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Posted (edited)

Hi guys,

Here is my journey so far with Dr. Zarev from Bulgaria.

I am Norwood 6-7 (or was, not any more ) , plan was to do 6000 grafts over 2 days, in the end we(he) did 7000 grafts , 3 500 grafts each day.

Day 1 consultation 

I landed Monday night (January 4), first consultation Tuesday, the clinic is in a small hospital that seemed to be primarily a childens hospital, Dr. Zarev had a floor to himself (at the top), clinical and clean, He mentioned that he bought an entire building that will be just their clinic, should be ready by the end of 2021).

 

The consultation takes about 1.5-2 hours, Dr.Zarev takes pictures with a micro camera,, measures the hair thickness and how many hairs I have on average per 1 cm2.

 

From our initial conversations over email after he had seen my good quality picutres we decided on 6000 grafts, I had thought that we could place the 6000 grafts at the front and middle of the scalp as I prefer to see that I get a good front and middle part for framing the face, I was ok with if it is bald around the crown, but Dr. Zarev explained that it is not a good idea as so many grafts placed on that small area would affect the blood supply to the hair follicles and thus affect the survival% of the grafts. It is better to distribute them in a homogeneous way over the whole head where I have lost (which is all since I am Norwood 6-7).

You always have communication with Dr. Zarev himself, no patient coordinator named "Bruce" or "Gina", I asked him why he does not have a patient coordinator and he explained that for him the patient - doctor relationship is important, he is not looking to do many surgeries per week just to for money, he prefers to do one or two a week and put all his time and focus on these. The week I was there I was the only patient all week, i was a 2 day job ad they had just opened after the new years holidays and I was the first patient for the year. I had a direct number to him that I could basically call at any time.

He would have preferred to see me stay in Bulgaria until Monday, but I went home on Friday, surgery was Wednesday and Thursday, first wash on Friday morning, flight home on Friday afternoon.

I think 90% of his customers are from Bulgaria so not many international customers. 

 

Operating days 1 and 2

 

Day1 starts at 09:00, first about 2 hour to plan, design, take pictures, measure head, hair shaft size etc. to get exact figures Dr. Zarev needs to plan surgery. While he is sitting and planning after drawing on my head and taking pictures, I go out where blood is to be taken before PRP.

NOBODY touched my head except Dr.Zarev, every step of the operation is done by him, no one touched my head except him, from taking pictures, shaving, to washing, to anesthesia, PRP, extracting, implanting, the assistants only prepared the grafts, and this was something I was looking for, I want to pay for the surgeon's knowledge and experience not a lot of untrained assistants.

Surgery started at 11:30 and finished around 23:00 (both day 1 & 2), a 30-40 min break around 17:00, so about 10 hours of surgery, Dr.Zarev is a MACHINE, I do not know how he can stay focused for so long. 

Day 2 was similar to day one, around 10 hours of surgery time 

Pictures you see are before surgery (obviously) and at day 90, I will be taking new pictures this Saturday for day 120, the yellow background that you see was provided by Dr. Zarev for me to take home and hang up when taking pictures at home as he uses a yellow background.

Also, at the 90 days I wanted to try and see how I would look like with skin fade on the sides/back after 7000 grafts, I must say, for 7000 grafts......not bad, (a trained eye might see something)

Before:

1244190712_before1.thumb.PNG.eac59f52a6783b28f04b69abc9462db0.PNG356760163_before2.thumb.PNG.65ecf198a89ebf6708cfde4d139c094c.PNG1779746575_before3.thumb.PNG.f6b0d05d2f5231198a2fd4e2d52a99bc.PNG519979594_before4.thumb.PNG.9cd3ea9a0000a3303286accf424facc3.PNG187505784_before5.thumb.PNG.cbf85f3375f2a8709b4292a335b827dd.PNG

 

 

 After 10 days:

Day10.thumb.PNG.cd61aaae3e17744bb1cd30faecff1029.PNG

 

After 90 days:

 

1009984280_day90_1.thumb.PNG.60e01f41e36e3d9d6e23025a188cb03d.PNG267583886_day90_2.thumb.PNG.be51517b3cf4fe390baa6be9823c42dc.PNG1293222504_day90_3.thumb.PNG.9ad1af0cd4727de014a614738ae6dce2.PNG1315195304_day90_4.thumb.PNG.7df9fe9fa5369ec8a50365551eab7420.PNG1679242624_day90_5.thumb.PNG.e36d8e08d7db8dbb16aa9d64c341352f.PNG

 

I will try and update for you guys as time goes.

