Jump to content

Recommended Posts

In January of 2013, I had a hair transplant surgery with Dr. Sanusi Umar. The online photo consultation was utilized and all communication was conducted between Dr. Umar and myself via email in part to geographical constraints. Dr. Umar seems to be a man of few words, but in my opinion he is very terse, which is a conclusion I did not come to until afterwards. He advertises that he was a victim of a bad hair transplant in the past; therefore, I did not analyze his terse email replies in depth because in my opinion a person who advertises having been a victim of a bad hair transplant would never wish the same fate on another.

Dr. Umar recommended the use of 3000 grafts to restore my hairline aggressively. We did not discuss exactly what this meant during our emails though. I was under the impression that the use of a high number of grafts would create a denser, natural looking hairline. I was required to sign a plethora of legal documents including an arbitration agreement that requires each party to select arbitrators and then select a third party arbitrator to prevent malpractice lawsuits. However, in California a patient’s ability to find representation for anything medical malpractice related is virtually impossible due to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Under this law non-economic damages are capped at 250,000 USD, thus making a medical malpractice suit not financially worth it for attorneys to pursue. This coupled with the great difficulty of prosecuting medical malpractice cases, and the abundance of hours required of arbitrators, a patient in California seems to be at a disadvantage, and possibly financial loss if arbitration is pursued. Therefore, I am of the opinion that if someone wants to have elective or other medical procedures performed they should not do so in California.

Due to time constraints I was not able to arrive in the morning of my day of surgery which the surgical staff had said was still acceptable, but arrived somewhere around lunchtime. I was rushed by the techs to re-sign more paperwork, and take photos in preparation for surgery. Upon changing out of my clothes I was given a small cup of pills, These pills were the following: Cephalexin 500mg x 2, Diazepam 10mg x 1, Mephyton 5mg x 2, Prednisone 10 mg, Triazolam 0,025 x 1 mg, and Tylenol with codeine x2. Additionally, I was given shots of Diphenhydramine, Midazolam, Butorphanol, and Lorazepam. Previously, I had been told that I would be awake for the procedure and only receive local numbing agents in the areas that are operated on. The use of the aforementioned medicines was not made known to me until right before the surgery.

After ingesting the medications and waiting in the operating room while techs scurried around, Dr. Umar arrived. This was the first time I had ever seen him in person. I had been instructed by a tech to write down my final questions for Dr. Umar and that we would discuss these prior to starting the surgery, that never happened though. Yes, I wrote them down, and they are included in my medical record, but we never conversed about them like I was promised by the techs. He introduced himself, and asked me to draw where I thought I would want my hairline with a marker and a mirror. At this time my head was swimming from the medications and my recollection is drawing a line at my existing hairline. He said I was not much of an artist and instructed me to lay my head back, and that is the last thing that I remember, and that was the only time we ever spoke in person. 2350 Grafts were then subsequently placed.

 

Since then in emails between the doctor and I, he has claimed that in the operating room that I collaborated and agreed to the hairline he designed in the operating room. However, as I have said before I was given a multitude of oral and intra muscular medications, which are listed above and transcribed from my medical record. Did I sign multiple pages of documents previously? Yes. Did I fully understand them? No. I was really anxious to ask my final questions in person because electronic communication can be misinterpreted, but never had the opportunity. In my opinion I was in no condition to collaborate on a surgical design in the operating room as Dr. Umar has said transpired due to the aforementioned medications.

I did not realize the gravity of what had transpired until several months later when the transplanted hair grew in, and around the six-month mark I felt something was wrong. While this can be early in the twelve-month timeline for a hair transplant the other people who I have spoken with say you have a pretty good idea of what you’re going to end up with around this time frame. However, the greater issue for me was not the hair but the design itself. To me the transplant and hairline was pluggy, too low, and too straight. In my emails with Dr. Umar he echoed his sentiment that I would likely need another procedure to fill in some gaps where the hair was sparse, but insisted I keep waiting, even though I said I thought the hairline was too low. I then consulted another hair transplant surgeon. His opinion was that the hairline was too low and too straight, and recommended excising my forehead and scalp skin which would leave me with a large hairline / forehead scar. Other surgeons recommended a series of laser hair removal and laser resurfacing options. However, I have blonde hair, and there is no guarantee of hair removal for blondes. Laser hair removal is marketed as permanent hair reduction. In my opinion this is a marketing ploy. Yes, laser hair removal can remove some unwanted hair in some people, but it is not an exact science, and does not work on blonde hair. Essentially, what it does is attack the melanin in the follicle and damages the hair follicle, which may destroy its hair growing capacity. However, in my opinion what is more likely is that the hair in anagen (growing cycle) will be forced into telogen (resting cycle). This resting phase typically last anywhere from 2-4 months, but a safe bet from my research is 100 days on average. After that you can expect regrowth if not sooner. Therefore, unless you are committed to enduring laser hair treatments for the rest of your life there is nothing permanent about laser hair removal, that’s why the FDA forbids laser hair removal to be marketed as permanent hair removal.

