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My upcoming surgery with Eugenix of India and Dr. Arika Bansal


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1 hour ago, Westview said:

Butter chicken is good too.  I also like Satay in peanut sauce.

I'm surprised you didnt go sightseeing, but I guess Covid restrictions probably played a part

I love butter chicken but I know that I am getting only a pale version of the real thing in Toronto. I didn't order it here because I am sticking to a strict vegetarian diet for the next few weeks. I had the butter tofu masala the last couple of days at the clinic and now Indian food in Toronto will never be the same again.

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Also, just a general tip for all travellers to Eugenix who are staying at a nearby hotel. If any staff member (from Eugenix or the hotel) stands out as being particularly exceptional in their customer service, take a few moments to let their superiors know about their achievements. For Eugenix staff, that could be just sharing a kind word with either of the founding doctors, Maudit or Anil about that staff member's contribution. For the DoubleTree Hilton, that could be speaking in person to the manager or by sending a compliment through the main DoubleTree Hilton website (make sure you reference the DoubleTree Hilton in Gurugram Baani Square). That simple gesture can make a significant impact on someone's career opportunities here in India. My lovely friend, Pooja, for example, comes from Agra (the home of the Taj Mahal). She works really long hours and when she gets two days off, she goes back to her home city. People travel far and wide in India for job opportunities. We are ridiculously spoiled in the West (that is a major generalization, of course - there are lots of people in the West who, for historical and other reasons, are far from privileged) and it is easy to forget just how lucky we are. People here work long hours just to enjoy things we take for granted. Be kind when you can and be mindful that simple gestures from you can have significant outcomes for others.

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Wise words, @kirkland!

Such a well documented journey and a lens into the work culture in India. I coach business master's level graduate students, many whom are from India that are vying to get visa sponsorship upon graduation so they can work in the US.

How did you feel about the technicians doing the graft extractions? Did they seem masterful at their craft?

Also, did Dr. Arika comment on your lifetime donor supply of scalp grafts? Given your NW level, I am surprised that they didn't try to mix scalp and beard to preserve scalp grafts should you want to do the crown and for the potential of future hair loss.

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1 hour ago, SLA said:

How did you feel about the technicians doing the graft extractions? Did they seem masterful at their craft?

 

Funny you should mention that. Earlier today, I was speaking to the marketing director (?) of Eugenix. I did not catch his name - will get it tomorrow. We talked about branding, but more specifically, I was asking him if Eugenix is considering branching out into the hairloss-related retail sector, such as hair fibers, etc. He told me that Eugenix wants to focus on quality control as its main business strategy. They are currently not interested in anything but making sure that they deliver good, consistent results in their operating theaters. As such, there is a significant emphasis on training and development of staff, including their technicians. While I have nothing to compare them to, it seems that there is a strong sense of loyalty and pride among the staff. They all know how renowned Eugenix has become and they all want to work together to ensure organizational success. Since you coach business at the graduate level, you can appreciate how important it is for the long-term success of a company to have staff all buy in to the mission of the organization (I'm a part-time grad student in human resource development at the University of Toronto so I also appreciate this goal). The techs all seem to be well-trained and skilled in their craft. Now I could have a bias - there are always multiple surgeries going on simultaneously and I could be attributing the skill set of my technicians across the entire workforce. But I think the results that we all see from Eugenix speak for themselves. Of course, success can breed problems. Growing too big, too fast can impair their strategy, particularly if they have to compromise training and development for efficiency and growth. But they seem to have the right ratio at the moment. So, in short, I have come away feeling pretty confident that their techs will do a top-notch job most of the time.

I didn't talk to Dr. Bansal about my donor viability but she did remark that I had a good supply and that 3500+ grafts were easily available without having to dig into my pathetic beard hair. Now if I could only harvest part of Melvin's beard for my own purposes...

Also, I have a small head which helps a lot since it reduces the number of grafts needed pretty significantly. When I went in today to do a post one-day check up and cleaning, I met a Danish guy who was coming in for 6500!!! grafts. They were going to extract 4000 from his donor region and 2500 from the beard. His donor area was far less viable than mine so I know I have at least 1000-2000 good grafts left. Since I don't give a toss about my crown, and I think a thinning crown is age appropriate for me, my remaining grafts, minus the beard hair, will more than amply get me to where I would like to be after a second surgery.

