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MayiraP0chu

1 st Hair Transplant - Strip Surgery - Dr. Radha Rani - A Complete Dossier.

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Hello people!

 

This thread will document A-Z of my first hair transplant. I found a wealth of information from here in HRN and this thread will attempt to give some back to the community, especially the newbies who are looking to shop some new hair.

 

I am 33 years old in a week, from Chennai, India. A Norwood 4A. Not depressed. Don't want to get married. No social pressure. I am doing the transplant just for the aesthetics. (You can find my hair loss story in my profile. A rather long and possibly a boring entry with a lot of unnecessary information)

 

Sources of research - Online communities. Mainly HRN. Couple of my friends, who have done hair transplant and a dermatologist relative who himself was doing transplants for a while.

 

One of the two friends had an FUE of 3700 grafts for a meagre 75000 rupees (tempting deal) from Sareen Hair Clinic, Delhi. 5-6 months post op, he has got very good results already. The other one had a combination of Strip Surgery and FUE (Doesn't remember how many grafts. Nor the cost) from Dr. Ramachandran, chennai. He is 2 years post and has had poor results. The dermatologist relative recommended, Dr. Renita Rajan from Chennai. I did not consider her as she virtually has no credible experience in transplants and my relative gave me too many contradicting information to consider his suggestion seriously.

 

How I picked Dr. Radha Rani - In my mind, there is no doubt that Strip surgery has to be the first surgery. I considered only from the list of recommended doctors from India on the forum. It automatically eliminated Dr. Bhatti. Dr. Madhu does more than 1 surgery per day. Which is not ideal. Dr. Kapil Dua has a chain of clinics. Which again I am not a fan of. In fact, I think he has a panel of doctors operating on different patients. That left Dr. Soni. Has good reputation as a skilful surgeon. I have some reservations with him. I wouldn't go in detail and slander. So, I leave it at that. Finally, it was actually a simple decision. I had always felt Dr. Radha was the one from day one. It's just one of those gut feelings. Nevertheless, these are some excellent reasons to choose her.

 

1. Has documented good results over the years, barring a few cases.

2. Highly regarded on the forum. At one point as the best strip surgeon in the country.

3. Runs her clinic ethically. No advertisements. No agents.

4. One surgery a day. She is very hands on. Does majority of the work by herself.

5. She speaks very good English. Very good interpersonal skills. I suppose that's a bonus for the overseas patients.

6. Well qualified staff. Some of those talents imported from Bangkok at great cost, she says. (I am sure most know she was trained by Dr. Path for a year)

7. Charges 60 per graft. No other hidden charges.

 

PreOp preparations - I believe in doing things right, so I would know I have done all I could from my side. A surgery needs your body in the best possible condition. It aides in good recovery as well. I am generally a fit guy. Athletic. The last 8 months though, I have had a lousy lifestyle. No excercise. Indulgence in junk food. Once in two weeks drinker. Random, occasional smoker. I decided to get the body in order. I am getting operated tomorrow. One month exactly prior to tomorrow, I stopped drinking and smoking. Started a detox routine. (Cucumber, mint (only yesterday I realised I ve been using coriander thinking it's mint. Quite an intelligent boy I am. Anyways, I hear coriander is good too) and any fruit I have on that day) Worked out every single day. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my sleep back to normal. I ve been having trouble sleeping well the last one year or so.

 

I am attaching pictures of my hair as of today (Before and after shave). I did the PreOp consult with the Dr. while I was half way through this post. That is what is coming up next. But, after a short samosa break. Stay tuned folks! :D

 

PS: Il do a quick Strip surgery vs FUE.

 

Why choose Strip over FUE?

 

1. Grafts are always taken from the safe zone.

2. Transection rate is at its least. While FUE s transection rate can at best match Strip (by only by the best of the hands), but never overtake it because of the blind technique involved and a long list of other reasons.

3. Transplant is a long game. When you plan for 3 surgeries over the next 20 years, it is important to optimise the usage of the limited donor area. FUE can cause damage to the near by grafts.

4. All these limitations can be minimised to the lowest possible extent and have an amazing output from an FUE when you choose an excellent surgeon. But, the golden rule is to keep FUE as your last surgery or when the area to transplant is small. My plan is to get two Strip surgeries and the final one an FUE.

