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FUE advice needed, Michigan


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Hello,

I would like to start off by thanking all the great folks that have shared very valuable information.

This is a sensitive matter and after months of research I find that this website has been the sole provider of true and helpful information.

I am truly grateful for all the information that everyone has contributed.

 

Okay, I am a NW 2. Interested in only FUE.

I finally checked out Dr. Mark Berkowitz’s office, Michigan (unfortunately there are no recommended FUE doctors in Michigan so trying to find some). I met his main technician Mindy S. Gilbert. Mindy has a comfortable 5 years of FUE experience. (link removed by moderator)

Some red flags:

- Dr. Berkowitz does not have several years’ experience under the NeoGraft gun but is working with Mindy closely.

- They do not have multiple examples to provide (their clinic is fairly new and are building their team reputation)

- The office does not solely work on hair restoration.

- I simply could not find real testimonials outside of their website regarding hair restoration.

I had been recommended 1500 grafts.

My question: has anyone ever heard any real information about Dr. Berkowitz or Mindy S. Gilbert? May you offer advice?

Just an FYI, they do seem legit, very comfortable with their approach, and they did not seem shady and I got the feeling they have a genuine effort in the office (I also have not read anything bad about them, yet…).

 

Any assistance from the experienced folks would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much....

Edited by David - TakingThePlunge
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I think most members on this forum would say NOT to go to Dr. Berkowitz - though he may be capable of excellent work. The only recommended doctor with Neograft experience on this site, Dr. Vories, is no longer using Neograft.

 

The few photos on Dr. Berkowitz' site are not of good quality - and I personally find the results lacking. He appears new to the hair transplant game. As I said, he may be capable of excellent work, but it seems that he has relatively limited experience.

 

Also, I think you should post photos of your current hair loss so that you can get feedback from the forum members as to the extent of your hair loss. Also, are you on meds like finasteride currently?

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Thank you for the insight KO! I have read few threads that have cleared up the hype regarding Neograft. Could you elaborate on that? I always thought it was just a tool for FUE, it may have a few bells and whistles (only thing they told me is that it washes the follicle once extracted), but why would this particular tool not be regarded as high as any other tool (I actually don't know of any other tool)? Would manual FUE be a better approach than FUE with Neograft?

If that is the case maybe I should steer my research to manual FUE versus gimmick tools. Thanks

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Hi Harryforreal, thank you as well for taking the time and checking out his work. Okay I will certainly post images of my hair loss when I get back from work.

To answer your second question, I have been on monoxidil for about 6 years.

The sexual side effects of finasteride have scared me away from ever touching it (it boils down to 14 percent with the very last study).

 

I also appreciate your direction of questions, the clinic is usually not too keen on discussing “other options”. I will post my images later today. Thanks again.

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Also, I think you should post photos of your current hair loss so that you can get feedback from the forum members as to the extent of your hair loss.

 

Hi Harryforreal, attached are some photos of the loss. Your thoughts (and anyone else's) on the approach would be appreciated!

Thank you

20141103_105155.jpg.b38cab77f7399f64f9e64aa565ce7eca.jpg

20141103_105158.jpg.f39edba9078c77f1175a41f67dba3e54.jpg

20141103_105208.jpg.ea577ac7a64b6011f01f3dbbd62a340f.jpg

20141103_105216.jpg.475a6eca742a9a11b72a76c44556da3c.jpg

20141103_105251.jpg.a99c623ca9e2d1ae7577848ac73a8f64.jpg

20141103_105256.jpg.823ef728659a4128191de92ca905732c.jpg

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These high tech tools are all good in the right hands I should think but only a select few can use them.

 

Have you looked into the ARTAS machine? You can utube it & do somore research if that's the route you want to take with FUE.

 

Also as a general rule of thumb that you shouldn't make distance be a concern as you want the job done & done right....you only have 1 head.

 

Take your time do more research, ask a bunch of questions, see more HT Dr maybe online skpe meetings....

Remember HT will always be there in the future , don't rush into a big call at this stage.

Oh yep take some pics of your donor area also maybe a few Drs or reps will chime in & help you out.

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FueSoon,

 

None of the Coalition physicians or recommended physicians on this forum use the Neograft machine to extract graphs, and two who purchased an ARTAS machine for this task no longer use it. Why? Because the top, experienced FUE physicians have learned that there are no "robotic" shortcuts to the tedious process of individually punching out (excising and extracting) follicular units without damaging them. Both the Neograft and ARTAS have proven deficient in yielding viable graphs compared to hand punching by skilled practitioners. The top FUE docs and/or their technicians punch out and extract the graphs by hand, using either manual punches or one of a variety of hand-held motorized punch systems.

