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3,000 FUE 7 Day Journal

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  • Regular Member

~ I have kept the Drs name confidential as I have not received permission from him directly to use his name ~


Day 1 - 6/23/14


I got up at 5:50AM this morning and had a large breakfast followed by a shower and got dressed to go. Once I arrived at Dr ________ office I was greeted by Dr ________ and signed a few papers. I was then shown back to the operating room as well as the lounge. One of the first things we did once in the operating room was take pictures of the front, side and rear of my head. I then had my hair washed and shaved down to a zero. At that point Dr ________ drew in an outline of my head with what he believed 3,000 grafts would cover. Going into my surgery this was my biggest fear, the unknown. I was told that the grafts would cover what would equate to the size of a CD but I couldn't fully understand what that meant until it was actually drawn out on the top of my head. To my amazement the amount covered was far greater than I originally thought and I was really excited. I was given a Valium to help chill me out a bit as well.


It was now time to get started and I was told to lay on my stomach with my head facing right. At this point Dr ________ started drawing out sections of the back of my head with a marker so that I could have the extractions taken. What came next I was not ready for. Dr ________ had to administer local numbing medication to the back of my head. He used multiple needles, between 5&7, and they stung worse than anything I've ever experienced. Next came the extraction process.


There were 2 machines, I believe, that were used during this process. The first machine was used to score the individual hair grafts while the second was used to actually remove the grafts. It may have been one machine with 2 attachments. With my head turned right he was able to extract 750 grafts. After a quick break it was time to move on to the next 750 grafts. For this portion I was told to lay with my head directly facing the floor and a sort of massage circular pillow was placed below my head. This was followed by the same numbing procedure as was done before. It was just as painful as the first time. 750 more grafts were removed.


We then ordered lunch which we were told could take an hour to arrive. Since it was going to take an hour we went ahead and started the insertion process. We started from the back left and moved to the right. Again in order to start the process we had to numb the top of my head. For this part of the procedure though I was able to sit up and stare forward. Again the numbing process was pretty painful. We were able to insert 400 grafts prior to lunch arriving. We then took a break for lunch. After lunch we continued where we left off but this time we turned on a movie so that we would not be staring at the screensaver on the TV on the wall. I chose Caddyshack.


The afternoon session flew by. The insertion process is definitely faster than the removal of the individual graphs. My assumption was that it would have taken the entire day to complete - 5 p.m., but to my amazement we were done by 3 p.m.


Once the 1500 graft session was complete we met in Dr ________ office to discuss post-op procedures for the first night and to also get my 2 prescriptions for pain medication and ambien. I also received a bottle of saline spray that I am to administer to the grafts every hour on the hour until I fall asleep.


After we left the office I started feeling somewhat woozy and wanted to lie down. Within the first hour I definitely experienced pain to the top of my head and had to take pain medication. I was not hungry at all and fell asleep propped up with an airplane pillow around my neck.


Tomorrow morning I am to arrive at Dr ________ office to start the second 1500 grafts at 8:30 a.m..


Night 1 -6/23/14


I was prescribed ambien and decided to take it last night. I didn't know what the effects would be but having to sleep sitting up was going to be a struggle. I slept through the night but woke up this morning with my cap stuck to the top of my head. This was due to the grafts drying out during the night. Immediately went to the bathroom and sprayed saline solution on the cap itself to loosen the graphs. This did the trick and I was able to remove the cap from the top of my head and reapply saline solution with a new cap.


Day 2 - 6/24/14


Before heading out this morning had another large breakfast with bacon and toast. Dr ________ had an 8 a.m. phone call this morning so we didn't get started until 8:30 AM. We jumped right in this morning and I laid on my stomach looking left while Dr ________ applied the numbing agent. It sucked as much as the first day. This morning when I had the valium it definitely worked better than it did yesterday though. I noticed that while I did not fall asleep, time was flying by. Before I knew it we had extracted 750 grafts from the left side of my head. We took a quick break and then I was told to lay on my stomach facing through a circular pillow. Yesterday this was the hardest part as the pillow itself is very uncomfortable. I blame myself, not the pillow, as even getting a massage I hate putting my head through the circle in the massage chair. I decided to bring my Nexus and watch Anchorman 2 through the hole with headphones on. Another 750 grafts were removed from the back left of my head.


We paused briefly to order lunch from Charleston Bagel and I got a chicken quesadilla. Since someone in the office had to run out and get the order we started on the front left of my head by implanting around 300 grafts before lunch arrived. The one thing that I noticed throughout the day today was that I was very very cold and shaking. I did not notice this yesterday and at times it overtook me and I could not stop shaking. I believe this was caused by a shock to my system after 2 days of a graft removal and insertion.


After lunch we had to apply more numbing agent to my forehead and we decided to watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off. When Ferris Bueller's Day Off was complete we had time for one more hour of another movie so I chose A League of Their Own. As with yesterday once the procedure was complete Dr ________ discussed with me the post-op procedures, this time including what to expect two days after not washing my hair. This involves taking a cup to the shower and filling with shampoo and water but not directly getting water on my hair until I dump a cup on to my hair and lather with a sponge. I am to complete this everyday until next Thursday. Next Friday I can start to come cut and shampoo my hair as normal.


When I got home this afternoon the coldness that I was feeling at the doctor's office became unbearable. I had some water and immediately went upstairs and went to bed after taking hydrocodone. I then slept for around 3 hours. When I woke up I spritzed my hair with saline and started looking around for dinner, but didn't eat. No matter what I did throughout the evening I never felt hungry. I then took an ambien and went to sleep for the rest of the evening.


Days 3-6


The rest of the week has been a blur. I get up in the morning and have a ton of energy but no appetite. I have great ambitions for the day and head out to buy materials from Lowes and to get groceries from Harris Teeter. By around noon each day I am tired and ready to lay around and watch TV and eventually fall asleep. I take hydrocodone as the pain in my head sometimes is so unbearable. The best way to describe it is it feels like I have multiple pins in my head in my head is a pincushion. I've still not had an appetite through the week and have made myself eat so that I get calories into my body. On the positive side I have managed to watch Deadwood again and my wife seems to like it as well as she will not let me watch it without her. I also started another series called Carnivale that I am enjoying as well. Last night we went out to dinner at The Obstinate Daughter and had a great meal. It was the first time that I was actually hungry and finished my entire plate. I wore a hat that I bought at Sewee Outpost to dinner. I got it to wear in the office during the week to make myself more comfortable in front of people. The only downside is that it sometimes weighs on my grafts and tends to make my head hurt. By the time we left dinner I was ready for that hat to be of my head. We'll see what happens this week and if I decide to just not wear the hat in the office. I'm still glad I got the hat because I need to keep my head out of the sun for the rest of the summer and it provides protection.


Day 7


This was my first day back to work and also the first time that I did not take vicodin. When I got to work the pain in the back of my head from the donor area started to act up. During the night last night I could barely sleep because of the pain in the donor area. I have read on other posts on the forum that this is sometimes normal and will go away between 10 to 14 days. By around 10:30 AM I decided that I needed to work from home so that I could take a vicodin and relieve some of the pain I was feeling. I still continue to spray the saline solution on my head every hour as described in my post op packet. I believe that sitting up over the last six nights and not lying down to sleep, even on ambien, has gotten me tired and not fully back on my game.

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  • Senior Member

Happy healing.


On a side note, I have never understood why some patients have been reluctant to share their doctor's identity. I agree you don't need their consent to disclose their name. Confidentiality protects the patient not the doctor.

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