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backtoblack

2160 Grafts with Dr. Carlos Wesley

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Hi Guys,

 

I read a lot on this forum before I got my transplant, so I wanted to give back and show how my transplant went.

 

First, some pics. This is right before the procedure, when Dr. Wesley clipped my hair short. And then ten days after the procedure.

 

AcihD6o.jpg

Why I wanted to get the procedure

 

Put simply, I felt like I was running out of options with my hair. I’m 41. My hairline has never been perfect but the last few years, it seems to have worsened. It’s become rarer and rarer to have a good hair day. Every morning when I look in the mirror it’s a problem. What do I do with my hair today? Which way does it look least bad? It’s like I’m constantly covering up for parts of my frontal hairline that just aren’t working.

 

I tried growing my hair longer, but it seemed like I was always covering up for places where I was missing hair. Every time I looked in a mirror, I would move my hair to one side in order to cover up for my balding. I used all sorts of hair product to make it stay in place, but the more I did, the more it outwardly came across like I was ashamed of my hair.

 

I tried shaving my head, because it seems that’s what confident guys do when they lose their hair, but it really did not look good at all on me. My skin is pasty white and shaving made me look like a cancer patient. Not one person complimented me on it when I shaved my head. My best friend told me it looked good but then said, “You should try finding hats to wear.” On top of that, with a day or two growth, it looked really uneven as you can see in the photo.

 

Problems with my hair were affecting my dating life. I was out on a date with a woman, one that I really liked and she literally looked at my hair for an extended period of time, almost as if it were a deal breaker with her. She didn’t return my calls for another date. So I’ve started wearing a hat on dates. And that actually seems to help. But you can only go so long before you have to take off your hat--and you can't wear your hat in bed.

 

I had a lot of conflicting feelings about getting the procedure. It’s possible these problems with my hair are all in my head. Maybe my hair really is not that bad. Maybe my confidence is just shaken. It’s A LOT of money. And it takes a while before you even see the results. Am I just being vane? Does having better hair really make a difference socially? At times I felt a bit crazy for even wanting to do this. Who does this? Maybe this is just another problem I'm focusing on to relieve my insecurities as if I think it will fix all my problems. Maybe I'm getting obsessed over something that is the least of my problems, like if I had a full great head of hair I would find something else to be insecure about—my weak chin or my big nose. I might just be making up excuses for my failures with women. Maybe if I were more confident, women wouldn't care about my hair.

 

But what it comes down to is that I want to do this for me. Even if I had the best woman in the world who loved me no matter what my hair was like, I’d still want to get this done. Call it vanity, call it insecurity, but I want to have a decent head of hair. I want to like what I see when I look in the mirror.

 

Planning and Decision

 

I researched hair transplants for months. FUE. FUT. I looked at a million before and after photos. I took a ton of photos of my hair. I visited two doctors. First, I went to see Dr. Dorin. I visited him because he got a lot of good recommendations on this forum. He seemed okay, but I wasn’t totally comfortable with him. The place felt a bit like a plastic surgeons office rather than a doctor’s office.

 

The second doctor I went to see was Dr. Wesley. There was a charge for the office visit, but to be honest, I felt comfortable with that. I’d heard about Dr. Wesley because I saw on the Bald Truth he was experimenting with a new scarless FUE procedure. (It seems that procedure is still in experimental phase and Dr. Wesley is still doing more of a conventional FUE with some of his own technological advances.)

 

I was super impressed with the office visit with Dr. Wesley. He seemed very scientific. No bullshit. And he seemed to know what he was doing. I get the sense he hasn’t done as many transplants as Dr. Dorin, but he also seemed like he was more on the cutting edge of the technology. He also charged a flat fee for the procedure instead of charging per graft, which sounded great to me. After a few days of consideration, I booked an appointment to get the procedure done.

 

Day of the procedure

 

I could hardly sleep the night before the surgery. I woke up at 1:00 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. My appointment was at 6:00 AM with Dr. Wesley. When I got there, we spent about an hour discussing exactly how the transplant would proceed. First we took pictures and looked at my hair as it was, a bit longer on top. Where it was lacking. Then he trimmed it down and marked my head where the hair would be transplanted. I got to look in the mirror for a quite a bit, take pictures, etc. I wanted to make sure it looked even and symmetrical. My face and head are not super symmetrical and a main part of the reason I was getting the surgery was because of how asymmetrical my hair looked when I cut it short. Once we were ready, the meds I had taken (valium and a sleeping pill) started to kick in. For whatever reason, I can hardly remember feeling any pain at all, even from the needle anesthetizing the back of my head for the donor. I lay face down and moved when he told me to, but I was pretty much asleep and out of it the whole time. Even once we started to transplant the new hairs to the front, I don’t remember much of it. The procedure was as comfortable as I could imagine.