BR

Hugo.

Edited by HugoX
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Hi guys, Day 121 update, in couple of the pictures I have combed the hair forward to resemble the previous pictures but I have started to comb my hair up now that it is getting stronger. BR

I have spoken to Dr. Zarev, I hope to invite him here and perhaps he can share some details about his surgical protocol. I will announce it when the time comes.

Nothing to add @SLA Example: If you have a donor of 6000 grafts and require 3000 for the front/mid and 3000 for the crown... - if you make a mega session with 5000+ FU and it fails you are b

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Posted (edited)

Finally a zarev case! Does he use magnification during extraction? His recent video showed him doing extractions with bare eyesight

 

how many grafts did he say you have left?

 

 

Edited by WildBlueberry
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He does not use magnification, he simply says he does not need this. (super eyes? 😅 )

My donor is estimated to have around 9000-10 000 grafts, so around 2000-3000 grafts left,

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Posted (edited)

Ok, seems to be lots of interest on this 😅.

For the person saying dont know why before picture look like someone else, are you blind? If you want to get picky just look for my birht mark (or what those red dots are called).

 

 

 

546811512_reddots_birthmark.thumb.PNG.5c1955e2ab441b0ab90dee052f3aaa7a.PNG

 

Im am 39, turning 40 this year. I have had a hair piece for 14 years, I took off the hair peice day before the surgery so skin is a bit irritated and have not seen the sun for 14 years, and of course there will be differences in the picures as i dont use the same type of camera, same lightning , same distances same zoom, but I am trying to keep it as close to how Dr Zarev took the pictures and with good clear pictures.

 

 

No medication exept minoxidil mixed with 0.1 finasteride ( I guess that is some sort of medication)

  I did take one or two immidiate post op picures on day 1 when we were half done but no good quality , didnt think about it honestly and I was so tired. Dr Zarev have those and I have had no need to ask for them.

 

back:

IMG_3596.thumb.JPG.7a85c682247075e455de9de9404f4db5.JPG

 

 

Edited by HugoX
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3 hours ago, HugoX said:

the yellow background that you see was provided by Dr. Zarev for me to take home and hang up when taking pictures at home as he uses a yellow background.

 

Maybe I'm weird, but I found this to be the most interesting part. I never heard of any Dr doing that before, but it's a great idea.

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6 minutes ago, JohnAC71 said:

@HugoXthanks again for posting this case. Really looking forward to following it. It’s already a huge improvement from your starting point. 🙏

Agreed 

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1 hour ago, Curious25 said:

So were you a fully bald NW6 at 25? 

no, I still had hair but I didnt want wait until I was bald and then use a hair peice because that would be to obvious, but I was loosing alot of hair and knew where this was going as half of the men in family have good hair and half bald, so I wanted to by "time" with the hair piece until I could do more research.

I was "lucky" that around this time, I think it was 2005, I had 2 friends who had done STRIP with very bad result, very bad scar and poor density, and 2005 there were not exactly many forums or information like today, smart phones were not even around .

Plan was to use the hair piece couple of years and at the same time follow the hair transplant world until it develops  more and I find a doctor that I believe could get out the best result from the the hair that I have...and it took 14 years.....also the Covid situation helped as it gave me a transition time as I have been working from home since March 2020 and will do so until end of 2021, so this was the perfect time for me to transition from alot of "hair" to nothing and then back to hair again :) .

But I guess I was bald around year 2012/2013, so my hair has been the same since then, I wouldnt think I will loose more, maybe on the sides a bit more, but Dr. Zarev have calculated for this also.

BR

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4 hours ago, giegnosiganoe said:

Do you have any immediate post op pics you can share?

I second this... would love to see some immediate post-op pics.  Thanks for sharing!

Dr. G: 1,000 grafts (FUT) 2008

Dr. Paul Shapiro: 2,348 grafts (FUT) 2009 ~ 1,999 grafts (FUT) 2011 ~ 300 grafts (Scar Reduction) 2013

Dr. Konior: 771 grafts (FUT) 2015 ~ 558 grafts (FUT) 2017 ~ 1,124 grafts (FUE) 2020

My Hair Transplant Journey with Shapiro Medical Group

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, HugoX said:

no, I still had hair but I didnt want wait until I was bald and then use a hair peice because that would be to obvious, but I was loosing alot of hair and knew where this was going as half of the men in family have good hair and half bald, so I wanted to by "time" with the hair piece until I could do more research.