Eventually, I consulted a reputable surgeon. Once again his opinion was that the hairline was too low, too straight, temple point angles were incorrect, hair type used was incorrect, and it did look pluggy. One lady said I had been butchered! Interestingly enough there was another of Dr. Umars previous patients present that day consulting about getting repair work too. When my forehead was measured it was discovered that the hairline that had been artificially designed left a 5 cm forehead The average adult male hairline is typically 6-8 cm. Luckily, this surgeon is skilled in hair transplant repair and has begun the removal of the grafts to help me one day return to a normal life. He then went on to say, and this was again echoed from his staff that the two and three hair grafts that were placed in the frontal hairline and temples were inappropriate for the areas they were placed in. A staff member who is also a native Nigerian initially defended Dr. Umar by saying, “Sometimes people have a bad day,” only to come to the aforementioned conclusion that the wrong types of hair had been implanted in the hairline. The most egregious statement I heard from the hair transplant physician was the opinion that my hair transplant performed by Dr. Umar was reminiscent of a 1990’s hair transplant, and that with the state of the industry today there was no excuse for poor work like this in his opinion. I look forward to completing the graft removals, and to never having to wear a hat again. While I was not really self-conscious about my hair before the transplant I was inspired to have better hair, and to not go bald because a friend had experienced such great results from a surgeon on the East coast. I wish I had, had the same experience as he did, but that has not been my fate in my opinion. I have asked Dr. Umar for a refund, and he has never specifically responded to this request. I have asked Dr. Umar to contact my current physician, and he has refused to do so via his emails. I have consulted every attorney imaginable in California to no avail. In my opinion Dr. Umar is a pompous arrogant man, the consultation was insufficient, and the use of medications in the operating room were erroneous.

 

 

Revision of unfavorable Hair Restoration:

 

Hair Restoration: State of the Art: Revision of the Unfavorable Result in Hair Transplantation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, sounds bad man and I'm really sorry that happened to you. I strongly agree that hair doctors need a stronger pre-design plan with their patients rather than the 10 minute before operation time "Is this line good?" after your already medicated. There's really no excuse for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow.... This is not good at all. I have been on the fence in regards to Dr Umar's work mainly in terms of yield but this is something else entirely...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At this time my head was swimming from the medications and my recollection is drawing a line at my existing hairline. He said I was not much of an artist and instructed me to lay my head back, and that is the last thing that I remember, and that was the only time we ever spoke in person. 2350 Grafts were then subsequently placed.
Oh God. That sounds like a nightmare.

I know Dr. Umar really does help people with repair etc. but this is disheartening. So sorry that you have had to go through this.

I hope Bill will jump in and possibly help with contacting Dr. Umar for you and getting this situation resolved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very sorry you have to go through this nightmare. It sounds like you are now headed in the right direction. I am surprised to hear this about Dr. Umar because I have seen several patients on this forum singing his praises.

 

With all that said I advise any patients that are considering surgery to have a different approach.

 

#1. Surgery day is a huge important day in your life. Your head and appearance are being placed in others hands so whatever you do....DO NOT BE LATE! What kind of message does that send to the doctor and staff that you are basically turning over your life to? In my mind there is literally almost no excuse except for a real emergency for being "hours late" to your surgical appointment. It's disrespectful, unprofessional, and just plain stupid. Why piss off and throw someone off schedule that you want to give you tender loving care results that you will have to live with the rest of your life?

 

#2. I flew to Vancouver from Texas a day early specifically so I would not be rushed and could have an in-person consult with Dr. Wong the day before my surgery. I wanted to discuss my goals, his goals, sign papers, and have it where nobody, staff, doctor, patient felt rushed. Don't show up the day of surgery with no already decided game-plan. Surgery day is for surgery not a day to rush through a game-plan.

