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I literally just got back to my hotel after spending 11 hours with Dr. Cooley and his staff.

 

I'll just get straight to the point: Dr. Cooley is absolutely incredible and so is his staff.

 

I realize I am a long way from seeing results, so I can't comment how well the final product will look, but I wanted to provide an overview of how my day went with Team Cooley.

 

I got to Dr. Cooley's office around 7:00 a.m. It is important to note his office will arrange transportation from the airport to the hotel, pay of two nights at a pretty decent hotel and get you a ride to his office that morning.

 

After an initial meeting with one of his assistants where I signed forms and downed some pain meds, Dr. Cooley came in and we discussed what my goals were for the procedure.

 

A bit of background: I have a ton of donor hair and a pretty strong mid-scalp. However I have experienced bad recession at the temples (NW 3). Further, I am only 32 years old so there is always a possibility of future hair loss. I am trying to prevent that with Propecia. All of these factors led Dr. Cooley and me to decide on a pretty conservative hairline with 2,500 graphs. Those graphs would be very dense though and would back up some of my existing hair.

 

He drew my hairline, took a few photos and then we stepped into the room where the procedure would take place.

 

I have a pretty high threshold for pain, but the idea of having a chunk of your scalp cut out is going to give anyone the willies. However, I literally felt nothing; absolutely nothing. I sort of drifted in and out of sleep and it was over before I knew it. Dr. Cooley said that he was very impressed with how well my scar closed and as long as I follow the recommended procedures I should be left with a very undetectable scar. Even now, after the medication has worn off, I feel little if any pain or tightness.

 

I should add that Dr. Cooley used Acell for my scar and graphs. He said at this point I did not need PRP as I did not have a lot of miniaturized hairs.

 

After sewing me up, Dr. Cooley and one of his assistants began transplanting the graphs. Here is what is amazing! Dr. Cooley was working on me 90% of the time. I would fully trust his assistants, but just having him there almost the entire time was extremely comforting.

 

Dr. Cooley managed to get an extra 300 graphs so I ended up with more than 2,800. No extra charge. It certainly took a long time to get all those graphs in but the pain was absolutely minimal.

 

Oh, and did I mention it was Dr. Cooley's birthday! He stayed late making sure everything was perfect. Total dedication to his craft.

 

As I sit in my hotel room looking at the graphs, they appear to be done very cleanly. I know there will be scabbing tomorrow, but the area is barely even red right now.

 

Like I said, the proof will come in about a year, but today's experience is definitely leaving me feeling optimistic.

 

I know there are other hair transplant doctors out there. And I know there are some really good ones. But I would never trust my head around any other doctor than Dr. Cooley.

 

My biggest advice is to do your research. I know that is repeated often on here but it is true. And before you get a transplant done, I would highly recommend at least talking with Dr. Cooley. He is one of kind.

 

Here are some pics. The photos make the recipient area look WAY more red than it really is.

 

I'll try to post updates regularly.

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Keith, I had mine yesterday, and I guess you must have been there today when I stopped in for my follow-up. I echo all of your praises toward Dr. Cooley and everyone there.

 

That is going to look great. Looking forward to following your progress. Hope to post mine soon.

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That is right, I must have be undergoing my procedure. I was really so impressed with Dr. Cooley and his staff. I'm going in tomorrow for my follow up. I am amazed that I am sitting in my hotel right now and I feel absolutely fine. No pain whatsoever. Best of luck to you! I am sure it will turn out great.

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KeithJagger,

 

Congratulations and thanks for taking the time to share your experience with the community. Glad to hear you had an exceptional experience.

 

I'll be looking forward to your updates. Good luck!


David - 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

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Here are some pics from the next morning. I just got back from getting my hair washed at Dr. Cooley's. They said everything looked great.

 

So far there has been no swelling although the recipient area is a little sore, but not anything that Tylenol hasn't been able to take care of.

 

Sorry for the quality of the photos. I am using the camera on my Macbook as that is all that I have available right now. I included a picture of the back of my head. Due to my long hair, you can't see the scar whatsoever.

