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09 October 13 - One year to the day 3968 Dr Rahal


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09th October 2013 – One year to the day of my 3968 grafts with Dr Rahal of Ottawa.

 

As many of you will know, I have not been a frequent visitor of the HTN at all over the past months. But I have felt a genuinely deep compelling need to post at this twelve month stage. As an update and summary of my journey. Over the last few weeks the whole procedure has really been at the forefront of my mind, in an extremely positive way. Not entirely sure why to be honest. Maybe its simply that Im missing you guys too much!

 

Primarily, as I have mentioned previously, the explanation/excuse for my HTN absence. As the majority of you will be able to relate, for so long my HT procedure was “there”. For the years before my procedure date, a savings plan was always nearby with dreams of how things could turn out and how I would feel, how it would feel to be able to actually style MY hair! Obviously these feelings become intensified as excitement and nerves set in as the final travel preparations are completed and surgery date fastly(or not quite fast enough) approaches. The first few months being pretty tough as you are in a worse “condition” than you were pre HT and constantly checking in the mirror even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t. I was very fortunate as I consider myself to be in that fast growing group, but still thoughts of my hair and my HT filled my every day. So having reached the six month stage and finally being in a great place with my hair, it felt real good to step back and not feel the need to log into HTN three times a day, and not inspect my hair and growth at every available opportunity, but to be finally able to sit back and just be and go about my days with a smug feeling of contentment.

 

Just yesterday I stumbled across some 2/3 month post HT photographs, and I could not believe that they were me. Even only a few months on, living with my new hair, its so easy to forget where you have come from. I guess that is the whole point really. But its amazing to check back from time to time just to see how far you have really come.

 

As you can see from my Hair Loss Website (linked in my signature). I tried to keep updates every month up until the 6 month stage. In the photos that I have attached below, I really feel that the transplanted hair continued to thicken and mature and its amazing how natural it really is. As you can see from any pre HT images, the thinning of my hair continued back into the crown area. Having been using Propecia for 8 years, I have felt for quite a few years that my crown area has really stabalised, but it was still something that I wanted to discuss with Dr Rahal and deep down, would have really liked to have addressed somehow. I think I was hoping for a slightly bigger graft count and some of those extra grafts being used in that crown area. But that wasn’t to be and maybe/probably that would be something that I will need to address in the future regarding a second HT.

 

At around 3 months post HT, I travelled to Milan to speak to Milena Lardi regarding SMP into my crown area and I went ahead with a session. Apart from a huge language barrier, Milena had a real nice way about her and I was made to feel very comfortable. After the initial session, I returned the following day to complete the procedure. I have included photos that were taken by Milena. The photos do look very impressive, but at the time of taking, there remains a lot of “dye/ink” in the hair and on the scalp that will wash out/off. I remember after returning home after the 2 day session and washing out the remaining ink, feeling a little disappointed. I conducted a lot of research before deciding to visit Milan and spoke to many people who had undergone SMP, and everybody was very complimentary. I think I must have pinned quite a lot on the expected outcome and it fell a little short for me. A third top up session, included in the price was spoken about whilst I was in Milan, and I was told that Milena would be in London in a particular month and that I could take the session there, and that dates would be confirmed nearer the time. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Milena could not make it to London in that month, which I felt really quite disappointed about because I was led to believe that she would definitely be there and due to my travel arrangements and scheduling, I was not be in the UK for a few months after that and have not returned to Milan to receive the 3rd session. The inks lifespan very much depends on the individual and their environment. By this I mean that products on the scalp will effect the ink as indeed will the sun. Having spent the majority of my time from 6 months post HT travelling due to work, my scalp has seen extensive amounts of sun each and everyday. 8 months after the SMP treatment, Im not sure how much ink currently remains on my scalp. Even at the time of treatment, its really very difficult to detect any ink, even when searching for it. I believe that the majority if not all has faded completely, but will see if things change over the next few months. Just for the record, I would not write off the idea of SMP with Milena again in the future. I think it can be a good tool in peoples battle against hairloss. I guess my expectations were a little too optimistic. With my hair that little longer now, the crown does not feel like a huge deal for me, but still something that I like to keep an eye on!

 

My HT has completely transformed my life. It gives me huge amounts of confidence and I no longer feel that restriction that I felt before. I have always lived a very active and outdoor life, but I personally crossed a few activities off my list pre HT, because I felt uncomfortable, water sports for example. Now I am able to embrace such things with a real passion, and that alone has allowed me to live each day to its full.

 

Still at 12 months out, I have still yet to receive a professional haircut. The only “issue” that I am having is with the donor area. A definitive line can be seen along the scar area, even with my hair much longer. I can only presume that this is down to not having a professional cut. Having spent the summer outdoors, my hair has turned seriously blond, but not the transplanted hair which is a surprise. The blond effect on my hair definitely enhances this line/smiley face effect, I don’t remember it being so obvious when my hair was darker. I will definitely be heading to a salon shortly for my next cut and to try and address this area. It looks more intense in the photograph and with a little wax to style the direction of the hair, it very easily becomes much more blended, but I am intrigued to hear any feedback on this, or to see if anybody else has experienced it.