 

Keep researching, and if at all possible, don't limit your choice of surgeon to your immediate locale. People routinely travel great distances, or even fly around the world, to be worked on by the best hair transplant physicians. A poor transplant can have lifelong negative consequences. We only have a precious, finite supply of donor graphs. Don't risk squandering them with an inexperienced local physician who has purchased an FUE robot as an "easy" entry into hair transplantation.

 

Good luck!

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None of the Coalition physicians or recommended physicians on this forum use the Neograft machine to extract graphs, and two who purchased an ARTAS machine for this task no longer use it. …

Keep researching, and if at all possible, don't limit your choice of surgeon to your immediate locale. Good luck!

 

Have you looked into the ARTAS machine? You can utube it & do somore research if that's the route you want to take with FUE..

Also as a general rule of thumb that you shouldn't make distance be a concern as you want the job done & done right....you only have 1 head….

Oh yep take some pics of your donor area also maybe a few Drs or reps will chime in & help you out.

 

Thank you OnTop and Pupdaddy. I certainly agree with both inputs.

I have researched Aratas. The doctors that do have it say it is the next best thing since slice bread, and the doctors that do not have it claim the machine is just a gimmick to try and lure patients in and excludes “the human touch”.

Attached is a photo of the donor area. From the feedback I have received they tell me it is comfortably enough to cover what is needed and some.

I will also take the advice provided and move onto my next step which is to reach out to a couple recommended Chicago FUE doctors for a consultation. I will deviate from focusing on local process and make the effort. I will thank myself at the end for going the extra mile on this.

Donor.jpg.c3036a418550c1cdb55b8b52542dc2a3.jpg

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FUESoon,

 

If you are a surgical candidate, FUE seems well suited for your case.

 

You hit the nail on the head; FUE tools are just that: tools a physician uses to perform a task. In the end, it comes down to the doctor performing the procedure.

 

There are, however, some issues with the automated machines:

 

If used as intended, the NeoGraft device uses air "suction" to remove scored grafts from the donor site. These grafts are pulled from the donor area, travel through a tube, and end up in a small glass canister. Many believe this process subjects the grafts to excessive trauma and desiccation (drying). This, theoretically, can damage grafts and decrease yield. The device has the capability to actually place the grafts via a similar suction mechanism. This, again, creates the potential for additional drying.

 

The ARTAS machine possess a few potential drawbacks as well; namely, the fact that it is only compatible with 1.0 mm punches - fairly large in most cases - and may add "overhead" costs to the price of the FUE procedure.

 

Many are probably growing tired of my soapbox ramblings, but I'm a very big proponent of manual FUE; particularly, minimal depth manual FUE with sharp punches and gentle subsequent "delivery" - not pulling traction - of the fragile grafts. It's not as "sexy" and usually takes more time and dedication, but I believe it possess the potential for the best yields.

 

Feel free to ask any additional questions.

"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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Thank you for the insight KO! I have read few threads that have cleared up the hype regarding Neograft. Could you elaborate on that? I always thought it was just a tool for FUE, it may have a few bells and whistles (only thing they told me is that it washes the follicle once extracted), but why would this particular tool not be regarded as high as any other tool (I actually don't know of any other tool)? Would manual FUE be a better approach than FUE with Neograft?

If that is the case maybe I should steer my research to manual FUE versus gimmick tools. Thanks

 

Just to confuse you more, there is a third type of FUE - motorized FUE, where the doctor uses motorized punches (think drills) to extract grafts. The FUE megasessions you see where they extracted thousands of grafts in 1-2 days are typically motorized as you speed up extraction, but many suspect it may hurt yield, however, I think motorized FUE is or will become the predominant type of HT surgery due to the large no of grafts compared to manual FUE and no linear scar like FUT.

 

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/169281-ultimate-manual-versus-motorized-fue-thread.html

 

I'm not that knowledgeable about NeoGraft or Artas, so I can't really say much more, but my impression is that, it seems between the two, Artas is favored by the better known docs, FWIW. Among the recommended doctors on this site, Shapiro, Harris and Bernstein use ARTAS. Vories uses NeoGraft.

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The thing what gets to me is....why do they charge more to use such machines as there is less labor time.

I get they have to recover what they folked out ect but say the neograft cost $80.000 that be 10 average HT in say 8 days work & less labour.

Don't get me wrong business is business & the electric bill & staff have to be paid also.

 

Now saying that Drs who does this by hand that's worth every penny in my eyes.