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I am now two days post-op from my 2,800 graphs with Dr. Cooley. These past few days have been pretty uneventful, which is a good thing! I had Dr. Cooley's office wash my hair the first day post-op. Today, I washed it myself using the shampoo they gave me. I mixed it around in a cup and gently poured it over the graphs. I have also been spraying my hair with the solution they gave me like crazy. At least once every hour. I haven't really needed any of the pain medication and have just taken a few Tylenol. Sleeping is no problem except for the fact that I need to wake up every few hours to spray the graphs. The redness (there wasn't much to begin with) has really subsided and I have experienced minimal swelling and very few scabs. Also, the donor area feels just fine. There is no pain or tightness. I have to go back to work in 10 days so I hope I am all healed up by then. I think I should be. I'll post some pics in the next day or two. You know, I have been on this site and others reading hair transplant comments and experiences for years. Those that have been researching hair transplants will know what I am talking about when I say that I would see hundreds of positive comments about hair transplants, but would focus like crazy on the few negative ones. After going through the experience with a talented surgeon though I can say that the risks, at least in my humble opinion, are really minimal. It is hard to imagine that at this point I'm going to be disfigured or left with an unnatural look. I hope I am not being too optimistic, but so far everything has exceeded all my expectations. Actually, I am quite glad I came across those negative stories. They kept me from jumping into a HT in my mid-twenties with one of those HT factories like Bosley.

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Bosley had some 'hair raising' stories...( pun intended).. scared me out of my wits.. I waited till I was 32 to get the surgery.. will be 4 months post op in 2 days.. waiting patiently.. not taking any propecia...

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Sounds like you're nicely on the mend. It wouldn't worry too much about going back to work in 10 days. I actually went back (office environment, no hat) 2 days after the procedure. Yeah, there was some redness and some red specks under my existing hair, but nothing too noticeable.

 

If I remember right from my last procedure, you'll have some dandruff-looking shedding at around day 7, but gone quickly. With all that thick native hair you have, should be no trouble masking the stubby new hairs until they shed in the next two weeks or so.

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I am 4 days (5 nights) post-op. The donor area is a little sore but the recipient area is doing just fine. I probably had less than a dozen tiny scabs, which are undetectable for the most part. The redness is also almost completely gone. Everything seems to be healing fine. I'm still being very careful not to disturb the graphs until they are totally anchored in, but so far so good. I'll post some pics in the next few days.

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Here are some photos from 11-12 days post op. The redness has really faded and being that my hair is quite long, no one has been able to tell at all. There really hasn't been much scabbing or flaking. Although, I suspect the graphs are due to shed here in the next few days.

 

I will say that after 11 days the only real side effect that I have noticed is that my original hair sort of just feel unhealthy. It is limp, dry, no bounce. It is like it is just pissed off at me for putting it through this. However, part of my problem might be that I haven't really been brushing it like I normally do because while the graphs are anchored, I still don't want to disturb them.

 

Also, there has definitely been some shedding. Not of the transplanted hairs, but the ones I already had. They are not miniaturized though, so I think they will grow back.

 

All and all, so far so good. The donor area is still a little tender, but even that is going away.

 

Let me know your thoughts.

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Thanks man! I feel good about it. Now comes the waiting game. I have reserved myself to the fact that it is going to take a year for results to come in. Patience is a virtue. At least that is what I have been told. In the spirit of self improvement, for the next year I am going to try to spend a little more time at the gym and a little less time in the bars.

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Looking good.

 

I've been mostly interested in FUE due to the minimal recovery time and no linear scar. I know Dr Cooley offers both so can you comment on why you went with one over the other? Seems he does a lot more FUT vs FUE. Did it seem like he leans more towards FUT?

 

How quickly did you get your appointment for surgery? Did you have to first go in for a consultation and then schedule it? I'm hoping to get mine done soon.

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NueFueGuy,

 

Man, if you only listen to one thing on this entire forum, listen to this: time and money should absolutely not factor into your decision whatsoever. I don't say this because I am blessed with a trust fund and come from a family tree where people live to be 100.

 

Dr. Cooley had a pretty significant wait time. I waited four months to see him. You know why? Because he is an artist and people go to him for that reason. Four months vs. the rest of my life? No-brainer.

 

As far as a consultation, I did one with Lollie. She is awesome. I would recommend doing it. Dr. Cooley will come in for the consultation and you can work out a long-term plan and talk about your goals directly with him. I think they can probably also do one over the phone/computer. I would call them.