 

The patient as much as the doctor can have a huge impact on a successful outcome. A hair transplant surgery is important enough to not just "slide in a few hour late", throw around ideas a few minutes and then jump in and start cutting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hairyguy,

 

I appreciate you posting your experience and concerns. And while I understand that you've shared testiominials and thoughts from other surgeons you consulted with, it would truly help if you posted photos showing your hair before surgery and 6 (or preferably more) months after surgery with Dr. Umar. Otherwise, there is no way this community can make an accurate assessment of the result.

 

As for the discussions you had with Dr. Umar and his associates before and during surgery, I agree that sounds discouraging. However, I'm a little unclear why you agreed to proceed with surgery without having all your questions answered? At any point did you say "before we proceed with surgery, I need you to answer these questions"? Did he outright refuse or was there a lack of communication because nobody spoke up?

 

I'm not trying to be difficult but I've heard similar stories from other patients who just expected the physician to do everything but didn't take charge and/or responsibility for making sure he/she understood everything before proceeding.

 

Regarding your circumstances, it sounds like you had some communication with Dr. Umar around 6 months. He asked you to wait awhile but admitted you'd likely need some additional grafts which is all typical so far. If I'm correct however, you were very dissatisfied with the way your results were growing in and thus, you chose to consult other surgeons and have grafts removed? Why didn't you wait a full 12 months to see how the rest of the results would grow in?

 

Either Dave, Blake or myself will be notifying Dr. Umar so that he is able to post a reply and share his side of the story. In the meantime, I encourage you to present photos before and after your procedure with Dr. Umar.

 

Best wishes,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hairguy 350 please post your pic and bill will help you.

I have even posted this before bill i read on other forums that umar gives lot of dont know what medicine after which patient just wake up after surgery.

I think in US no surgeon can walk away from his misdeeds as here regulations are very very strict. I am not pointing to dr umar . I am commenting this in general.

Its just the way of pragmatic and proper legal approach patient should have .

I think in such cases media and newschannel should be contacted too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank god you had fue, otherwise you would have a huge scar , as far as dr umar goes, i really dont like his hairlines they are always to low, the 1 thing in my opinion hes good at is repairing people that dont have any scalp hair left with body hair, his crown work is ok, but those hairlines ugh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you looked at the "regular" cases he's presented (i.e cases not complicated by previous botched hair transplants), they are almost universally unimpressive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hairyguy,

 

While we allow all patients to share their genuine experiences and opinions on this forum, in the interest of fairness, physicians/clinics are invited and encouraged to share their side of the story. Due to HIPAA law, patients are sometimes required to provide their physician with the necessary permission they need in order to post. Please see "Maintaining a Safe and Fair Environment on our Forum for Both Patients and Physicians" for how we handle patient disputes.

 

I've been in touch with Dr. Umar and he would like to respond to your concerns publicly. Thuys, I ask that you contact Dr. Umar and provide him with the necessary permission to respond to this topic.

 

Please let me know after this has been completed.

 

Thanks,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

blahblah,

 

Dr. Umar has presented numerous impressive cases of his results on this forum. Whereas you may not agree, this topic is not the place to discuss his results in general. If you don't like a particular result and would like to share your opinion and reasons, please reply to a relevant topic. This topic should be reserved to discuss Hairyguy's experience, to which we've only heard one side of the story without photos.

 

Thanks for your cooperation,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bill what if hairguy proves his story is right.umar make people sign the e paperwork in such a way that he absolves his clinic from taking any responsibility regardless of results. I am trying to speak on what hairguy has wrote and his excessive medication thing which makes patient pass out what is that for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dr. Umar has presented numerous impressive cases of his results on this forum. Whereas you may not agree, this topic is not the place to discuss his results in general. If you don't like a particular result and would like to share your opinion and reasons, please reply to a relevant topic. This topic should be reserved to discuss Hairyguy's experience, to which we've only heard one side of the story without photos.

 

 

Now this I don't get. There are countless threads where someone is extremely happy with a result of a particular Doctor and often many pages of -"More great work by DR. X" or "he always does fantastic work!"

 

Those posts are never reprimanded for being too general but when a critical post arises it seems to be tightly regulated...?

 

This is a site for the consumers is it not? I don't think anyone here joins with the intention of doctor bashing or trashing reputations. But we need to feel free to share and yes, create our own general consensus of who's good for what and who's not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hairguy350's story is not true. I will respond to it after he provides me with written authorization to discuss his medical information publicly.

 

In the meantime, I would like for Hairguy to post his before and after photographs.