 

Day 2 after the procedure and dealing with a problem

 

Unfortunately I forgot one small set of directions before I went to sleep, which was to wrap the gauze around my chin again. The bandage ended up coming off my head as I slept. (I toss and turn a lot). I woke up with blood all over my pillow and a huge blood scab on my forehead in the front of the transplant. I went in to see Dr. Wesley that afternoon. Some grafts had come out and they had to replace them. This whole procedure took about an hour and was a lot more painful than the day before! I mean, it wasn’t that bad. It was almost like going to the dentist. Yeah, not fun, but not the worst in the world. The staff was very, very friendly and we joked and talked through the whole thing.

 

Based on the shape and placement on my hairline, I have to say that I am very, very happy so far with where the grafts were placed. It seems like Dr. Wesley has a feel for not only how to put more hair on your head, but how to make it look good, natural and make it ‘frame’ your face. I have a bit of a high forehead, and it would have been nice if they were slightly lower, but overall, where he put the grafts seems perfect, assuming they all grow in. And from what Dr. Wesley says, he’s never had a failure, so I’m assuming they will grow in.

 

Day 3-4 after the procedure

 

The next few days, I had a lot of swelling! My face got deformed, like I’d been in a boxing match. I sent Dr. Wesley some pictures and he called me, assuring me that the swelling was normal. It’s not painful just a bit discomforting seeing your deformed face in the mirror. I think I had more swelling than most because I couldn’t take as much anti-swelling medication because I have a bad stomach.

 

6 weeks after the procedure

 

I’m now in the ‘ugly duckling’ stage. About 50% of the grafts have fallen out. My hair looks almost worse than it did before the procedure because it looks like I’m balding. Instead of a clean line, it looks like a balding fade. That’s okay, because it should start to come in in six weeks or so. It’s winter and I can luckily wear a cap everywhere.

 

About a month before the procedure I started using Rogaine Foam on my crown which was thinning. I think it’s helping but it’s too soon to tell. I use Toppik back there and I love it.

 

I will check back in here in a few months with an update with some better before and after pics with the hair hopefully grown in. If you guys want to see more photos of my hair before and right after the procedure, just ask. I have a lot.

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Congratulations on your procedure with Dr. Wesley and thanks for your detailed write up.It sounds like you did your homework and from the looks of your pics everything looks great.If your at 6 weeks now,it sounds like we have about the same timeline. Thanks for sharing and happy growing to us both :-)


1st HT 1973 FUT's with Dr.Robert Mcclellan 6/28/2007

*unfortunately I have no info on hair count on my 1st surgery ..

 

2nd HT 3026 FUT's with Dr. Bernadino Arocha 1/9/2014

 

1's - 797

2's - 3700

3's - 246

5634 hairs

 

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/attachment.php?attachmentid=54945&d=1389315686

3026 FUTs 1 day HT#2 post op frontal picture

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Your story of how it made you feel is very much like mine, and your hairloss looks similar as in uneven hairline with no forelock! I have to say I'm 11 months out from an fue and it's amazing the difference a hairline makes!! It gives you a huge confidence boost and I am happily married with 2 children and like you said that doesn't help in your head when your not happy yourself with how your hair looks!! I had all the same mental battles, is this just vanity, why can I except it, why do I obsess over it!!! But if you have no forelock you can't do any hairstyle that doesn't look like a disguise to cover up balding!!!

I wish you good luck and hope this works out for you and restores your confidence in yourself!!!

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Thanks backtoblack for the extensive review including your pictures and the detailed account you shared with us. You are a well researched and well read person on this subject so I wonder if you can include some of your thoughts around the training level of not only this surgeon but other hair transplant surgeons.

I like the results but am concerned about letting someone performing such a big procedure and want to know that my future surgeon completed a surgical residency training program like any other surgeon I would consult. Bedside manner is important but it is not the only thing. Have you come across any kind of verification of training levels in your research you can share? Thanks.

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Hey guys, thanks for the feedback.

 

Dking, to answer your question, Dr. Wesley studied at Princeton and Yale and has done his residency and fellowship. He has also been published numerous times. See here. Dr. Dorin has also done his residency and is trained as a surgeon as well. See here.

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Great write up Backtoblack.

 

I have been really impressed with Dr Wesley.


2 poor unsatisfactory hair transplants performed in the UK.

 

Based on vast research and meeting patients, I travelled to see Dr Feller in New York to get repaired.

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