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My experience with Dr. Diep MHTA Clinic (11/12/2020) - FUE/FUT Combo 2622 grafts


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Summary (because this review is long): Today is the 9th day after the surgery. I am very pleased with the Dr. Diep and her staff (so far.)

Let's start with surgery info:

Surgeon: Dr. Diep MHTA Clinic at Los Gatos, California

Surgery Date: 11/12/2020

Procedures (graft): FUE (1411) + FUT (1211) 

Myself: Asian in my 50's with NW4 to 4.5. Start losing my hair since early 20's. Never take any med, tropical, roller, special shampoo, or anything for hair treatment (just too lazy to care.) My hair never give me trouble at work or dating. Live in the Bay Area and 20 miles from Dr. Diep's office.

Reason on Dr. Diep: I have been following Dr. Diep's YouTube channel for more than 2 years and am impressed with the results. I also read a lot of reviews here and I don't see any justification for me to travel during Covid to see other doctors. My #1 requirement is not to screw up. #2 is nature hairline with good density at the front. I actually don't give a damn about the back since neither I can see it in the mirror nor I talk to others with the back of my head. Anyway, I decided Dr. Diep is the best fit for me.

Cost: I was first quote $17k to perform 2K FUE to fill the front during the zoom consultation with Dr. Diep. When I got to the office, Dr. Diep was worry that I would not be happy with the density and suggest to go up to 2250 grafts. Since I am not a 1%er, I would like to stick with my original budget (I also heard Divorce is very expensive.) Dr. Diep then suggested to fill my front with FUE+FUT for $17k. Since I actually was undecided about FUE or FUT, I liked the suggestion.

The Day of the surgery: Arrived at 7:30am shape. The office is at the very nice part of the Bay Area and is much bigger than I thought. The nurse then had me to fill out a bunch of forms that I read two weeks prior (same time the full payment was due.) I then chit chat with Dr. Diep for about 20 minutes about the surgery (procedure, med, and time), work, and also family. Btw, Dr. Diep is younger than me and I beat him on having much older children. Felt good since I likely retire sooner than him. 

The tech then lead me to a large surgical room (end up spent the whole day there) and Pam the nurse came in to buzz the back, front and the side of my head. (Pro-tip: If you decided to go with Dr. Diep, just have Pam to buzz off all the hair.) She was very nice but I told her not to quit her day job. 

I was start dozing off from the med and kind of in and out of consciousness. Don't quote me but my surgery probably starts around 10:30am. I aware there were two tech + Dr. Diep when they were getting the donors. The only time I was fully conscious was having my Pastrami sandwich (good), Fries (not good), and Apple juice (best I had ever taste but I think it is because of the med.) during lunch. I also aware that I may be bleeding a bit much (end up with IV) and talk a lot while I was out.

I finally came back to full conscious when the two technicians (Kwan and Linsey) was injecting the hair to my head. I asked about the time and it was 11ish at night. We then spent about an hour making fun about the back to back Julia Robert movies (Pretty women + Sleeping with Enemy) on the TV. Dr. Diep would come in to check on us periodically and the surgery ends around 12:30am. Linsey then went through the aftercare package (med, shampoo, bandages, and shoulder pillow) while I pull my IV off my arm. She wasn't too crazy about it.

Dr. Diep then spent couple minutes to give me a quick low down about my surgery (a lot of grey hair and it made things harder.) He was happy about the results after all and sent me on my way.

After surgery: The pain was pretty ok. I took the Tramadol for the first two days and then just once a day Aleve afterward. I actually have more problems with the swollen and had trouble open my eyes two days later. I did not take any time off and went back to work the next day. I sent my photo to my boss and he told me not to get on zoom. I actually sent him another photo during the peak of my swollen, and he said never send him anymore photos.

Things start looking up about four days later and the swollen was totally gone after 6 days. I still take Aleve right before bed time but it is more to do with the discomfort of the back of my head then anything else. 

Cleaning (day after):  I went back to the office the next day afternoon to have my head clean. No appointment was needed. Jenifer the nurse was super nice and answered a bunch of dump questions that I did not ask the night before. It took about 20 minutes in and out.

Billing mix up: I got a bill couple days later for some extra charges because my combined 2611 grafts are more expensive than $17K. I called the Monica the office manager and she was able to resolve it with Dr. Diep. 

Follow up call from Dr. Diep: Exactly one week after the surgery, Dr. Diep called my cell around 9pm to check on me. I can tell he just finished his shift and was getting in his car. He explained to me about the 14 hours procedure and the combination of FUE + FUT just took longer. He also apologized about the billing mix up due to the office manager did not read his note about the no charge. He ended the call to offer me a free ACELL injection ($600 value according to him) due to the billing miscommunication.