 

This articles discusses and presents examples of my approach to hairlines: http://www.dermhairclinic.com/hairline-transplant/

Edited by Dr Umar
addendum

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because my story requires a great attention to detail in order to present the correct factual story and the opinion of my experience to date with Dr. Sanusi Umar and the dermhairclinic I ask that everyone who has commented of this post give me some time to respond to all the questions and statements that have been made. I will attach photos, and respond as soon as I am able. I will also give Dr. Umar the appropriate authorization to respond by presenting his narrative of this situation with the exception of revealing my identity in the near future. Until that time please be patient as I formulate honest, congruent answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
blahblah,

 

Dr. Umar has presented numerous impressive cases of his results on this forum. Whereas you may not agree, this topic is not the place to discuss his results in general. If you don't like a particular result and would like to share your opinion and reasons, please reply to a relevant topic. This topic should be reserved to discuss Hairyguy's experience, to which we've only heard one side of the story without photos.

 

Thanks for your cooperation,

 

Bill

 

Ah, the voice of reason. You are exactly right Bill. All I know is Dr. Umar is VERY cautious and does not rush the patient into anything. The patient has all the time in the world to ask questions, research and speak to Dr. Umar AHEAD of time. I find this one sided version of events very difficult to swallow as it does not sound like any experience I have ever had with Dr. Umar. So, yes, the Doc needs the patients consent to respond accordingly. Until then, this is only one sided story, and nothing else. Because of HIPPA laws, docs have their hands tied in responding to these types of things.

 

Just because this is the internet, does not mean we are not responsible for what we right down in these forums.

 

Res ipsa loqutior,

 

Atticus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is a site for the consumers is it not? .

 

Dr. Umar pays to post. We are the tragics who clap and boo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After ingesting the medications and waiting in the operating room while techs scurried around, Dr. Umar arrived. This was the first time I had ever seen him in person. I had been instructed by a tech to write down my final questions for Dr. Umar and that we would discuss these prior to starting the surgery, that never happened though. Yes, I wrote them down, and they are included in my medical record, but we never conversed about them like I was promised by the techs. He introduced himself, and asked me to draw where I thought I would want my hairline with a marker and a mirror. At this time my head was swimming from the medications and my recollection is drawing a line at my existing hairline. He said I was not much of an artist and instructed me to lay my head back, and that is the last thing that I remember, and that was the only time we ever spoke in person. 2350 Grafts were then subsequently placed.

 

With all due respect Hairguy, I don't believe what you wrote. As someone who has had 4 surgeries with Dr. Umar, I know the attention to detail he takes and I know the emphasis he places on making sure everyone is on the same page. There is no way in hell I believe someone took the medication you described, passed out, and woke up with a hairline not only placed too low, but pluggy. If you had of spun just one storyline here (either you were dissatisfied with the hairline placement OR you found the hairline to be pluggy) I might give your opinion more credence. As it stands, the part about you passing out and waking up dsfigured is simply too much. I realize everyone responds to medication differently, but my own experience is I've never come close to sleeping or passing out prior to any surgery. Either way, my hairline repair was the polar opposite of your story. To think something as important as the placement of your hairline was done without your consent, and placed too low, all after you passed out, stretches credulity. Count me as someone who is extremely skeptical of such a tale.

 

 

Since then in emails between the doctor and I, he has claimed that in the operating room that I collaborated and agreed to the hairline he designed in the operating room. However, as I have said before I was given a multitude of oral and intra muscular medications, which are listed above and transcribed from my medical record. Did I sign multiple pages of documents previously? Yes. Did I fully understand them? No. I was really anxious to ask my final questions in person because electronic communication can be misinterpreted, but never had the opportunity. In my opinion I was in no condition to collaborate on a surgical design in the operating room as Dr. Umar has said transpired due to the aforementioned medications.

I did not realize the gravity of what had transpired until several months later when the transplanted hair grew in, and around the six-month mark I felt something was wrong.

 

Here is where the narrative gets confusing: You say "around the six month mark I felt something was wrong". All I know is there is no way it would take me six months to figure out a transplanted hairline was too low. It would take me less than six hours to realize this. Why did it take six months for your dissatisfaction to materialize? This makes no sense. If after six months you don't like your result, that's one thing, but implying that you were passed out, woke up with a hairline too low, and then realized it at the six month mark, again has me questioning how plausible your story is.

 

Eventually, I consulted a reputable surgeon. Once again his opinion was that the hairline was too low, too straight, temple point angles were incorrect, hair type used was incorrect, and it did look pluggy. One lady said I had been butchered! Interestingly enough there was another of Dr. Umars previous patients present that day consulting about getting repair work too.

