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FUT, June 10, 2020, 3600 grafts with Dr. Cooley

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I thought sharing my experience might be helpful to others and to show my  progress so far.  I am 38 years old and have fine hair.  I plan to update monthly for the first year or so.

About a year ago I started to think about getting a HT after gradual thinning for several years.  I first started Finasteride Oct 2019.  I discovered this forum around that time and looked at results and reviews of many of the recommended surgeons.  I did not mind traveling or price in terms of limiting my options.
I first sent photos to H&W and they said I would be a good candidate for FUT, recommending 4000-5000+ grafts, noting a second procedure for the crown might be helpful.  I then met Dr. Bernstein in NYC for an in-person consultation.  He also recommended FUT, approximately 2500 grafts.  His thoughts were similar to H&W, to start with the hairline, cover some midscalp, and only thin coverage to the crown.
During continued research, I became interested in learning more about Dr. Cooley's practice.  I found nearly all reviews to be excellent, results to be natural and excellent as well.  I also liked the idea that he often seemed to transplant in the range of 3000-4000 grafts, somewhere between the other two recommendations I had received.
I spoke to Lollie (an assistant of his for many years) for an in-depth telephone consultation after sending photographs to her.  She was very pleasant and extremely helpful with scheduling.
Approximately 3500 grafts were recommended by FUT.  Also, Dr. Cooley does most of his FUT surgeries without shaving the recipient area, which was a big plus for me.
I drove 12 hours to Charlotte the day before surgery because I did not want to get on a plane in the middle of COVID.  
On 6/10/20, I had the procedure.  I had paid for 3,000 grafts in advance but was hoping for 3,500, as we had discussed.  First I met Brandi, his lead assistant with many years of experience, to review some paperwork, etc.  
Then I met Dr. Cooley who discussed the hairline and asked for my expectations.  He is friendly and reassuring.  
I asked that overall he use his judgement for what he thought would be the best in terms of overall improvement, and that I obviously wanted it to be natural.  I asked that he err on the more conservative side to account for future loss, and to use as many grafts as he thought would be beneficial.
His office is nice.  The day was comfortable and the 12 hours (7AM-7PM) went quickly.  You are given some conscious sedation at first to help relax (valium and midazolam), which I found helpful.  Numbing is mildly uncomfortable for a minute or two.
He was able to extract 3679 grafts (1- 1032, 2-1783, 3-714, 4-150).
Post operatively, the following two days were mildly uncomfortable, but mostly only the first night.  I did take tylenol and motrin regularly for about two days.  I did not have swelling.  Driving the long distance home over the following two days, starting after the post op visit with Dr. Cooley the morning following surgery, was not uncomfortable.
I was first able to feel some growth around 3 months and think I have some noticeable visible improvement now at 4 months.  I hope to share the continued improvement over the next many months.
I would highly recommend Dr. Cooley and his team based on my excellent experience there. 

pre op front.jpg

pre op top.jpg

pre op top2.jpg

pre op crown.jpg

pre op side.jpg

pre op donor.jpg

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