 

I know there is a lot of debate on here regarding the two (FUE vs. FUT) and I am certainly no expert, so I'll just tell you what led to my decision. I am sure some self-proclaimed hair guru is going to say I am wrong, but whatever.

 

From my understanding, FUT provides a much better yield and is better for larger sessions. I had 2,800 graphs done. Plus, I work in an office and I can't shave my head for the FUE punches. I would certainly consider FUE for touch-ups, but for my first session I went the FUT route. I am glad I did.

 

I can tell you my scarring is absolutely minimal at this point. Dr. Cooley does this closure where the hair grows through the scar. Plus, I have a lot of hair in the back of my head that provides good coverage.

 

I spoke with Dr. Cooley at length about FUT/FUE, but since I was A) on valium and therefore don't have the most lucid memories and B) I don't know 1/1,000 of what he knows, I would suggest talking with him about it in person. I will say that I told him I was willing to go with/pay for either option and he suggested FUT.

 

Hope that helps.

 

And seriously, if some surgeon tells you he can fit you in next week, run for the hills my friend.

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Thanks.

 

I'm solely looking at the ones that come recommended thru results on here, including your own. I left a message for Dr Cooley early today but haven't heard back. I'm very anxious since I was supposed to be getting it done today, and been waiting months already. But I hear ya, and need to continue being patient.

 

Do you have photos of the scar in the back? I am interested in FUT now since a) more chance of most grafts transferring, b) I don't really wear my hair short anyways (at least not shaved down in back), c) from what I can tell you went into it with mostly longer hair (didn't have to shave down).

 

I'm kicking myself now since I shaved my head a week ago to prep that I am going to be short for a while (and counting on some hat wearing to get me past any noticeable post surgery). Now I'm living with it for awhile until I go FUE or FUT whenever that might be. I feel uncomfortable with my look now and hoped it'd be the last time to be shaved down.

 

So is it safe to say that with your FUT procedure, you left your hair as is (with some length) and then had (how many?) days until you felt the scar, scabs, redness, grafts, etc were not noticeable to people around you.

 

thanks

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That is what I did re: only looking at docs that came from recommendations. Not even the ones that were simply recommended listed on this site, but ones that actual patients recommended.

 

I think it took a few days for Cooley's office to get back to me as well.

 

I'm at the office, but will send you some photos of the scar in the back. It is honestly minimal. I can still feel it, but has gone down a tremendous amount over the last two weeks. It is still a little red, but pencil thin. You can't event see it with the sutures still in when my hair is wet.

 

One of my biggest fears (aside disfigurement) was that my coworkers, friends, family would notice I had something done. However, after about four days it was totally undetectable with my hair length. I mean, if you really inspected my hair you would be able to tell, but it would require you to be a few inches from my head and playing with my hair. And not to cross into the realm of TMI, but I actually met a girl a eight days out from my procedure and she never said anything, so I assume she did not notice.

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Ha, well that's good (re: the girl). However, would someone you just met say/suggest something about that? Just saying :)

 

But yes, all these are good questions I'm still trying to determine and also you're helping to answer since you've been thru it now. My concern, like most, is that it can be done with little detection from others. And I guess that's what I'm wondering is how more detectable is it over the FUE method? I think I'm convinced that FUE probably wasn't meant for me now that I started talking to other doctors and assistants (I got an email from Dr Cooley's assistant today).

 

Man.. even though I thought I had my research and planning done, I now see that there's still more to consider. I only wish I did this before shaving my head. I'm guessing the scar will be very detectable for the next many months while it needs to grow out, if I go FUT.

 

Back to your thoughts on your linear scar and even on top of your head. You're only 2 weeks out but feeling like it's undetectable? I'm assuming you feel it's still has more way to go to heal too? What's the expectancy of time when it gets to where it will stay?

 

You mentioned you plan to spend more time in the gym. What's the expectation of when you can do strenuous exercise, go in the sun (with sunscreen and hat as much as possible, of course), or even do something like soccer where you might actually USE your head?

 

Thanks in advance to continue sending some picts. I am pretty confident this is the direction to go in. While Dr. Cooley and Dr. Lindsey in VA can do FUE, they seem to suggest FUT still.. even when FUE is more expensive.

