Jump to content
txtransplant

3550 FUE Nader Mexico and general lessons learned in HT

Recommended Posts

57 days out of a so far good experience with Dr L. Nader. This post will have results, experiences, opinions on my procedure and the process in general. 

1) Decision. Early 40's male with slow progressing hair loss since early 20's and at time of procedure guessing a NW5 . Still had enough hair growing across the bridge of my head for some passable comb over action. Hair loss comes in waves somewhat. And this last wave over the past 3 years it went from presentable. to really thin and debatable if the comb over was helping frame my face, or looking kind of like I was holding on and trying too hard. Basically that point we can all see in other guys when we can safely say they look better just buzzing it and owning their confidence again.  Funny thing is we don't see it easy in ourselves. To that end we have all seen men here completely failing in this department. I watched several guys here who looked really handsome with a little receding hairline rush and get a new one only to look less manly and detract from their looks. Granted, most guys benefit hugely from the front center being there, but sometimes high temples look better with certain guys and they screw it up. Bit the biggest fails I see here are the older guys who overdye and get too aggressive trying to see themselves at 20 in the mirror and it looks BAD. Or the flip side is they get some little tuft of hair three inches too high. It looks good to them, but they would look so much better just shaving it off and waste huge money on a look that hurts their looks. ASK PEOPLES ADVICE.  I was lucky that I have a few really attractive female friends in their late 30's and early 40's and got some feedback. All said the same things! First is they really don't look at guys hair much unless it is bad. Kind of like how women notice each others nails and makeup but guys don't really focus on that. But let's also be honest, some people look good bald, but most look better with hair. A HT isn't going to make you go from a 5 to a 10. But like clothes, really bad hair can ruin you. If it is stringy and receding bad. man up and cut it off. Or if you are a good candidate and can really make a nice look, go with the HT if you can afford it. But only if it really can improve your look. Go bald or have it restored to at least a convincing mature hairline. After looking at 10,000 results I can say anything less will only make you look worse!  To that end, I gave up the struggle with creative combing, hair spray and shading makeup (works great for once in a while when you want to look your absolute best). I cut my hair to about one inch. I hated it at first. Never had it like that before. Crazy thing is after a few weeks of getting used it it I knew I looked a 1000x better. All my female friends I asked were crystal clear they thought it was great short and was an improvement. I know I looked more bald, but confidence is sexy and I looked more confident . even if I didn't feel it. I always thought I would never have the kind of face or head that looked right buzzed. But turns out it's probably in my head and a lot of guys too. I only cut it short to prepare for the HT and see how I liked it since it was going to get cut off anyhow. I grew to like it. Not sure I will choose to grow it back to the 3-4 inches it was ever again. 

 

2)Decision made, now what?  So I am not a rich guy. But I always said when my hair got to the point where I really felt it was an issue, I would look at getting FUE. NEVER FUT. Month's of research and for the life of me, unless you are a NW6 who want's to absolutely push graft numbers to the limits, why would you ever let someone meat clever your head and get a huge scar. DON'T DO IT unless you are in that tight spot going for broke. Even then I think it is foolish. Two big decisions to make. One was what surgeon and  two, how much needed to be done with a FUT procedure. I could not afford to use one of the top 10 big name clinics in the world. They have a huge proven track record of a high rate of good results and are the obvious choice if you have $20-40,000usd to spend. And with so many results you can see each doctor has a look that they strive for. Some are dense hairlines, some  maximizing donor grafts for the best overall look. All are good, but pick one who's style you like and you have made as safe of a bet as you can. No Dr. hits a home run every time. Even the best. But odds are ever in your favor!  HT is not rocket science. I see tons of guys disappointed for different reasons. Sometimes it is a medical failure, but usually an issue of unrealistic expectations, surgeon skill and lack of homework. After having looked at 1000's of results I gained some wisdom. The math does not lie. To get the density I wanted over the area that I wanted with the hair type I have I knew I needed 3,500 Grafts. The numbers are simple really, but ignored by most. The average patient with average thickness hair and average of 2 hairs per FU needs 40-50 follicles transplanted per cm2. installed in mostly bald areas. That is the minimum to have hair that does not look blatantly thin to the average person in front of you. It would probably not look right on a 22 year old, looks okay on a 40y old and up. Now, if you have jet black hair on a white guy, going to need more! It is not hard to measure. I did the math and knew what I needed. Now to find the right Dr. 