Next steps: I have scheduled to remove the sutures in two weeks. An appointment with Dr. Diep for the first check up in four weeks. 

Overall: I am happy with the results and overall experiences. I can be just like many people her to nitpick stuff and expect the doctor to do everything perfect. You probably can tell by now that I don't take shxt too seriously. 

OK.. Let stop the rambling and see some before and after photos.

Edited by WS2020
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9 hours ago, WildBlueberry said:

I’ve seen this approach before of combined fut/fue. Very interesting. Do you know what size punch was used?

I don't. I am guessing .9mm.

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22 hours ago, WS2020 said:

Cleaning (day after):  I went back to the office the next day afternoon to have my head clean. No appointment was needed. Jenifer the nurse was super nice and answered a bunch of dump questions that I did not ask the night before. It took about 20 minutes in and out.

Did you go back bare-headed, i.e. no hat or anything on your head?

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15 hours ago, anotherhairlosssufferer said:

Did you go back bare-headed, i.e. no hat or anything on your head?

The aftercare package includes couple surgical paper hats. I was wearing those. 

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FUT+FUE looks interesting. My understanding that this was done for more to get more grafts (~250) and to keep costs low at 17K?  Or did Dr Diep think that they wouldn't be able to get +2250 grafts from donor area with FUE?

*(Pro-tip: If you decided to go with Dr. Diep, just have Pam to buzz off all the hair.)

--- lol YES, I should of done this. I thought checking the box on form saying it was ok to cut whatever hair they wanted, they would automatically buzz it all to the same length to help with the surgery.  But whoops nope. I was actually under when they shaved my head, and ended up with tonsure look at the end of the day.

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7 hours ago, js2020 said:

FUT+FUE looks interesting. My understanding that this was done for more to get more grafts (~250) and to keep costs low at 17K?  Or did Dr Diep think that they wouldn't be able to get +2250 grafts from donor area with FUE?

*(Pro-tip: If you decided to go with Dr. Diep, just have Pam to buzz off all the hair.)

--- lol YES, I should of done this. I thought checking the box on form saying it was ok to cut whatever hair they wanted, they would automatically buzz it all to the same length to help with the surgery.  But whoops nope. I was actually under when they shaved my head, and ended up with tonsure look at the end of the day.

My donor is fine with 2250. I wanted to keep the same cost and that's why Dr. Diep suggested to do a FUE/FUT combo. I feel it was actually more work to them since the procedure was not done until way past mid-night. 

Yeah, that's why I asked Pam to not quit her day job. It is almost no point to not buzz the rest of hair out.

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Honestly, 

I think FUT+FUE is probably even better. There’s another case here of the same thing with Dr. Gabel. Your strip scar is small, doesn’t look like a traditional ear to ear strip. I’ve always considered doing the same, but after 3 FUE’s probably shouldn’t. 

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. A quick 2nd week update.

There is still some discomfort at the back but doing ok overall. I will head to the Dr. Diep office to remove the suture on Monday and hope it will accelerate the recovery.

I took the minoxidil 5% first time ever two days ago and I was getting some tension headache. The headache went away a day later after I stopped. I applied the minoxidil today again and a slight headache comes back. Maybe my body needs to get used to it. I also filled the Fin prescription and still thinking about what to do with it. Should I do a DYI to turn it to tropical or take it 3 times a week.. I already have below average testosterone level and kind of concern.... 

20201126_133643(0).jpg

20201126_133648.jpg

Edited by WS2020
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I’m not a doctor but I think it’s to soon to start using topical minoxidil. Your recipient sight is still recovering. Your probably absorbing to much through the scalp.  You look fantastic btw. Dr Diep did a wonderful job!

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I hoped on Fin and my test levels went through the roof. I think blocking DHT has an effect of allowing more free flowing T to stay in the body. Minoxidil has not really done much for me but I’m afraid to stop it after all these years. I remember Joe Tillman of the bald truth tell a caller you should only start one medication at a time ( Fin being the first) to monitor any side effects or knowing what’s working. Either way you look good my man! 

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1 hour ago, Skyb said:

I hoped on Fin and my test levels went through the roof. I think blocking DHT has an effect of allowing more free flowing T to stay in the body. Minoxidil has not really done much for me but I’m afraid to stop it after all these years. I remember Joe Tillman of the bald truth tell a caller you should only start one medication at a time ( Fin being the first) to monitor any side effects or knowing what’s working. Either way you look good my man! 

Nice write up btw. Love the sense of humour. How do you know your Testosterone levels went so high? Did the doctor test? I've also heard that it can cause T levels to increase but just slightly. Scar looks nicely hidden already. Looking forward to your results. Best of luck.

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