 

Note: All my writing on different doctors I considered are strictly personal opinions based on my research. It is not necessarily a fact. I might well be totally wrong about them all and all of it in general. I apologise if I have crossed a line at any point. I am more than willing to correct the post if any untoward writing is pointed out.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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So, the PreOp consultation.

 

Before that, a little write up on the stay in Vizag. I stayed in Budhil Park. It is about 3 mins ride by vehicle to Dr. Radha's. Except for the poor views from the hotel rooms and Vizag in general has to offer atleast in and around the hotel and the clinic (It is the prime market place of Vizag), the hotel itself was very good. Great food! I will attach some pictures below. (I booked it through make my trip. Which always gives a lesser price than the hotel s original tariff. I paid 2200 for a night, which I think is about 1000 bucks less than the original tariff. Great facilities these are for the price. I hear, The Pioneer, which is again near the clinic is very good too.)

 

PreOP Consultation: I won't be going on about how well the clinic was maintained and how warm the people were etc. This is cosmetic business. Service is crucial in this industry. So, naturally any decent clinic is going to be very nice to you. But, then there are these little things like ethics, transparency, honesty and being up front about what to expect and what could be the outcome of the surgery etc, instead of presenting a glorifying picture are more important than presentation. Which, I found in abundance with Dr. Radha's. Its not to say that there are no areas they slack. In fact, there is one very important aspect they should work heavily on. Which I will mention in the Pros and Cons in the summary. (The clinic was clean and contemporary. Most importantly, well equipped. But nothing fancy, like some of the cosmetic clinics you see. So, I won't be putting up pictures of it.)

 

Blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and C were done as the first thing in the clinic. The doctor explained the whole procedure in detail (Which I already knew it all. Thanks to HRN). On inspection of my head, she said I would need 2800-3200 grafts to match the density of the existing hair (In our email correspondence, she had estimated 2000-2400 grafts. Not just her, but most clinics).

 

Area to cover: Don't know the technical term for the area. I have good hair at the centre as you have seen in the pictures above. Doctor said the density in those areas is in fact is very good. Let's say, if you place a pizza slice on both sides of the head, that's the area to cover.

 

A rough hair line was drawn. I was asked if I was okay with it. I told her, I completely surrender to her. She can do whatever she feels is right. Being it surgical or aesthetics. I believe in researching big. Finding a doctor as a by product of your research. Trust in her. And completely surrender. All your doubts and skepticism has to be dealt with during the research period. There is no saying that this is the correct method. This is how I feel it should be.

 

I discussed in length about how certain patients, not just hers, but anybody's may not have good results. I told her I totally understand there are lot of factors like physiology, Pre or Post care etc which may not give good results and that I am prepared for a bad outcome too. I believe we had a certain camaraderie between us and good understanding. All the talking business was over with this. It was time to get down to real business. I was given a Betadine solution to wash my hair that night before bed and the morning before surgery. I was asked to report at 8 to the clinic.

 

PS: I was also given a couple of Valiums to take that night for my sleeping difficulties. I have been having disturbed sleep for over a year. And I slept well that night I must say.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Surgery Day

 

The doctor drew an accurate hairline this time with measurements taken with a scale. To the naked eye it dint look symmetrical. I am big on symmetry. My eyes catch even the smallest of differences. The doctor said the measurements and symmetry vary due to a lot of things like an eyebrow being up or down slightly etc etc. I was given an antibiotic tablet and then off to the operation theatre. It was almost like theatre artists waiting for the chief guest to arrive. The doctor and the technicians were all there as if standing precisely in a prefixed position and welcoming me in. Time 9.30 AM.

 

NO PAIN TIME FRAME

 

I lay down flat on my stomach on the table.

My head was shaved at the donor area.

Anaesthesia shots followed at the donor area. (Surprisingly, I dint feel any discomfort. If anything, negligible. The shots kept coming and I am like this is so easy man. I guess the trick is to think about something. I used to think about planes taking off when I visit my dentist for scaling. This time, I tried thinking about a girl (One, Ms.G) I like :D)

The donor Strip was then cut open. I was well up and awake and I felt and heard the cutting and the tear. It was not scary. I was drowsy anyways and I actually was enjoying the surprise of a pain free procedure.