 

Ohhhhhkayyyyyy........if I had any previous doubts about the veracity of your story, this part erased them. I've been around these forums for 6 years, there are countless times that new posters pop up with hit job stories against various surgeons, this time you have got your complaints all very cogently stated, well explained, and meticulously detailed. But there remains one problem for me: it doesn't pass the "smell test". And if my Spidey senses prove correct, I bet I could guess who this "reputable repair surgeon" you at consulting with is. But that's another story, lets stick with your tale for now.

 

I look forward to seeing your pictures, until then, the only thing I believe here is you are unhappy with your result. As a repair patient myself, were it not for Dr. Umar, I would not have had a chance, and there was not another doctor in the world who could have done what he did. I'm also pretty sure Dr. Umar has a very different version of the story you shared. And his hairlines rock.

 

Welcome to the forum. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The narrative from the original poster to this thread is difficult to follow, and since there are no photos to offer a visual understanding of the results of his session with Dr Umar, there's no point in commenting on it.

 

What I will say is that if even a part of what the OP claims is true, it is completely at odds with my own personal experience with Dr Umar and his staff.

 

First of all, I arrived on time for my appointment. I learned enough in my emails exhanges with Dr Umar and his staff to know that each of my two day-long sessions were labor-intensive and time consuming. I would not arrive at mid day, expecting them to accommodate the fact that I had more important things to do than plan for adequate time for a serious medical procedure.

 

Would you ask your neurosurgeon if he could do HIS work a little quicker because you couldn't quite get to the OR on time? I don't mean to belittle your situation, but when I made my appointment, THAT was the priority.... from travel, to the actual appointment, to recuperation.

 

My pre-op was thorough. I don't recall the complete roster of medications I was given, but I will tell you that I was intent to let the clinic know that I'm kind of a nervous patient, especially with needles and things... so I doubt I was given less medication for relaxation and anxiety, etc.

 

Throughout the pre-op, I was repeatedly asked if I had any questions or concerns... whether they were written down in advance or not, I was asked verbally by Dr Umar at least 4 or 5 times prior to the procedure. So much so that I remember actually thinking to myself... "c'mon Doctor, let's get this show on the road!"

 

Dr Umar is good humored, and was very intent on making me understand the realistic possibilities for my procedure. I didn't take his serious nature in this area as "pompous". Perhaps others would, I don't know... but the fact that he is quick to crack a smile and poke fun at himself would not ordinarily be the characteristic of a pompous personality.

 

To the OP... I hope you find happiness as a final outcome. Some photos would be interesting to see. This reply of my first hand experience is not a criticism of your narrative, but you haven't offered a lot to go on so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hairyguy,

 

At this point I am requesting that you make providing Dr. Umar with the necessary permission to post before posting any more on this topic. Thus, until I hear back from Dr. Umar that he has received authorization from you, I am locking the topic.

 

Frankly, it's not fair that you continue to present your side of the story while you delay in giving Dr. Umar the necessary permission to respond to your initial comments.

 

Once I hear from Dr. Umar that you have sent him the authorization he needs, I will unlock this topic.

 

Best Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hairyguy,

 

To date, you have not provided Dr. Umar with the necessary permission to respond to this topic. Thus, I ask that you provide him with the necessary permission within 48 hours so that he can respond or this topic will be archived out of public view. Frankly, it's not fair to leave this topic online if you are not going to provide your physician with the necessary permission to respond promptly.

 

Thus, I ask that you get Dr. Umar the necessary permission he needs to respond by 9/12/2013 at 10:30am or this topic will be removed.

 

Best Regards,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys,

 

After several back and forth emails, Hairguy350 has given Dr. Umar full permission to discuss his case openly, minus any identifying information. Thus, I am re-opening this topic for discussion.

 

That said, in the interest of fairness, I've asked Hairguy350 not to comment any further until Dr. Umar has a chance to respond to his initial comments and concerns.

 

Moreover, this topic will be opened to allow discussion surrouding this particular case giving both parties ample opportunity to share their side of the story and members to provide their opinion. The publishers of this community are not the arbitrators of all truth and therefore, members are entitled to draw their own conclusions. That said, we do take all patient concerns seriously and use patient experiences as one method to continually evaluate surgeons we recommend. Thus, I will do what I can to assess the situation (with your help) and if I find there are any real concerns with Dr. Umar and the way he is conducting his procedures, we will be discussing these concerns with him further and take appropriate action.

 

Best wishes,

 

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very cool Bill, will be interesting to see what transpires from this as there as some serious allegations laid out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×