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Hi everyone,

I am writing to share my experience having an 1852 graft FUE with Dr. Dorin in New York. I have been helped so much by this forum, and I hope a thorough post can help someone else. 

The basics: I am a 40 year old man, Norwood 3V with likely progression to 5A if nature ran its course. I use Rogaine twice per day and have recently completed 3 treatments of PRP (with pronox which makes you loopy and indifferent to the scalp stabbings). I am not currently on finasteride but considering it along with switching to oral minoxidil. 

The plan: After a consultation with Dr. True, we planned for a 1500-1600 graft FUE focused on the front. Dr. Dorin would perform the surgery.

Why I chose them: I had consultations with several other clinics. They were not good. One clinic bragged about their celebrity patients, only to reveal you, regular citizen, can't get the celebrity doctor. Another showed before and after pics that looked more like they had expertly adjusted the lighting than the patient's hairline. But from the very first conversation, True and Dorin were everything I was looking for: experts in both science and art with tremendous kindness. 

Oh, and one other selling point. I am scared of needles, despise needles, and also, to be honest with you, I'm not crazy about needles. But True and Dorin use a device called the CompuMed Wand that greatly lessens the pain of local anesthesia. Really? I asked three or four annoying times. Sign me up. 

Before the procedure: I had a lot questions and the staff at True and Dorin answered every one, no matter how small, very quickly and patiently. Want to jump on the phone? No problem. Talk to the doctor? Does tomorrow work?  

The morning of the procedure, they asked me to wash my head with Hibiclens, eat breakfast, and avoid coffee. They send an easy-to-follow list of instructions and call you to see if you have any questions for them. I had a prescription for Valium, and took a small dose (1mg) around 6:30am, an hour before we were set to start. I took another 1mg when I arrived, which I know is far less than most take (5mg to 10mg).

The procedure: I got to the office at 7:30am, and the first thing that happened is Peter, a primary contact at the practice, took my before pictures. I didn't realize how emotional that moment would be. Sitting on that stool, I thought of all the times I'd shrink away from and dodge cameras, how many photos I am not a part of, how many memories I won't be seen in because I didn't want to see myself. Now, here I was, having one of the last pictures of me taken looking like that. Each flash made me smile—probably the first time I'd smiled in a photo in years. Too bad for the mask.

Then, Dr. Dorin walks in and draws the hairline. He hands me a mirror. I think about this scene in the first Tim Burton Batman, when Jack Nicholson's Joker demands a mirror from his doctor after falling into acid. This wasn't that. To have one of the best in the world draw what he's going to do to help me, I felt a rush of gratitude. It's hokey, sure, but how many times do you know your life is about to change? But I do start to fear what will happen next, which are the dreaded numbing injections to the donor area. 

I lie face down on what I learn is a new chair, and a very comfortable one at that, and turn my head on my left ear. I hear Dr. Dorin turn on the machine and then...oh God...here it comes...it's...it's...not that bad. Then, Dr. Dorin's nurse, Rita, took over. She is hilarious and warm and the type of person you wish some scientist would clone so there would be more goodness in the world. 

Sure, the injections weren't my idea of a good time. And they did take a while. But, fellow needle phobes and haters, I promise you, they were easy. Halfway through, my anxiety went down making room for my excitement to go up. 

Soon, my head felt like a heavy helmet and Dr. Dorin began the extraction. He has great taste in music, so it was Sade radio as I felt a little pressure and heard the instrument whirling out grafts. They were initially aiming for 1500-1600, but we went for 1852. Awesome. The count in the end was 403 singles, 1121 doubles, and 328 triples.

Then, Rita numbed the hairline. Now on my back, but lying down, she encouraged me to focus on my breathing, relax my shoulders and arms, and go somewhere else in my mind. That probably for normal people means a happy place like a beach or somewhere with burgers and beer, but I kept reflecting on how sad I had been, how many self-conscious moments I had had, how those days were numbered.