The donor strip then went to the technicians for harvesting and the opened back was sutured.

I was given a break this time to have lunch and use the necessities.

I came back to see the doctor working on the harvest along with the technicians and was explained on how it's done.

Back on the table, this time lying on the back.

Anaesthesia shots now on the forehead.

Incision work began. (I heard and felt that too. Basically the entire surgery was feelable)

Half way through the incision........

 

PAIN TIME FRAME

 

Half way through the incision, I felt a pang on the forehead. I was given more shots. Pain subsides.

But, now the pain kept taking turns. Left donor, then the right donor, the recipient. The neck pillow made out of a towel on which I was resting all through the surgery could have contributed to some pain because of poor head positions on it.

Placing of grafts began.

At about 3.30, there was some sharp pain all over the head. And this continued on until the end of the surgery (8 PM) and beyond.

 

Throughout the surgery, the doctor and the technicians used whispers as the mode of communication, which is very considerate and a great practice. During the last 1-2 hours of the surgery, the graft placing technicians were comparitively loud, making jokes and laughing. But again, in whispers. This is not necessarily bad. They ve just had a 10 hours shift and it is important they have some easy time too to wind up.

 

The Doctor was happy with the surgery. She said everything went well. And, that days transection rate was brilliant. She said, she had cut only one root, at the time I met her during the lunch break when she was harvesting.

 

A head band was worn around my head to check the swelling. A scarf was tied to protect the grafts during transit to the hotel. Was given Valium, antibiotics and pain killers for the night. No food restrictions. No sleeping on the bed flat on the belly. I was asked to report next day in the morning for the first shampoo wash.

 

The sharp pain all over the head continued. Felt a very small degree of puking sensation. I guess that's from the anaesthesia. Sleeping was very difficult. As expected, couldn't find a position to settle in with all the wounds and the pain. I finally slept at 1 AM. The pain sort of magically vanished from that time on until this third day I am writing the post. This has been a breezy recovery.

 

Lots of PreOp and PostOp pictures were taken including the harvesting. The doctor will send them in due time. I shall upload it then.

 

I ve written too much today. Lots of stories post surgery to tell. Some very pissed moments coming up next.

 

Ciao!

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Here is a short Pros and Cons list of Dr. Radha's:

 

Pros:

 

You ve seen these before in my first post. Though, there are a couple of notes added after my own experience post surgery.

 

1. Has documented good results over the years, barring a few cases.

2. Highly regarded on the forum. At one point as the best strip surgeon in the country.

3. Runs her clinic ethically. No advertisements. No agents.

4. One surgery a day. She is very hands on. Does majority of the work by herself. Post surgery addition: This, I can vouch for from my own experience now.

5. She talks very good English. Very good interpersonal skills. I suppose that's a bonus for the overseas patients.

6. Well qualified staff. Some of those talents imported from Bangkok at great cost, she says. (I am sure most know she was trained by Dr. Path for a year) Post Surgery addition: In my surgery, all the technicians were Indians.

7. Charges 60 per graft. No other hidden charges.

 

Cons:

 

1. Slow email correspondence. (Sometimes, it looks a bit cavalier. But, she writes her own emails. It is not delegated to her staff. That is a great thing, as you are not getting a reply for namesake, but actual thought out replies from the best possible person for your queries. So I would say this is in a grey area. Still, I will leave this in the Cons.)

2. Lack of organised information. (Her website is below par. Compare Dr. bhatti's and Dr. Radha's and you will know what I mean. If you visit Dr. Bhatti's once, you wouldn't even have to email the clinic regarding anything. It basically has every single information from the basics of hair transplant to the US dollar conversion rate. It is that thorough. I am comparing two doctor's websites and not the doctors themselves. I am just trying to present a live example of organised information availability and nothing else. In this age of information technology, a decent website will help the patients and the clinic a long way.)

3. Lack of organised communication. (This, I felt has to be addressed with no discussion. I was not given PreOp instructions before hand. I was given the day before the surgery. Among barring of alcohol consumption and smoking, there was a 10 pointer list that had to be followed from the week before the surgery. So, giving that list a day before the surgery makes no sense. I am an informed patient and I knew what not to do before the surgery. But, not all are. The clinic should treat all the patients as if they have 0 knowledge about hair transplant. But, all relevant, necessary information, details and nuances of the surgery was explained by the doctor and her staff both in the PreOp consult and on the surgery day and even through the surgery.)