3) With my budget in mind, I set out to explore the lesser known options outside of the superstars. This is where it gets murky. Even the 2nd tier surgeons in the US are pretty expensive. Some are for sure second tier because they don't do as good or as reliable work. Others are maybe up and coming and making a name for themselves. You can make your own decisions there. Then there are the 3rd tier places. Basically every city is full of plastic surgeons who will do a HT for you. But unless this is what they do, and all they do, STAY AWAY. It is a very skilled thing and needs a well oiled machine of a team. But for guys who are on a limited budget there is another option. Getting your HT done in a lower cost nation. Turkey is the superbowl of that. If you are smart and do your homework, you can get a world class HT done there at a fraction of the cost. But you really need to do your homework and sometimes roll the dice. I mean if you have a 95% chance of getting a best case result at a US superstar, maybe you have a 90% there at a good place in Turkey for 1/4 of the price. On a budget, that is still pretty good odds. I was going to get a HT in Turkey. The risk to reward on a budget was the next best choice to a top doc here in the USA. I was about to book a plane ticket when I caught wind of Dr. Nader in Mexico. 

4) Why I went to Mexico.  Simple really. I found a doctor I felt confident in who crossed all the t's and dotted all the I's I needed for a practice. His results were good (at least at the time I booked) and of course it was much closer than Turkey. I rented a car and drove there in a day. And of course, cost. I could afford 3,500 grafts there. And more importantly felt confident in his practice. To me it was the next best choice after the top USA doctors. So I booked a 2 day FUE with him. 

5) Why Dr Nader.  I knew I was going to have to get more creative than booking a bankrupting HT with Hasson and Wong. Having researched tons of doctors, medical journals and message boards, I came to settle on this guy for a few reasons beyond cost and location. He does the extractions and incisions himself. In other words, no technicians who you know nothing about doing the work. Sure, people can be trained and you go with the reputation of the practice. But even better if you know for sure someone who has done this 1000's of times is behind the punch putting 1000's of holes in your head. He has the right staff. Dr. Nader had 5 nurses/techs working with him on my procedure. He used a .8mm punch He limits how many grafts he does a day and only sees one patient a day. Very important and a real sign of quality. His website is lacking and marketing is non existent. But with some real effort you can see he had the important things you look for on paper with a good HT surgeon. At the end of the day I really had to look at results. His results are poorly documented. Considering he does this every day and has for over a decade, you would hope for more to go on. But I really had only about 10 results to see. And to be honest some looked mediocre. On the bright side I never saw any negative reviews or bad results. Then came the real hard looks. I noticed every mediocre result was because of low graft counts. Simply put Dr. N was getting really good results with the actual hairs he transplanted, but often patients were not having enough grafts done to start with. At the time of my booking I only could find one person he worked on that had what I would consider a sub-par result. I figured most of the unremarkable results were due to budget. I mean if the patient only has a limited budget, you do what you can and I think he gets a lot of guys who are on a budget. Armed with that information I felt strongly that Dr. N was a good choice and would be able to get the same graft survival rates as any top doctor should.  I will add that right at the time of my procedure several new cases came to light here where his results were week even when the patient had enough grafts implanted. So I kind of got nervous. Though even those results were not failures. But they were not home runs either. One guy may just need more time, the other looks like maybe 60% of it grew. Time will tell I guess. Had I see these before my procedure, I may have gone to Turkey and seen one of the clinics there. It would have been a harder choice. I am glad I saw them after..lol