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Yeah. That is very true. Although she called me the other day so I guess if she did notice she didn't have a problem with it.

 

Yeah. I literally was on here since I was like 26 years old. Seriously logged some time researching. Glad I did.

 

My advice, would be to go visit a few doctors, get on their schedule and then go with whatever they think is best. I'll put in a plug for Dr. Cooley because I thought he was awesome. But to be fair, I've never had surgery with another doctor so I can't compare.

 

My biggest fear was it being detectable. Everyone is different, but mine is 100%, absolutely, positively not detectable. Not my donor scar; not my recipient area. Today I was walking to a client meeting with my secretary and the wind was blowing like hell and I was a little nervous, but that was the only time I was worried.

 

It is a scar and it has only been two weeks. I am sure it will heal a lot more. At least I hope so. But even if it didn't, I would be ok with how it is now. Although it is the tiniest bit sore still.

 

I was going to spend some more time at the gym, but am going to take about a month off. I feel like I could do cardio right now, but just to be safe I'm not. I would not recommend lifting heavy weights or doing P90Crossfit or whatever the hell it is called. I'm not really a gym guy. I just usually hit the treadmill a few times a week and do some minor lifting to keep me from getting fat.

 

As far as the sun, Dr. Cooley said to avoid a sunburn for six months. He actually, like a good doctor, told me to avoid sunburns altogether. I told him I play a lot of golf and am going to Costa Rica in August and he said I would be fine. I don't know about soccer, never was any good at it.

 

I'll post some pics here shortly.

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Here are some recent photos. My iPhone took a dip in a pool awhile back so I have resorted to my computer as that is all I have.

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Question about the "doldrums" and shock loss.

 

I am 14 days post-op and so far everything has been going great. Scar is healing nicely, redness is so faint that it is barely noticeable, graphs for the most part still have not fallen out. My donor area is still a little tender but it gets better every day.

 

Here is my problem: my hair (native/original/non-transplanted/whatever-you-call-it) looks like crap. I mean, most people probably would not be able to tell a difference, but I sure as hell can. It is drier, thinner and just looks all around unhealthier.

 

I know that people enter the dreaded doldrums and then around month 6-7 they reemerge as beautiful butterflies or whatever. But I thought the doldrums and shock loss don't start until around month three? Is it possible to start in two weeks?

 

Can anyone provide feedback? I am all good with entering the doldrum phase but want to make sure that is what it really is. What should I be expecting around week two?

 

Also, and I find this particularly peculiar, my forehead seems to be dry and shiny. Again, not noticeable to anyone but me and only under the harshest lights, but I can definitely tell a difference.

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the work looks very refined, glad to hear you had so much confidence even going in with your doctor, sometimes that's half the hurdle to get over, if you feel you are in the hands of a trusted and reputable surgeon, it relieves any doubts in going through this experience, best wishes on your continued healing and end result, it will be awesome!

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Thanks a lot home1212! I definitely felt like I was in good hands, which made the process much easier both physically and mentally.

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Thanks for the continued sharing of the picts. It looks great. Yeah, I can't tell, at least from the couple picts.

 

How long before they took the sutures out? And then how long after that would you say you felt the donor area was mostly healed? Mostly I would like to know, even if undetectable from people in public (assuming no one is really staring intently at your head), can you also FEEL the scar with your hand. Let's say that girl you met runs her hand through your hair (hey, this is a real problem!) do you think she would feel it? And from your early limited knowledge, does the scar end up ever not feeling like a scar?

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Oh yeah, and you wear a hat at all? When can you start wearing one? When did the redness in the recipient area subside (or has it yet)?

 

I only wonder since you seem to have hair that can mask over the recipient area, and right now I'm shaved and will be a while before I it's long enough to possibly "comb over" to not wear a hat all the time. :)

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Sutures are still in. I get them out this week. I wanted to keep them as long as possible to minimize the scarring. I think total, they will have been in exactly 21 days. Not too bad. You can sort of feel the scar, but it has gone down a tremendous amount over the last few days. I would say in a month or two you will not be able to feel it at all. I think the A-Cell is partly responsible for that. There are some parts of the scar that are already totally smooth. Go for the A-Cell. Totally worth it.

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