 

Summary:

 

In short, would I go back to her? Every single time.

 

I don't have to wait for the result. I know she did a great job. I know I am going to get a good result, unless those pissed off moments I told I am going to write about ruined it.

 

Will I recommend her to other people? Every single one of them.

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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I would like to thank Kuboid, Spex, Khali, Wish82, Plymouthcraig and Gillenator for their help and input at varied instances through the course of my existence in this forum.

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So, the pictures from the doctor is yet to come. Also, the details on single, multiple hair count and other numbers like density, information on donor strength, laxity etc, etc.

 

I am goin to post a few pictures taken from my cell phone for the time being. Naturally, the quality and resolution of the pictures will be ordinary.

 

1. Found this reception area picture of the clinic in my gallery. Don't remember taking it.

2. Me. Chilling moments before the surgery.

3. Immediately post surgery - Recipient area.

4. Next day, post first shampoo wash - Donor area.

5. Three days PostOp - Recipient area.

6. Five days PostOp - Recipient area.

7. Five days PostOp - Donor area.

 

I have used different filters on different pictures to visually aide the best.

 

PS: Notice the signature of the doctor? The indents in the hairline.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Thanks n congrats. I am wondering why you didnt choose Dr.Soni and what reservations you had with him. He is probably the best when it comes to strip and his results are exceptionally good compared to any strip surgeon from India. Anyways all the best for your hair growth.

 

Regards,

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Thanks mate!

 

I too have high opinion of Dr. Soni's skills. It's just that, he was not for me. It's a trivial matter. In fact, one friend of mine has already had a consultation with him based on my recommendations.

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7 days PostOp: Suture removal ceremony.

 

Had my sutures removed by a local doctor/neighbour today. Fairly simple process. Betadine was applied on the area to clean and the sutures (14 long ones. The small ones are absorbable.) were removed one by one. Felt a few pangs here and there. Nothing major. 5 minutes work.

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Remember the pain that vanished magically at 1 AM in the night on the surgery day? Well! I have news for you. It returns! It returns (Not the same intensity of course. But noticeable pain.) every night, since my 4 th night, when I sleep on my back, the wound pressed against the pillow. Otherwise, nothing the rest of the day. Naturally!

 

Have been having a tough time to sleep. The positions are limited and painful. So it's been a super disturbed sleep until yesterday. It just struck out of nowhere that may be a mild dosage of Paracetamol will help. I took a regular Crocin pill before bed and I slept like a baby. So, that's the trick. It numbs the pain as expected. Some good sleep from here on I hope.

 

Now, let me rewind back a bit.

 

Next day after surgery : First Shampoo Wash :

 

Woke up with no noticeable pain. Doctor was not present in the clinic. She had a personal business to attend to and Ms. Shashi (very pleasant lady), her assistant did the shampoo wash as she instructed how to do it for the coming days (for 15 days as opposed to 7 days by most clinics). She gave a written list of PostOp instructions. Spoke to the doctor on the phone once and that was the end of the business with the clinic.

 

Now comes some poor choices and moments. Indecisive if I should be wearing a scarf all through my travel back to Chennai, I finally decided I will leave my head open as I did not want the grafts to be disturbed by the scarf over it and that wounds generally heal well when left alone. As we all know, life throws around unforeseen situations. Vizag airport is a small airport with less structures around it. Generally, in these small airports, you get a strong and steady winds. I was so exposed to this to close to a minute. I did not like this one bit. I already wasn't happy with the airport entry/exit blowers hitting straight on my head and was also skeptical about the sunlight that's was hitting me through the car windows enroute to the airport from the clinic. These all compounded and naturally that led to a pissed me. I was turning Hulk.

 

BUT

 

No bleeding. Absolutely nothing. Even though now I know that there s no harm being done, subconsciously I was still pissed. Did a lot of reading on effect of wind on grafts and I understand that wind has no effect unless and otherwise you are standing in the middle of a Tornado where hair will be the least of your concern.