6)Procedure. His office is 2 miles from the USA. Really no big deal and he sends a car. Nice office. Everything they say about the man here is spot on. He is kind, professional, knowledgeable and you can not help but feel in good hands and like the guy. Very down to Earth. We talked about my goals and what we would be working towards. He also talked very candidly about his own struggles with hair loss and why he chose this profession. Even some American doctors who he knows personally as he is active in the community of HT surgeons.  I also learned quickly why many of his results look thin. It really comes down to each surgeon is a bit of an artist too. His aesthetic is very conservative. To say he is NOT money driven is an understatement. He tried to convince me I only needed 2500 grafts even though it would still take up the two days I was booked for. So he would have lost thousands of dollars because he was advocating for me and what he felt. He could have safely transplanted the 3500. He just said it  was not needed to have a nice result, and save my money. So two awesome things there, One, you start to realize this Dr.  in his mind thinks thin hair looks age appropriate. There is no right or wrong there. Two, he proved to me that he is not money driven, but results and compassion driven. Regardless of my final result, I completely respect and feel confident in his ethics. Ultimately I was steadfast in wanting to get the density I was aiming for and knew I needed to hit for the look I wanted (low 40's per cm2). He agreed to implant to a as high a density as possible where we were still 100% safe and not pushing it. We ended up with about 500 extra grafts since I was insistent on harvesting 3500 and he truly didn't know how dense he could pack safely till implantation started later. So we put the last 500 in the crown. He also ended up with about 100 more grafts than I paid for, but told me not to worry about that. Very classy operation.  Procedure was over two consecutive  days. Not painful and pretty standard for a HT. Each session of about 1800 grafts took about 6 hours from first punch, till last implant. That's well within the safe zone time wise. He also uses a upgraded storage solution, but only mentioned it when I asked. These are things he could easy market on his website or cheap out on techs. Nope, he just likes what he does and cares for his patients. The first night I took some Advil. Night of 2nd day or surgery I didn't even have to take anything. It was as pleasurable and painless as you can hope for. It is really not fun though and let's not sugar coat it. But not so horrible you can't watch TV or grit your teeth and get through it.  At the end of the two days we had implanted 3588 grafts. Nearly all were 2 hair grafts. My hairs according to him were on the thicker side of average. I have average donor density in back, so I probably have 2-3000 or so in reserve for the future.  Most of it went into the frontal 1/3 and quick math shows we implanted at a density of about 43 grafts per cm2.  We went with a fairly conservative hairline that we agreed looked good. Though he felt I could have left it about 1/3 inch higher on my forehead. I wanted it a bit more forward and that's what he did and I don't regret that. 

Edited by txtransplant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we are before surgery. The drawn on hairline here is my own design while doing math. But is very close to what we went with. Don't laugh when I say this....but I cut my hair and saved some of it to use to design a hairline. It was great being able to adjust it looking 100% real. I was actually surprised that I found a widows peak looked as good on me as a more straight hairline. SO GLAD I did this. Took the guesswork out of designing a hairline or leaving it to decide on a surgery day. In retrospect I would have rather those 500 extra grafts gone to bring those temples a bit forward than gone in the crown. But you do the best you can at the time.

 

First and last pic is the comb over. One pic is me buzzing it all off 2 weeks before surgery to get used to it,  Also in case I liked it so much I might choose another option.  The middle two are when it got good feedback from everyone. Of course it is a mess and pulled up and back to see the hairline. But was a big improvement over the comb over. Didn't take a pic of the front when I want pretty much clipper bald. But didn't like it. Glad I went with a HT even if it is just to put enough there to frame my face. 

081.jpg

081318.jpg

0813181322a.jpg

09101g.jpg

ggaggs.jpg

Edited by txtransplant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I have a small head. So 3500 grafts went a good distance. I know this will not be a dense head of hair. I see really dense doctors doing 3000 grafts just in the front. I am okay having it on the thin side, but not see through. We shall see. I will know in maybe 10 months if we need to add a bit or we are good.  Pic of donor area is about day 7. Last two pics were I think day 7 and day 11. 