During this time, I mentioned to Rita that I was hungry. Dr. Dorin walked in with the food I brought, asked me how long I wanted him to heat it up, and then brought me back my lunch. Yes, one of the world's leading hair transplant surgeons didn't tell me to wait until Rita was done, didn't order someone else to do it, but went and microwaved my food himself to help me. 

After the lunch break, Dr. Dorin made the incisions. He never dumbs down anything, which I love, but when he explained his technique I didn't understand enough to repeat it here. Between the crunching sound and Dr. Dorin counting to one hundred repeatedly, I fell asleep pretty quickly. 

But before dozing off, I also had blood drawn for PRP with ACell. I know that PRP is controversial on this forum. Go ahead, I know someone is going to say I set my money on fire. But there is a study that shows reduced loss of the transplanted grafts (at one month, 60% of the patients in the PRP group had greater than 75% density in comparison to none in non-PRP group) and all subjects in the study had greater than 75% hair regrowth at the six month mark. And while Dr. Dorin does not make guarantees, he has posted on this forum some success with PRP during the FUE. I figured it was worth a shot.  

The hardest part for me was lying still when they implanted the grafts. I was able to watch Netflix, but something about telling me not to move at all makes my leg itch, my shoulder ache, and my feet determined to flop.

While trying to do the hard work of keeping still, Dr. Dorin walked into the room and asked if I was cold. I was. He grabbed a blanket, put it over me, and made sure it covered my arms and feet. Look, lots of people can learn science. But I am sharing these moments so you know how compassionate and detail-oriented Dr. Dorin and his team are. I only wish I could remember more of the team's names (there was Lisa, Angela, Marcia, Yanilda, but I know and regret I am forgetting some). They all had the same caregiving approach.

The entire process was over at 4:30, and Peter took final pictures. I excused myself to the bathroom for a chance to stare at my hairline. What a difference a day makes.

They went over the post-op care. I got a bottle of Liposomal ATP to spray on the grafts and donor every hour, a surgical sponge to blot on the grafts when washing, and a cover for my pillow. They also gave me two Tylenol which was all the pain medication I had to take. Dr. Dorin showed me how to put on my baseball hat so it doesn't touch the grafts, and they warned me to watch my head getting into a cab. (Since it is numb, I might not judge space the same way and bump it, knocking out some fragile grafts.) I was starving and went home and ate a lot of sushi. 

Follow-up: The next day, I went to the practice at 9am and they cleaned my head and answered some more questions. Dr. Dorin took a close look. We talked about finasteride and he wrote me a low-dose prescription. I am still on the fence and the more I read the less clear I am. I have an appointment with my PCP this afternoon to get her opinion.

I bought a 45 degree pillow, and wrapped a hoodie around my neck in place of the travel pillow I should have also purchased. Sleeping has been rough. But there has been zero pain and the redness is already starting to go away, though there's a bit of swelling developing on my forehead. 

And sure, it isn't an on-off switch. But now I can look in the mirror and not focus on what's getting worse but what's going to get better.

Pics: Okay, okay, here are some pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

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Great write up, I’ve been continuously impressed by True and Dorin. I’ll be following your progress closely happy growing 🙂

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I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, nice write-up.  Looking forward to seeing more photos in a few months.  Happy growing Sir!

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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.

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One of the most detailed write ups I have read ! Excellent Dr and the work looks super refined. That’s a interesting hairline that’s been created, does it follow/resemble your native hairline ? Look forward to following your journey ! 

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On 3/11/2021 at 10:41 AM, dotdashdashdash said:

I had a lot questions and the staff at True and Dorin answered every one, no matter how small, very quickly and patiently. Want to jump on the phone? No problem. Talk to the doctor? Does tomorrow work? 

I agree. One time I was talking with Peter about something and asking him a few questions about the next procedure and he told me to hold on a minute then a minute later Dr Dorin got on the phone and discussed it with me.

 

On 3/11/2021 at 10:41 AM, dotdashdashdash said:

Rita, took over. She is hilarious and warm and the type of person you wish some scientist would clone so there would be more goodness in the world. 