 

Well, it's pouring here in Chennai. Absolute bliss! I am takin off from here. Nature trumps Internet.

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Hi Mr.MayiraP0chu,

i would like to know how many grafts transplanted and how much charged.

plz reply me..

 

regards

vinod

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Thanks Khali!

 

Vinod - Hello mate! I was wondering why would you ask me the graft count, as I have covered it already in the earlier posts. I just found out I didn't. Lol! One of the most important detail! I guess it got lost with my wait for the doctor to give her complete set of official numbers.

 

3442 grafts in total. Covering only the Pizza slices I have described earlier. No in-between transplantation was done. Dr. Radha charges 60 rupees per graft.

 

And no idea about the other doctor you are asking about. I suggest you open a new thread for such questions as it will be gotten lost here as an arbitrary post.

 

Cheers!

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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I am ten days PostOp and I start my long term medications from today. Just had my first pill of Finasteride.

 

Prescription:

Propecia - Generic - Finpecia 1mg everyday after breakfast.

Mintop 5% Foam. (Will be starting post scab removal)

Edit : (Absolutely no stock of foam in India. Don't think Rogaine is going to be a part of my routine.) :(

Biotrum (Not part of the prescription. A supplement I have been taking for a year now.)

 

I have used minoxidil for 3-4 years now and they have all been solutions. I am prescribed foam now as I have always had itching with all kinds of brands of minoxidil with varied levels of irritation. The last had the least/negligible levels of itching.

 

PS: One of the side effects of Minoxidil is itching. Irritation for some people stops when they shift to a non alcoholic minoxidil solution. It didn't stop for me. I am looking forward to a irritant free foam now.

 

Note: I have been having two hair washes a day. Haven't tried to remove the scabs like most, as I am instructed by my clinic to wait till the 15th day, soak my head with Olive oil overnight and remove the scabs the next day.

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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I will be posting below, the links of assorted collection of questions that I have asked in the forum. These are questions that cropped up from personal experiences and doubts post my surgery. I will be updating this post with future questions too. Hope bringing it all in one place helps people.

 

The questions have had just one or two replies each. But, they are from wise, experienced members and I agree with their logic and reasoning.

 

Disloding/Death of grafts due to strong winds:

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/187577-dislodging-death-grafts.html

 

Oversleeping on Strip surgery scar:

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/187613-oversleeping-strip-surgery-scar.html

 

Scratching non operated areas:

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/187631-okay-scratch-non-operated-area.html

 

Sleep deprivation and its effect on grafts:

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/187641-does-sleep-deprivation-harm-grafts.html

 

How hard do you wash the scabs?

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/showthread.php?p=2509573#post2509573

 

EDIT: I would have said in the last thread that, I started shedding from day 8. Wrong! Paranoia. Shedding has not started yet.

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Here are some pictures to show some scabbing. The snowish look is evident only right after bathing. It goes back to regular hair tone in a short while, like in the third picture. I believe I am keeping it clean. No signs of any hard crust formation. So, expecting an easy scab wash on the 15th day. Comments are welcome.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Thought I should write about the part the headband played in my PostOp recovery.

 

For those who don't know, the headband is worn immediately post surgery to minimise swelling in the head. I was advised to remove it only on the 5 th day PostOp, except while washing the hair everyday. Like a complete clown, on the third day, I started washing my hair without realising it was still on. So, I was forced to take it off by my stupidity. It was soaked wet and so I did not wear it overnight. I found my swelling minimal to negligent and so continued to not wear the headband. The swelling kept going down and by the fifth day, my head looked totally normal.

 

I know a friend who had mad swelling even after a week. So, this is strictly a case by case thing.

 

Note: I removed my long stitches on the 7 th day. You would have read earlier about the pain returning back from the 3rd day onwards. It went down to bear minimal post the suture removal. I moved on to a smaller pillow the same night. That helped as well. Been sleeping much much better since.

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Day: 16 : Scab Wash Day :

 

Soaked my hair with coconut oil overnight. Used a regular Head and Shoulders shampoo and rubbed over my scalp gently in a clockwise, circular motion to remove the scabs. Did it twice and kept at it for a while until I felt the burn due to the unavoidable friction regardless of how gently you are rubbing. Most scabs are off I guess. You can see a few still sticking on in the pictures. Some hair as expected, got washed off along with the scabs.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Guest austin123

First of all Congratulations, you take right decisions for yourself and go for hair transplant in Chennai India. i hope you are happy with your decision and now you can enjoy your happy life.