09201801.jpg

0923181027.jpg

0917181635b.jpg

0924181247b.jpg

0929181912.jpg

0929181913.jpg

Edited by txtransplant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So this brings us up to right about two months. I got lucky! A lot of the hairs that were implanted just kept growing! This is a great sign in two ways. One, nice to get some results. Two, you would assume the hairs were handled well and my body didn't go to war with the implants. I can tell exactly what grew and what shed because I still have a few hairs shed if I run my hands through it a few times when holding a piece of paper under it. Usually 2-3 very short hairs will come out. They are all the same 3mm long. All those shed hairs clearly went to the resting phase after surgery like is normal, and are just sitting in holes in my head now. VERY few are left like that as most fell out in week 4.  The ones that are clearly growing are now about 3/4 inch long and growing like weeds. A few you can see where the hair follicle thought about taking a vacation (hair gets thin) then thicker again close to the scalp. It's like some had a rough time and got skinny for two weeks of their growing, then back to fat. It actually looks better in person, especially when you are not inspecting hair, but looking at a person as a whole. I have no idea what % stayed and what shed. My guess is a little over 50% the hairs in the front 1/3 stayed and grew.  The hairs that went into the crown mostly shed.  Would I be happy is this was the final result? Heck no! By my eye, I need pretty much all of the shed hairs to sprout eventually to have a result I like.  Reality is if Dr. Nader hit the benchmark of what most quality surgeons realistically do (90%), I think It will get where I can just move on and be okay with my hair. For sure won't be a hair model, but that was never the goal. Worst case from where I am now, even if nothing new grows, I can go anywhere and get 1000 grafts put in and for sure be good. That's a much different place than 2 months ago with a completely bald front, large bill and big unknown surgery in front of me. Also many unanswered questions with a natural fear of disaster.  I am happy so far! But feedback both positive or negative is very welcome and appreciated. Ultimately this is for the guys in my shoes a few months ago trying to figure it all out. I was torn for a bit between Dr. K in Turkey (my second choice and was about to book when I found Nader)

20181114_170513.jpg

20181114_141220.jpg

20181f.jpg

Edited by txtransplant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basics and recovery.  Was uneventful and not worth going into detail the day of stuff. I drove 5 hours the night  the surgeries were done with no problem. Very little pain, no meds needed. I did take an anti inflammatory as prescribed. Swelling on forehead was kind of not cool and got worse till about day 5 post procedure. No pain, just looked goofy. And my skin on my forehead was really oily too through that and for maybe 2 weeks after. The surface of my implanted area was completely numb for a while. Still is pretty numb right on the surface, but slowly improving and not a really big deal at this point. Got really bad hiccups after the surgery for 2-3 days. Turns out that is a sometimes side effect. Plus lots of dead skin on the surface. Also, even now, the skin that was implanted it very slightly "off" compared to virgin scalp. I am sure a lot of it is just like when you skin your knee as a kid. It heels up pretty quick, but the area the skin is a little different for many months after. Not that extreme, but if I shaved my head now, the recipient areas might be a little different looking at close inspection. I think there are also tiny scars (very tiny) where the implants went in. Small like the pores in your skin, but a little bigger. I suspect that is just what happens when you make tiny holes and shove tiny chunks of skin in them. Not really a big deal,  though something you never see mentioned. My guess is over the next year that will become even more invisible. But if I ever wanted to have a shiny shaved bald head, it might or might not be an issue.  Biggest issue was my donor area just got really angry! Not pain so much as just raw and unpleasant. Where even a breeze the first 2 weeks was pretty unpleasant. To this day it is still a little irritated and bit sensitive. At week 5 I started getting big pimples on the donor area. I am guessing those were transected hairs growing out. Mostly over now and was maybe 25 of them. Makes sense that's what they were as you always get a few of them in the punch process. I can see Zero scaring from the .8mm punch. So that was a relief and because I went FUE, if all healed well I can buzz my hair down to a few mm and all look good. I never want shiny bald or razor it, so this is all okay with me. I am pretty sure though that the donor area will be so well healed that I could clean shave that area.  

Edited by txtransplant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review thus far!  I had very similar experiences with Nader. He is very caring and skilled doctor!  Nader’s work looks great. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, what a great narrative on your experience!  A .8mm punch was used during my surgeries as well.  I’m posting this picture (as I have done many times) so you can see what your donor area will look like about 2 years after your surgery.  This photo was taken an hour before my second FUE surgery to touch up some areas.  This area yielded about 1,750 grafts two years earlier.  There really is no discernible scarring to the untrained eye.  

 

B394BE63-68F3-46BE-BFFC-35E911BCE2D3.jpeg


I am an online representative for Carolina Hair Surgery & Dr. Mike Vories (Recommended on the Hair Transplant Network).

View John's before/after photos and videos:  http://www.MyFUEhairtransplant.com

You can email me at johncasper99@gmail.com

I am not a medical professional and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep us posted with new pictures in a few weeks “Txtransplant”.  You have plenty to look forward to. Keep growing!


I am an online representative for Carolina Hair Surgery & Dr. Mike Vories (Recommended on the Hair Transplant Network).

View John's before/after photos and videos:  http://www.MyFUEhairtransplant.com

You can email me at johncasper99@gmail.com

I am not a medical professional and my opinions should not be taken as medical advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×