 206.274.5166 and ask for Mike.

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Thank you Jotronic, I just called and left a message with Mike to schedule a consultation.

 

I think the better way is to just use staples to begin with.

 

Can you give your counter-point as to why staples? From the reading I've done it seems that there is very little if any proven benefit to staples, but unanimously people complain they are uncomfortable, disrupt sleep, and even painful.

 

Even Pat advises against them...

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/152569-suture-simple-double-trichophytic-closure-one-best.html#post2202999

 

And some more..

do you use staples? • Hair Message Boards

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I just learned that Mike is en route from his consultations in NYC so he won't be back into the office till tomorrow.

 

We were the only clinic using staples for a long time. Ten years ago Dr. Hasson performed an in house study. 70 patients were closed with sutures. 70 with staples. Yes, staples are more uncomfortable but while sutures were fine for the donor closure they tend to leave said train track marks and the donor scars with the staples were consistently finer than those with sutures. That is why you now you see many clinics using staples. The staples may be uncomfortable, but in my opinion, it's worth it and I've had staples four times and sutures twice.

 

One thing you will not not see from staples are train tracks whereas I see it all the time with sutures and subcutaneous suturing does nothing to eliminate this issue.

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DV8,

 

Congratulations on your upcoming hair transplant surgery with Dr. Hasson. You've selected an outstanding surgeon to perform your procedure. I hope you'll share your experience and photos on this forum.

 

Best wishes for a full looking head of hair in 2013 :-)

 

Bill

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Congratulations on your upcoming hair transplant surgery with Dr. Hasson. You've selected an outstanding surgeon to perform your procedure. I hope you'll share your experience and photos on this forum. Best wishes for a full looking head of hair in 2013 :-)

Thank you sir! I feel pretty confident in them now that I know three close friends have gone there and their hair looks great. I will for sure keep up the blog photos and writing as I hope it will help other guys in the same predicament I am/was.

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This is just a very short note to say that I got out of my HT op about 3 hours ago. 3262 grafts was the final number. I walked around Davie Street to find some food and enjoy the sunny day here. That is a testment to the fact that, yes, you actually can be very functional after the proceedure. I have to wear the black baseball cap they provide (first time in my life I'm wearing a cap!) but whatever. I don't know anyone here ;)

 

I can sorta feel the back donor area starting to "sting" a little bit. It's not bad, in fact I've not even taken one of the pain killer pills yet, it's just that it's been numb all day since like 8:30am and so I think it's just the sensation of that wearing off.

 

The whole process was pretty amazing actually. And while I swore up and down that I never wanted to go through this again, I can see why some guys would be okay with that. It was way less traumatic and scary than I expected it to be. I only took 5mg Valium "just in case", so maybe that helped more than I give it credit. The staff are so professional and on-point, and their attention to detail is incredible. They were constantly adjusting the grafts to make sure they were perfectly oriented (often proceeded by scolding me for moving my head in even the slightest amount). I almost fell asleep a few times watching movies, that is how comfey and painless it is -- aside from the 20-30 injections in the donor area and the four in your forehead. More on that later. But really it's no biggie and I'm a total needle-pussy. The doctor seemed to be really pleased with the density too which was encouraging. He'd look at it and say, "awww yeah, look at how dense that is! it came out really good!". So for him to say that makes me really pleased (and encouraged I don't have to ever get this done again either)

 

Dr. Hasson has a very calm and soothing demeanor about him and his South African accent doesn't hurt either. Combined with his dead-pan sense of humor, I was laughing! For example, I asked him, "After this numbing stuff wears off like tonight or tomorrow, is this going to hurt?" and he says in a totally serious voice, "Well it will be excruciatingly painful for about a month but then..." LOLZ! dude's got jokes! :D

 

Anyways I guess in my excitement I wrote more than I intended to. I took a lot of pictures and when I get back home to Seattle and to my PC (I'm on my Galaxy Tab now at the hotel), I will write a much more detailed blog entry #2 and post them up.

 

Bottom line, JUST DO IT. Hasson takes the worry out of the process. He's the best in the world, the price is very competitive all together (hotel, grafts, flight, 5% tax!, etc.)

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Okay guys, I have updated my blog entries with a ton of photos and descriptions of my experience with Dr. Hasson so far... This blog software is weird though so you have to start from the bottom up. It is putting the newest entry on top (which makes sense) but there is no way to re-sort it so you read it in the proper chronological order.

 

Hair Restoration Social Network - Hair Loss Patient Blogs

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