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One Month Update:

A little delayed post. Felt too lazy to write. I had to drum myself up to this.

 

I am three days past the one month mark.

 

Are you within this one month mark? Are you throwing around a lot of questions? Every small thing is raising doubts if you have harmed your transplant? Are you making a fool out of yourself creating new threads, PM ing people, calling your doctor for every little scare? Well, don't worry! You are in good company! I am a fairly rational person. I can be overzealous. But, steady, rational. I had to go through these same motions as you. Its just how it is. Everyone goes through this.

 

There Is Just One Golden Rule:

 

Don't be overzealous (Like me :D). Don't be lazy (I have people ask me why shower twice daily. A little research will tell you it keeps your hair scab and infection free, which improves healing. But, forget the research. When the doctor says shower twice, just do it). Avoid these two extremes. Just stick to the PostOp instructions. Nothing more, nothing less. I, for myself, followed the PostOp instructions to the letter. But, I did a few stuff outside the instructions too in the name of haircare. Which doesn't seem too wise in hindsight (In my defence, I am in training and I have all the free time in the world. That is a recipe for disaster :D). Even though, it couldn't have possibly done any harm, my advise is to take it easy (easier said than done - but, still, do your best). Do all your hair care post the one month mark.

 

But, to keep your minds at ease, following is a message from a very, very experienced and a credible member of this forum on the subject:

 

''Once that graft is anchored, like I said after 3-10 days, there's NOTHING you can do to harm them. They have been planted and will start to grow in 3-4 months and will take at least 12 months to mature.''

This is not just one man's view, but, seems to be the general consensus among the hair experts. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

 

Since my last post,

 

-- I had nil to minimal shedding between my last update on the 16th day to the beginning of the third week. I had massive sheds in that week and have shed 90 percent of the grafts. This week is generally considered to have the biggest of shedding. But, I did my overzealous hair care the same week and I could well have expedited the shedding process than it naturally would have. I will never know.

 

-- I have had shock loss mid scalp. Looks like it might continue for a while before it settles down.

 

-- I had a haircut on the 24th day using a clipper. On the same day, I slept normally like before the surgery. Until then, I slept on my hands. Started to shower and towel dry my hair on the same day as well. (In general, the advise is, you can start sleeping or combing or do any other stuff once you are free of crusts. Be it the 15 th day or be it the 45th day.)

 

-- Have to date, haven't touched my hair unless it was needed. 0 scratching. Not much of itching just like the first 15 days.

 

-- Had about 3-4 pustules, 3-4 days shy of a month's mark. This will be a common occurrence for several months to come. (If in doubt, run your hair through some warm soaks or a warm shower for two days or so. If it goes off, its the regular pustule through which the new hair is trying to break free from. If it doesn't go and multiplies and is reddish with irritation, it could be an infection. Contact your doctor asap for an anti bacterial regimen.

 

-- Had a bumpy (mildly inflamed) scalp for a week or so from the third week. This is normal. I guess its that the scalp is visible after the graft shed and you notice it for the first time. Thats how it is for everyone. And it wears off slowly in time. Its almost gone for me.

 

-- The scar has healed beautifully and is almost invisible.

 

-- I have not started any physical activity. I am a sprinter. Cant wait to get on the track. I guess Il give another two weeks or so before I begin slowly.

 

I am off the surgery/post surgery obsession. I don't really think of it anymore. So, no wonder I had to force myself to write this delayed post. Looks like that one month mark is really the magical mark. You are back to your old life!

 

Attachments: Some pictures taken between 3 - 7 days ago.

Next update: One month from now. Or, if something strange happens in between.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Hi Mayira. I would like to know why you didn't choose Dr. Sareen when you already had good review of the clinic, it was FUE more advance than fut and that too for the fraction of the cost? Was it because of distance?

Thanks

P.S. I am planing to get my hair transplant done by Dr. Sakshi Sareen.

 

 

 

 

Hello people!

