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It's been a day since I've had my failed FUE transplant. I purchased 1000, and 2 hours into the procedure, I was told that only 20% of the harvested graphs were usable out of the ~300 harvested so far. The explanation did not make sense to me, but I was under heavy sedation. I was told I'm not a FUE candidate. I'm scheduled for a follow up next week, and I hope to get a better explanation.

 

What I'm concerned with is the ~300 harvested sites that may or may not be permanently damaged. The technician said I would potentially have ingrown hairs. Has anyone experienced this type of failure rate before? I was thinking maybe 5 - 10 percent failure, but 80%!?! I'm also disappointed that the Dr. nor the technician didn't stop a little sooner once the failure rate was observed to be so high. Hair follicles are a limited resource. I did get a full refund, but am still not happy with their waiting so long to make a decisions to stop.

 

Has anyone experience something like this before?

 

Thanks all.

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I’m so sorry and feel very badly for you. You rarely if ever...hear about an experience like this. During your follow-up find out exactly what happened to the grafts. Transection or damaged grafts typically occurs less than 5% of the time and surgeons then harvest other grafts to suplant the transected ones. That failure rate is super high! Losing 300 grafts will not make a visual difference once your surrounding hairs grow out but you are correct, you hate to lose that many grafts.

 

I’m curious, were all the grafts removed by a technician or the surgeon? Ask what size surgical “punch” was being used. Typically, surgeons are using a .08 mm punch. Did you use a surgeon who specializes in hair transplants or a general plastic surgeon? Provide us a little more information if you can.

 

Again, sorry for your experience. Make a list of questions to ask at your follow-up appointment. Keep us posted. I’m very interested to hear the exact explanation as to what happened.

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Thanks for the response, John. It was 2 technicians doing the extractions. They were using .08, .09, and .1 mm sized punches. I was able to ask and remember that. I'm guessing they were changing the size in attempt to improve their results. The depth I do not remember.. 4 something is all I recall. 4mm maybe? Does that sound right? The doctor was a general plastic surgeon that does not specialize in hair transplants. I do remember her saying that she does do the incisions for placement. That is all. The technicians do the rest. She was doing PRP injections for me for a period of time, so I established a level of trust with her, along with her choice in staff doing the extractions.

 

The questions I have so far are:

 

Why exactly did the extractions not work?

Are the follicles permanently damaged?

How long will it take to know for sure?

Should I expect ingrown hairs?

Why did it take 300 attempts to realize something wasn't right?

Is there anything you can do to help the donor site heal? PRP for example?

 

That's all I can think of right now. But, I'm open to suggestions. Is there anything else you think I should ask?

 

Thanks again.

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DO NOT go to a plastic surgeon that does not specialize in hair transplants. The technicians were likely inexperienced and you never ever want to have a doctor that doesn’t specialize in hair oversee the procedure.

 

We have a long list of surgeons who have a track record of providing excellent results and who specialize in hair. I recommend setting up a consultation with one of them

https://www.hairtransplantnetwork.com/Consult-a-Physician/hair-loss-doctors.asp

Best wishes

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Good questions Brandon. I know you’re going back for a follow-up but I don’t know what they are going to be able to say or do that will change anything. You already got your money back, you may want to consider finding another doctor who specializes in FUE ...right away. This website is a great place to find one. You had a relatively small number of grafts removed. If your donor area is strong and viable a reputable surgeon can make a big difference.

 

Regarding a couple of your questions. Ingrown hairs are very common after surgery and typically not an issue. I had many and they took care of themselves. If any get infected you need to treat them properly but that doesn’t occur too often. Also, keep your donor area clean and you will be surprised how quickly it recovers. Please keep us posted.

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Melvin, I was distracted by an established rapport during the PRP sessions. Still my fault for taking this decision lightly. I thought if I asked enough questions it would make up for it. I was wrong. Do you have a short list of doctors that do the extractions themselves? I live in the Kansas City area. So, if there is one nearby or one that offers online consultations that would be ideal. The next option would be NYC.

 

John,

Thanks again for the feedback on the ingrown hairs. It already is looking better. You said I should find another FUE doctor right away. I am going to see a local one that uses the ARTAS procedure tomorrow. Not necessarily for the ARTAS procedure, but more for a second opinion on the donor area recovery expectations. I think I'm going to wait ~6 months for everything to heal, unless a doctor convinces me otherwise. Is there a particular reason you suggest finding another doctor right away? Just curious. At this point, I'm most interested in a doctor that is dedicated to hair transplants and has many years of doing the FUE extractions himself. I'll keep you posted on the post-op visit with the doctor on Wednesday as well.

 

Thanks again.

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Melvin, I was distracted by an established rapport during the PRP sessions. Still my fault for taking this decision lightly. I thought if I asked enough questions it would make up for it. I was wrong. Do you have a short list of doctors that do the extractions themselves? I live in the Kansas City area. So, if there is one nearby or one that offers online consultations that would be ideal. The next option would be NYC.

 

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Hi Brandon,

Not all surgeons perform all of the extractions themselves, several surgeons rely on technicians to assist in extracting and implanting. However, EVERY surgeon recommended on our site is a specialist in hair restoration. Dr. Konoir in Chicago, IL performs all of the extractions and implantation himself. We also recommend Dr. Vories in South Carolina and Dr. Cooley in North Carolina. All three are excellent choices. I recommend taking time to review our "surgeon review" section where members post their results. Really research and find a surgeon who's work you like who has performed surgery on a member with similar hair loss and hair as you.

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The doctor was a general plastic surgeon that does not specialize in hair transplants.
Yep. You'll want to research a bit here and find a dedicated doctor that does specialize in hair transplants. Do not return for more work with that doctor. Find a top doctor and proceed. Sorry to hear about your experience. Glad you got your money back.

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Brandon, sorry I missed your early post and question to me.  Looks like you've decided to wait a while, heal-up, and consult with another doctor who practices FUE on a daily basis.  There's no reason at this point to rush.  Take your time and find a reputable doctor on this website.  Best of luck and keep us posted on your progress.

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So, my post surgery visit with the doctor went well. It's been a few weeks, so it's a little foggy, but the explanation I received was that my skin surrounding the follicle was "mushy", and they couldn't be extracted cleanly. She and her 2 other technicians experienced the same unusual difficulty their own preferred tools. She said she did some research, and finasteride, which I have been taking for a year prior, has been known to improve this. But it didn't seem to make any difference in my case. She would only be willing to do the FUT (strip) procedure, which I have no interest in. I want the freedom to shave my head. 

I'm really interested in knowing if anyone else on here has had this happened. I'm currently waiting for everything to heal 100% and looking a solid FUE surgeon with many procedures under his belt in the meantime.

Thanks all.

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