I was "lucky" that around this time, I think it was 2005, I had 2 friends who had done STRIP with very bad result, very bad scar and poor density, and 2005 there were not exactly many forums or information like today, smart phones were not even around .

Plan was to use the hair piece couple of years and at the same time follow the hair transplant world until it develops  more and I find a doctor that I believe could get out the best result from the the hair that I have...and it took 14 years.....also the Covid situation helped as it gave me a transition time as I have been working from home since March 2020 and will do so until end of 2021, so this was the perfect time for me to transition from alot of "hair" to nothing and then back to hair again :) .

But I guess I was bald around year 2012/2013, so my hair has been the same since then, I wouldnt think I will loose more, maybe on the sides a bit more, but Dr. Zarev have calculated for this also.

BR

Good for you, you’ve certainly thought long and hard about a strategy that suits you, and I’m sure it’l pay dividends come a few more months! 
 

All the more pics you are able to share would be hugely appreciated not only by myself, but a very large amount of the board, as there has been a mysterious buzz and intrigue surrounding Dr Zarev - his results are some of the best I, and many others have ever seen - the only thing lacking was interaction with real life patients and patient posted threads. Understandable as you previously mentioned the majority of his patients are native Bulgarians, however with you now on the board, it will be a great opportunity to see how you progress.
 

Your progress is excellent so far for 90 days, so I have every faith this will be a banger! 

Edited by Curious25
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Great result so far, thanks for taking the time to document your case. Dr Zarev seems to put a lot of effort into his patients. How much does he charge per follicle? 

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Posted (edited)

Amazing progress so far, on the way from Norwood 6 to Norwood 1 🙂

OP, is your hair turning lighter? In the after pics it is more brown where pre-op it is pitch black. Strong camera flash can have this effect as well as lighting conditions.

Edited by asterix0
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1 hour ago, Richie888 said:

Great result so far, thanks for taking the time to document your case. Dr Zarev seems to put a lot of effort into his patients. How much does he charge per follicle? 

4 Euro/graft, price is on his webpage 

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1 hour ago, asterix0 said:

Amazing progress so far, on the way from Norwood 6 to Norwood 1 🙂

OP, is your hair turning lighter? In the after pics it is more brown where pre-op it is pitch black. Strong camera flash can have this effect as well as lighting conditions.

Have not thought about that actually, I did have longer hair in the pre op pictures so I would guess that adds to looking darker and as you mention, flash, lightning can affect this, and having skinfade adds to this probably. I have let my hair grow out a bit more for the 120 days pics that I will be taking this saturday . I am sure that the trauma caused by taking out 7000 grafts nad then placing 7000 grafts have its affect on the hair taken out and surrounding hair and until it can regain its "old" self takes time and maybe the pigmentation also takes time to get back to its original....but this is just my guess and no professionell opinion :)

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Congratulations @HugoX. A lot of us have been looking forward to a first hand account of a Dr. Zarev patient. I would also love to see the immediate post-op pics to see the outline of the donor parameters used. Also, would love to see the present day picture of the back of your scalp. Thanks for posting and look forward to seeing your growth.

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8 hours ago, HugoX said:

From our initial conversations over email after he had seen my good quality picutres we decided on 6000 grafts, I had thought that we could place the 6000 grafts at the front and middle of the scalp as I prefer to see that I get a good front and middle part for framing the face, I was ok with if it is bald around the crown, but Dr. Zarev explained that it is not a good idea as so many grafts placed on that small area would affect the blood supply to the hair follicles and thus affect the survival% of the grafts

I am surprised to hear Dr. Zarev talk about not being good to place so many grafts on a small area as it would affect survival rate since he has shown transplants which he has done with 14k grafts!

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7 minutes ago, SLA said:

I am surprised to hear Dr. Zarev talk about not being good to place so many grafts on a small area as it would affect survival rate since he has shown transplants which he has done with 14k grafts!

Those 14k or any other high numbers have not been done in a one go which he clearly explains in his videos, first over 2 days 6000-8000 grafts and then 10 months or a year after first session the rest. 

He doesn't pack 7000 grafts in the hairline and mid scalp and leave rest bald and then do 7k on bald area. 

 

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