 

This thread will document A-Z of my first hair transplant. I found a wealth of information from here in HRN and this thread will attempt to give some back to the community, especially the newbies who are looking to shop some new hair.

 

I am 33 years old in a week, from Chennai, India. A Norwood 4A. Not depressed. Don't want to get married. No social pressure. I am doing the transplant just for the aesthetics. (You can find my hair loss story in my profile. A rather long and possibly a boring entry with a lot of unnecessary information)

 

Sources of research - Online communities. Mainly HRN. Couple of my friends, who have done hair transplant and a dermatologist relative who himself was doing transplants for a while.

 

One of the two friends had an FUE of 3700 grafts for a meagre 75000 rupees (tempting deal) from Sareen Hair Clinic, Delhi. 5-6 months post op, he has got very good results already. The other one had a combination of Strip Surgery and FUE (Doesn't remember how many grafts. Nor the cost) from Dr. Ramachandran, chennai. He is 2 years post and has had poor results. The dermatologist relative recommended, Dr. Renita Rajan from Chennai. I did not consider her as she virtually has no credible experience in transplants and my relative gave me too many contradicting information to consider his suggestion seriously.

 

How I picked Dr. Radha Rani - In my mind, there is no doubt that Strip surgery has to be the first surgery. I considered only from the list of recommended doctors from India on the forum. It automatically eliminated Dr. Bhatti. Dr. Madhu does more than 1 surgery per day. Which is not ideal. Dr. Kapil Dua has a chain of clinics. Which again I am not a fan of. In fact, I think he has a panel of doctors operating on different patients. That left Dr. Soni. Has good reputation as a skilful surgeon. I have some reservations with him. I wouldn't go in detail and slander. So, I leave it at that. Finally, it was actually a simple decision. I had always felt Dr. Radha was the one from day one. It's just one of those gut feelings. Nevertheless, these are some excellent reasons to choose her.

 

1. Has documented good results over the years, barring a few cases.

2. Highly regarded on the forum. At one point as the best strip surgeon in the country.

3. Runs her clinic ethically. No advertisements. No agents.

4. One surgery a day. She is very hands on. Does majority of the work by herself.

5. She speaks very good English. Very good interpersonal skills. I suppose that's a bonus for the overseas patients.

6. Well qualified staff. Some of those talents imported from Bangkok at great cost, she says. (I am sure most know she was trained by Dr. Path for a year)

7. Charges 60 per graft. No other hidden charges.

 

PreOp preparations - I believe in doing things right, so I would know I have done all I could from my side. A surgery needs your body in the best possible condition. It aides in good recovery as well. I am generally a fit guy. Athletic. The last 8 months though, I have had a lousy lifestyle. No excercise. Indulgence in junk food. Once in two weeks drinker. Random, occasional smoker. I decided to get the body in order. I am getting operated tomorrow. One month exactly prior to tomorrow, I stopped drinking and smoking. Started a detox routine. (Cucumber, mint (only yesterday I realised I ve been using coriander thinking it's mint. Quite an intelligent boy I am. Anyways, I hear coriander is good too) and any fruit I have on that day) Worked out every single day. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my sleep back to normal. I ve been having trouble sleeping well the last one year or so.

 

I am attaching pictures of my hair as of today (Before and after shave). I did the PreOp consult with the Dr. while I was half way through this post. That is what is coming up next. But, after a short samosa break. Stay tuned folks! :D

 

PS: Il do a quick Strip surgery vs FUE.

 

Why choose Strip over FUE?

 

1. Grafts are always taken from the safe zone.

2. Transection rate is at its least. While FUE s transection rate can at best match Strip (by only by the best of the hands), but never overtake it because of the blind technique involved and a long list of other reasons.

3. Transplant is a long game. When you plan for 3 surgeries over the next 20 years, it is important to optimise the usage of the limited donor area. FUE can cause damage to the near by grafts.

4. All these limitations can be minimised to the lowest possible extent and have an amazing output from an FUE when you choose an excellent surgeon. But, the golden rule is to keep FUE as your last surgery or when the area to transplant is small. My plan is to get two Strip surgeries and the final one an FUE.

 

Note: All my writing on different doctors I considered are strictly personal opinions based on my research. It is not necessarily a fact. I might well be totally wrong about them all and all of it in general. I apologise if I have crossed a line at any point. I am more than willing to correct the post if any untoward writing is pointed out.