Rita is wonderful. You can tell that she truly hates that she has to hurt you with the needles to numb you. She tries to play it off with some jokes which makes you not think about the needles so much. She'll tell you she is joking with you to help you get through it, and while that's true, I think she does it more to help herself get through it. She really is a sweetheart.

 

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On 3/24/2021 at 5:00 AM, BeHappy said:

I agree. One time I was talking with Peter about something and asking him a few questions about the next procedure and he told me to hold on a minute then a minute later Dr Dorin got on the phone and discussed it with me.

 

Rita is wonderful. You can tell that she truly hates that she has to hurt you with the needles to numb you. She tries to play it off with some jokes which makes you not think about the needles so much. She'll tell you she is joking with you to help you get through it, and while that's true, I think she does it more to help herself get through it. She really is a sweetheart.

 

Now that’s what I call customer service. The few exchanges I’ve had with Peter have been good too.

I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
17 minutes ago, johnto said:

Why did you choose such an unnatural design for the hairline?

It's not unnatural. It just has more irregularities designed into it than you're probably used to seeing from a HT

IMO this kind of design takes more skill to pull off, which is why it's not more common.

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4 hours ago, johnto said:

Why did you choose such an unnatural design for the hairline?

 

Natural hairlines usually aren't straight. Here's another similar hairline by the same Dr that turned out great. I realize some guys prefer a very straight hairline and that is why I always say you should really look at a Dr's hairline style before making a final choice of who to go to.

 

 

 

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Any updates?

I do not provide medical advice, recommendations, all responses are my opinion.

My Hair Transplant Journey

Melvin- Associate Publisher and Forum Moderator for the Hair Transplant Network, the Coalition Hair Loss Learning Center, and the Hair Loss Q&A Blog.

Follow our Social Media Instagram @thehairtransplantnetwork FacebookPintrest, Linkedin and YouTube.

 

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On 3/20/2021 at 7:37 AM, JohnAC71 said:

One of the most detailed write ups I have read ! Excellent Dr and the work looks super refined. That’s a interesting hairline that’s been created, does it follow/resemble your native hairline ? Look forward to following your journey ! 

Thank you! I have gained so much from reading posts on this site, I was and am excited to contribute, too. 

That's the signature Dorin hairline! 

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On 3/24/2021 at 8:00 AM, BeHappy said:

I agree. One time I was talking with Peter about something and asking him a few questions about the next procedure and he told me to hold on a minute then a minute later Dr Dorin got on the phone and discussed it with me.

 

Rita is wonderful. You can tell that she truly hates that she has to hurt you with the needles to numb you. She tries to play it off with some jokes which makes you not think about the needles so much. She'll tell you she is joking with you to help you get through it, and while that's true, I think she does it more to help herself get through it. She really is a sweetheart.

 

This is so insightful. Yes, absolutely, wonderful point about Rita. What a gem. 

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7 minutes ago, dotdashdashdash said:

Thank you! I have gained so much from reading posts on this site, I was and am excited to contribute, too. 

That's the signature Dorin hairline! 

It is very much a Dorin Hairline 👏

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Month 1

The first seven days:

Just my luck, I experienced all of the side effects of a hair transplant right away: I wouldn't shut up to my friends and family that it's the best money I ever spent, couldn't stop looking in the mirror, and daydreamed about the future constantly. Oh, and swelling. 

I was determined to follow all the rules that True & Dorin give: I sprayed my grafts and donor with Liposomal ATP solution every hour, even waking up in the middle of night; shampooed with baby shampoo and a surgical sponge (up and down, in a blotting motion on the grafts); slept with a 45 degree-angled pillow with an increasingly crime scene worthy sheet (white is probably not the wisest choice); and even applied ice to my forehead a few times a day, doing that brushing to the side motion with my fingertips.

Even so, by day three, whatever that is started to slide down my forehead to eyebrows. And there is was: day four and five, it pooled in the corners of my eyes. Other than make me look like I ran face-first into a pissed-off beehive, though, I didn't have any pain, no difficulty seeing, and it went somewhere in a day.