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Good to see you're doing your research. I wanna reiterate what has already been said about not being afraid to travel. You want to make sure you choose a doctor that you feel comfortable with and trust to do the job right, first and foremost. I lucked out with the doctor I chose being local for me, so it was quite convenient, but many doctors will help compensate you for any travel/hotel expenses so that you don't have a ton of extra costs on top of an already somewhat pricey procedure.

 

And just a thought - Given you're a NW2, did the doctor mention that you could possibly fix the problem with medication? Granted, this would require you even considering going on Finasteride, which is an entirely different subject altogether. But it's my understanding that some doctors won't even consider operating on a NW2. (Can any of you long-timers verify if this is true?)

I am a patient advocate for Dr. Parsa Mohebi in Los Angeles, CA. My views/opinions are my own and don't necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Mohebi and his staff.

Check out my hair loss website for photos

FUE surgery by Dr. Mohebi on 7/31/14
2,001 grafts - Ones: 607; Twos: 925; Threes: 413; Fours: 56

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Future_HT_Doc,

Thank you for the insight. No matter how many times you may remind folks of the details it is extremely beneficial to have this information on new threads so it may not be lost in the world of threads for us new timers and people who just found the site. I for one am glad to learn all this even after reading endless of threads for weeks. Thanks again.

 

KO,

I am concluding that Aratas may be a good tool if used by a good/recommended and proven doctor. Learning from the information you are providing if there is not a great doctor behind the tool, I will certainly not be considering the procedure simply because they have a very expensive tool.

 

On Top,

After consulting with an Aratas doctor 2 weeks ago, I have learned that the clinics actually pay a royalty fee for each graft to the company that designed and produced Aratas. Between 1 to 1.5 dollars per graft.

 

Pkipling,

I am slowly fully accepting the concept of traveling and the idea that this whole project will require a commitment. Being concerned of the convenience will hinder my results which I am sure no one would want to regret later.

Dr. Konior responded to my email very quickly with detail. I provided him with pictures and he confirmed I am a good candidate for the procedure. Maybe I am a little more than a NW2.

However, as much as I have earned respect for his work at this point of my research, he is expensive. I am not sure if I am allowed to mention the quote provided but it was much more than what some internet sources have said he charged in the past.

Of course we get what we pay for, and every one of us here believe that this should not be an element to stop us from a particular doctor, however it does affect our decision making process. Everything else we must consider in finances, how to make that expense back, when will I be able to afford it now that I have to save up some more (oh wait that time frame doesn’t fit into my work schedule), etc, etc…. Price is huge in decision making.

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FUEsoon..

Good post buddy, I didn't know they maker of such machines charged a royality fee I guess that would proberly be the same as the others such

as the neo graft also.

 

Like you & many others looking into what is best to go forward with HT i back several yrs ago I was so dead against the FUT that was defo a NO NO for me.

Then came the FUE by hand I thought hmmm that's okay but only certain handful of HT Drs in this world can do this consistanly.

Then came around the machines first the neograft I was blown away thought that looks so cool but doing more research its another fancy tool that looks good on video but the truth is it don't give consistant results maybe because the sucktion damage the graths sucking the life out of a good grath & killing it while they take it out of your head.

So for me I put that one on the back burner.

 

Then came around the ARTAS...

Wow now we are talking its seems like there is better yeild & better results over the neo graft smaller punch & little damage to the grafts..

But doing more research I found that the Artas has better yeild but the punch size I'm not really into...its worth to note nomatter what surgery anybody does there will be a scar nomatter what I don't what high class Dr you are there is noway you can do FUT or FUE without a scar of some point..

 

So now several yrs looking & reading just like you I've done a 360 & the old needle & cotton & a good steady hand is much better....yep they maybe a longer time recovery but the odds are that you would get a much better result from what I've seen & read many many, hrs.

 

Nomatter what anybody say....there is only a select few HT Doctors who can do this kind of work & I agree with you price & travel is a issue for many out there & kinda forced into making a snap choice & more often get it wrong & regret they didn't go with Dr blah blah because he was A to far to travel or B he cost to much.

 

Dr Konier I've read & seen some good stuff from him & yep he maybe a few extra bucks but hay again like you said you get what you pay for huh?

 

I'm like you & many, many others also we want to make a choice/s of what Dr is best, what FUE or FUT ....

My advise to anybody is don't close the door on Medications such as Min or Fin & supplements such as Biotin, MSN blah blah....this stuff do work out for a lot of people.

 

Just remember HT won't go away & will only get better of course only tools in the correct hands that is.

 

Keep doing what your doing & take your time.

 

Wish you well.

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