 

Before I sign off, I would like to show my gratitude and appreciation to Dr Rahal and all of his team in Ottawa. It was a very positive experience and I have an incredible result to show for it. I remember the moment when I decided on Dr Rahal, and have not looked back since. I also remember the very first time I stumbled across the HTN all of those years ago. I owe the site and all of its members so much. Without, who knows where I would be now and in my desperation could of made some bad decisions. I feel very grateful to all associated with HTN and the ridiculous amount of vital information that is accessible on its pages.

 

My battle may not be over, but for the first time in years, I am definitely winning! :)

 

Photo explanations

1 - Pre HT (day of surgery)

2 - Post HT (day 1)

3 - Post HT (2 months) - very tough!

4 - Pre SMP

5 - Post SMP

All of the other photos are at 12 mths post HT with towel dried hair. The last photo showing the line effect in the donor area.

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Patient Advisor for Dr. Bisanga - BHR Clinic 

ian@drchristianbisanga.com   -    BHR YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcH4PY1OxoYFwSDKzAkZRww

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

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  • Senior Member

Nice one mate. You appear to have very similar hair to mine. Maybe slightly less loss and not quite the calibre of mine. Mine is very straight, almost Asian hair...

 

I currently look like your 2 month photo, minus the pimples.

4,312 FUT grafts (7,676 hairs) with Ray Konior, MD - August 2013

1,145 FUE grafts (3,152 hairs) with Ray Konior, MD - August 2018

763 FUE grafts (2,094 hairs) with Ray Konior, MD - January 2020

Proscar 1.25mg every 3rd day

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  • Senior Member

Raphael-

 

What an AMAZING result for you. So incredible to see such a detailed and thorough update, and to see your presence in the forums again. I miss seeing you around, as you were one of a couple of fellas on here who were directly responsible for me choosing Dr. Rahal for my procedure......and I too feel that my hair restoration was a life-changing result! It's amazing to feel like a new man again, and to see those "pictures of the past" that remind us how bad our hair really looked before we made the decision to do something about it! Although I totally understand that there isn't a need for you to be on the forums as much, I do hope to see you around more often! Again, congrats on your 1 year milestone. I am posting my 11 month photos this weekend.....which means my 1 year milestone post will be right around Thanksgiving. I certainly hope to summarize my anniversary half as well as you did!! Cheers buddy, and congratulations again! You definitely deserve it!!

 

Best,

 

Mike

4737 FUT with Dr. Rahal on 11/16/2012

 

Daily regimen: 1/4 Proscar (1.25 mg Finasteride), Rogaine Foam (twice daily), 1000 mcg Biotin, 1 combo Vitamin D/Calcium/Magnesium, 1500 mg Glocosamine, 750 mg MSM, 1200 mg Fish Oil, 2000 mg Vitamin C, Super B-Complex, 400 I.U Vitamin E.

 

I am not a medical professional. All views and opinions expressed in this forum are of my own.

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  • Senior Member

Impressive! Congratulations!

"Doc" Blake Bloxham - formerly "Future_HT_Doc"

 

Forum Co-Moderator and Editorial Assistant for the Hair Transplant Network, the Hair Loss Learning Center, the Hair Loss Q&A Blog, and the Hair Restoration Forum

 

All opinions are my own and my advice does not constitute as medical advice. All medical questions and concerns should be addressed by a personal physician.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys,

Would just like to say thanks to everybody who took the time to read the update and thanks for your comments. Really appreciate the positive feedback!

I really hope that my updates have given something back. If it has given somebody a little hope, or has helped to educate or assist in any decision making, then it was all worthwhile.

Any questions/queries that anybody has that I may be able to offer my opinion or personal experience to help. Just message me. I owe you guys so much. Thanks.

Agenteye, Mike your results are incredible. Your photos are awesome, I am in awe and jealous! Enjoy every minute of it my friend, you thoroughly deserve it and its great that you are doing some work with Rahal now. Congratulations, he could not have anybody better on his team!!!!

Enjoy the autumn guys!!!!

Patient Advisor for Dr. Bisanga - BHR Clinic 

ian@drchristianbisanga.com   -    BHR YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcH4PY1OxoYFwSDKzAkZRww

I am not a medical professional and my words should not be taken as medical advice. All opinions and views shared are my own.

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  • Senior Member

Very impressive!

2,200 FUE + PRP with Dr Bisanga - BHR Clinic, 22-23 August 2013 - http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/171950-my-fue-2-200-prp-dr-bisanga-bhr-clinic.html

 

Current Regimen:

- Rogaine 5% Foam 2x daily

- Jasons Restorative Biotin Shampoo 2x daily / Nizoral 2% 2x weekly

- Nettle Root 500mg, MSM 1500mg, Biotin 5mg, Multi Vit, Omega 3

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