I was stunned at how fast the donor healed. By day seven, I don't think you could tell that 1852 grafts were plucked out of the back and sides of my scalp, unless you knew just what to look for. 

The grafts during this time gave a nice preview—though knowing the shedding to come, I couldn't help but feel like I was a kid getting to play with a kickass Christmas present for a few days, only to have my parents say, "you'll get this back next year."

Days 7-17

On day 7, I started washing my hair in a full-strength shower again. From days 1-6, the routine was to mix baby shampoo in water and pour over my head, blotting the grafts with a surgical sponge that had antibacterial soap in it. Now, the routine switched to a normal shower, but applying the baby shampoo in a gentle, circular motion on the grafts to help the scabs fall away.

The hardest part of the first ten days were waiting to work out again. I know that I'm not alone with dedication to the gym. Here's what helped me. Fitness youtuber Mike Thurston, who has done a few videos about his FUE, also posted a video about preventing muscle loss when you can't work out (and he was specifically referring to his hair transplant downtime). I don't know about you, but if I miss a single workout I irrationally but absolutely feel like I am three sizes smaller. Thurston's video was super helpful and reassuring to me.

I went back to the gym on day 10, which is the only place that I don't wear a hat. (I was advised no hat for 30 days after the transplant.) By day 11, the sides and back had grown in quite a bit. Even so, my hair was three different lengths and almost certainly looked crazy...but, who cares? Post-HT confidence is a helluva drug.

Along the way, I had some questions for Peter—should I keep using the ATP spray until the bottle is empty (yes) and do I need to wait until the scabs are off to apply Rogaine (just wait seven days after the procedure)—and, as usual, he got back to me right away.

On day 14, my phone rang and it was Dr. Dorin, calling to check in on how I was doing.  What an unexpected, cool, kind gesture. We spoke for a few minutes and certainly could have talked for longer—Dr. Dorin never makes you feel like he is in a rush and you always feel you have his entire attention. The day of the surgery, we ended up taking the elevator downstairs together at the end of the day. He said to me that he aims to treat his patient as he would treat his father. That type of sincere care shines through even in these brief exchanges. Is it weird to already be excited about my next hair transplant with Dr. Dorin?

Day 17-30

The shedding begins. Yes, I confess I was praying to the gods for a hair transplant miracle. But the shedding hath not passeth me by.

This is one of many areas where this forum has been so incredibly helpful. Reading posts of others who have been here, gone through this, and reached excellent results has set me at ease more than once. I hope I can write up my own journey, so that, if you are reading this in a few months or years, you can take a deep breath, too. (I am taking pictures every day and will put them together at some point into an easy-to-flip through format.)

Look: it sucks. Especially if you are single (and vaccinated) and ready to mingle.  

The shedding has, thus far, been mostly on the right side and some from the center. For whatever reason, the left is hanging on a bit more. Frankly, I wish they'd just hurry up and vanish already, so we can get going on—and get over with—this ugly ducking phase. 

Fortunately, if you stare closely and intensely enough at every budding hair, they grow faster. Right? Right? No? Well...I'm going to try anyway.

Pics!

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I really enjoyed that write-up, thank you.

I had surgery a few days ago, and my clinic wants me to stop working out for 30 days!!! The link to the Mike Thurston videos are appreciated as well.

All the best to you and I look forward to following your journey.

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1 hour ago, Parasol said:

I really enjoyed that write-up, thank you.

I had surgery a few days ago, and my clinic wants me to stop working out for 30 days!!! The link to the Mike Thurston videos are appreciated as well.

All the best to you and I look forward to following your journey.

Congrats on your surgery! 

Did you have FUE or FUT? There are much more knowledgeable people than me here, but I've read FUT patients need more time before the gym. 

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2 minutes ago, dotdashdashdash said:

Congrats on your surgery! 

Did you have FUE or FUT? There are much more knowledgeable people than me here, but I've read FUT patients need more time before the gym. 