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Yo Mayaban!

 

1. FUE is not advanced than Strip/FUT. It is a bit of a contentious topic and you will never get to a conclusion that will be unanimously accepted by all.

2. Even though Delhi is 3 hrs of air travel, distance was not the problem as I did mine in Vizag, which is still an hour of air travel. Once I get on that plane, that extra 2 hours is not going to make any difference. Besides, air travel is free for me and my head office is in Delhi. If anything, Delhi would have suited me better.

 

The reasons for not opting Sareen Hair Clinic are:

 

1. They are primarily a dermatology practice, who later became one of the many hair transplant centres which sprouted at the advent of modern FUE techniques and instruments. (Always choose a practice that does exclusive hair surgeries)

2. Dr. Sakshi Sareen is not a surgeon. And so she s not part of ISHRS. (She could be pretty good. I don't know. But, as a thumb rule, never go to someone who is not a board certified surgeon.)

3. They do only FUE. (Always choose a practice that does both)

4. They use Neograft. (Not a preferred FUE tool by the top doctors. Read what Dr. Bernstein has to say about it.)

5. Strip is a far superior method for a good yield if you are not bothered about the scar and recovery period (Which I am not). FUE nowadays produces mighty close yield and results to strip if not on par or beyond at the right hands (Generally the top doctors in the business - I don't think there is any in India)

 

I know Sareen Hair Clinic has tempting prices. But, price should not be your first in the list of priorities. If you have cash crunch, I suggest you to wait for a while, save up money and get it done from a doctor who ticks all the boxes.

 

As for to say that my Delhi friend has had good results from Sareen Hair Clinic, even Dinesh Ramdin has two test centuries. :D (Being an Indian, I am sure you get the cricket analogy)

 

PS: Another friend of mine who saw him in person says the density is not good enough and he s able to see gaps between strands.

 

Note: These are purely my opinions based on my research. I don't claim these are absolute facts. You should merely take this as guidance, if you choose to and make your own informed decision.

 

Wish you a head full of hair!

 

Cheers!

Edited by MayiraP0chu

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Two Months Update:

As expected, this period has been like the aftermath of a hurricane. No scare. Peaceful. Not much of an activity to report, after an eventful first month. This is expected to continue for another month at least.

 

Things Worth Mentioning:

Is Nizoral a must even if you don't suffer from dandruff?

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/187925-nizoral-must-even-if-you-dont-suffer-dandruff.html

 

Finasteride game plan

http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/187993-finasteride-game-plan.html

 

If you have read the Fin thread, I gave it a shot yesterday and I was almost back to normal performance. So, it does looks like it was a side effect of the fever rather than the Fin itself.

 

Medications and stuff I have been on since surgery:

Finpecia 1 mg.

Sebamed everyday shampoo. (Ultra mild. Sulphate free. Helps with dandruff. Haven't touched Nizoral since.)

WOW s Apple Cider Shampoo. (Twice a week. I oil my head prior to shampooing with St. Bottanica's 10 in 1 oil which has Olive, Castor, Rosemary, Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Amla, Bhringraj, Neem and Tea Tree oil)

 

Medications and stuff I will start and be using long term:

Mintop 5% foam. (Was out of stock throughout the country since the surgery. Expected to be back this month.)

Nature's Bounty's Hair, Skin and Nails.

Now's Ultra Omega 3.

 

I haven't started exercising yet. Haven't found that much needed drive required after a long break. Have somehow managed to find a nice sleeping window and have been sleeping well in general.

 

I shall be back a month from now. Find pictures below that was taken some ten or so days ago. I had trimmed my hair down to 2 to facilitate my nasty war against dandruff. It also gave an opportunity to have a look at the scar at blade level 2. The scar can't be spotted at level 4.

 

Laters people!

 

PS: When I run my hand through the scar, its even with the rest of the head and I don't feel a thing except for a small area on the right side of the head. There is a clear bump. Clearly uneven. If you look at the pictures, the scar on the right is much wider than the rest. So, it sorta makes sense. Wonder if this happens to all or if its just me and if it will even out with time.

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Edited by MayiraP0chu

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