Thanks! You too!

This time I had FUE. I asked about the 30 days thing because it seemed really long to me, and they said it’s to ensure enough time for the donor to heal and that they believe doing any weight resistance before 30 days can hurt the final result in the recipient too.

I’m not an expert either, but I know everyone following their own clinic’s instructions is very important, so 30 days for me it is. :(

I guess on a positive note I’m not buff anyway so I don’t have a lot to lose 😀

Happy growing! Keep the updates coming!

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13 hours ago, Parasol said:

This time I had FUE. I asked about the 30 days thing because it seemed really long to me, and they said it’s to ensure enough time for the donor to heal and that they believe doing any weight resistance before 30 days can hurt the final result in the recipient too.

I’m not an expert either, but I know everyone following their own clinic’s instructions is very important, so 30 days for me it is. :(

Totally hear you, certainly the best move. I was ready to follow my True and Dorin's instructions without question like Ron Burgundy in Anchorman reading whatever is on the teleprompter

Did you have FUT first? I have to admit that I was kicking myself a little after for not doing FUT first. To be honest, I didn't really consider it and I am shaking my head at myself for not.

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On 4/10/2021 at 10:09 PM, dotdashdashdash said:

 

Did you have FUT first? I have to admit that I was kicking myself a little after for not doing FUT first. To be honest, I didn't really consider it and I am shaking my head at myself for not.

I did, yeah. I had 2 small-ish strip procedures around 10 years ago.

It has its upsides, sure. Having started with FUT, over my lifetime, it will allow me to harvest more grafts. But my scar also stretched quite a bit, which I’m definitely not a fan of, so it has its downsides too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Quick update on day 48 before I forget these details. 

My shedding lasted from day 17 to day 34.

I had significantly less shedding on the left than the right which almost all fell out.

I am seeing quite a bit of growth on the left side and some in the center, but far less on the right. For some reason, I thought everything would grow in nice and uniform. That is, um, not the case.

Still have quite a bit of redness, but applying aloe vera seems to help.

Don't get me wrong, though: for as weird as it looks, it is super exciting.

I will post with pics at the two month mark.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, two months (64 days) after my procedure, I am writing here to say I feel tired and depressed with a bad case of the ugly duckling blues.

I had thought that, two months in, I'd feel like, "cool, we're halfway until we might start to see something." But now it's hitting me harder than before how long I have to go. 

It's not that there's no growth, but the growth is not uniform. Much more on the left than the right, but still not enough to style in any way. The redness is still red, despite applying aloe twice a day.

I thought looking back at my early pics, when the shadow of new grafts and blood looked like a badass premonition of hair to come, would make me feel better, but it sure didn't. 

I wasn't going to write this post, but thought it would be worth sharing, since deep down I know how this ends: with lots of new hair and farther and farther in the rear view these ugly duckling days. 

If you've been through this process, did you ever feel this way? Anything words of wisdom?

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You are in the middle of the worst part of the recovery. Months 2 and 3 are when you feel like you've been waiting a long time and still see nothing and you may even look worse than when you started because of some shock loss. Everyone goes through this. Once you get to around month 4 you start feeling better as you see a lot of hair growing in and you begin to be able to comb it. Just hang in there.

 

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19 hours ago, BeHappy said:

You are in the middle of the worst part of the recovery. Months 2 and 3 are when you feel like you've been waiting a long time and still see nothing and you may even look worse than when you started because of some shock loss. Everyone goes through this. Once you get to around month 4 you start feeling better as you see a lot of hair growing in and you begin to be able to comb it. Just hang in there.

 

Thank you, thank you. I know that this forum has a bunch of examples of guys making it through this—which are certainly helpful to read and I am reading them—but I also appreciate you taking the time to reply to me here, too. 

Will definitely keep updating here.

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Month 2 was fine for me, because there was no expectation of growth. But now that I'm part way through month 3, which is when growth starts for many people, I've become pretty obsessed and am taking pics almost every day. Of course, a watched pot never boils. Can't seem to help it though.

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