 

Edited by kirkland
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45 minutes ago, kirkland said:

Since I don't give a toss about my crown, and I think a thinning crown is age appropriate for me, my remaining grafts, minus the beard hair, will more than amply get me to where I would like to be after a second surgery.

...or, you might determine that you are one and done! You didn't seem to have a ton of crown loss and almost seemed like a NW5/6 rather than a full blown NW6, but maybe I am off.

Wishing you much growth and thanks for your detailed response about the technicians!

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On 10/11/2021 at 2:08 AM, BoldnotBald said:

great to see your courage to have taken the plunge.

and it looks as if you´ve already mastered the first challenges - i suppose as a sort of warm up before the upcoming ones. 😉

 

in terms of asking questions it would be good to know how / on which ground / based on which calculation eugenix will be able to predict

1. how many grafts would be needed to cover your bald area

In my initial consultation with Eugenix two years ago!, Dr. Bansal suggested 3500 grafts after seeing the pics of my scalp and my total graft count turned out to be near 3600. She obviously has an eye and the experience for knowing how much will generally be needed. She did tell me on my first day meeting her this past Monday that she sometimes has to adjust that number when meeting the person as she can't judge head size, graft thickness, etc by pics alone. But as for how she makes that calculation, I would say it goes by the experience of someone who has done thousands of surgeries and not by any particular scientific method. So if she provides an estimate through seeing your pics, chances are that she is pretty close to that same number when seeing you in person. Now, having said that, if you tell her in person that you want more coverage say, for the crown, then she will adjust the estimate accordingly. But she is not shy to tell prospective patients that their goals are unrealistic given their donor characteristics.

2. how many grafts can be extracted in total

Not sure if you are asking me specifically how many grafts can be extracted from my donor region or just in general how many grafts can be extracted from a donor region. That all depends on individual donor characteristics. I did not ask her how many grafts I have left but I am guessing that, based on other people's hairloss patterns similar to mine, I could probably get another 1000-1500 safely from the donor region without getting into borderline overharvesting territory. You may have different numbers available than me.

a. from your scalp

See above.

b. from your beard

She didn't give me an estimate from my beard area but she did say I had decent characteristics and so I infer that I could get around 1500-2000 grafts based on what I have seen from others. If you are particularly hirsute, then that number will be higher. I think Dr. Bansal is more conservative than Dr. Sethi in terms of where and how much she will extract from the beard area.

3. which tools / formulae they use and which and how many trichoscopic measurements they would take pre-op from which areas

Sorry but you are asking the same question but from a different angle. Dr. Bansal does not use any tools in particular to determine the number of grafts available for meeting the expectations of the patient. She asks you what your expectations are and then she judges how much it would approximately take to reach those expectations according to your donor region and beard region characteristics. High Norwood and good beard? Then the ratio for donor hair to beard hair will be higher. If you are looking for some kind of formal calculations made that are taken from a variety of testing instruments, then you will be disappointed. Years of experience in hair transplants from all different humans has given her a good eye.

The only instrument she used in our in-person consultation just prior to surgery was to mark out the hairline as there are specific rules when it comes to distance from glabella to hairline. She has an instrument which fits across the forehead to allow her to make those precise calculations of distance plus a laser measuring device (?) to also assist her in making the shape of the hairline.

If interested, Dr.Bansal has a YouTube video where she demonstrates how the hairline is measured out according to the natural ratios that exist on the human face. She uses her son as the model and does a great job of explaining how the human head follows natural ratios when it comes to the shape, distance of hairline relative to other features of the face like the glabella. 

 

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On 10/12/2021 at 4:48 AM, kirkland said:

It really is good work. I know that a lot of people focus on the various packages that Eugenix used to offer - the ones where, if you pay more, you have one or both doctors more involved in the surgery. When I put my down payment for surgery with Eugenix two years ago (before the pandemic and lockdowns), I chose the package with Dr. Bansal. But in reality, most of the work is done by the techs. Dr. Bansal designed the hairline, evaluated the donor region, made the slits and did some initial extractions but most of the real grunt work is done by the team which surrounds the doctors. The extractions, the placements are all from their hard work. 

The slits are important and that's why Dr. Bansal (and Dr. Sethi) are hands-on at this crucial step. They use a needle which looks much like an implanter needle. It creates the direction for the hair placement so Dr. Bansal is creating the foundation for how the grafts are ultimately placed by the technicians. The needle creates the opening just big enough for the graft to be placed at the right angle but not give it any room to move around once in place. Dr. Bansal also did the first few extractions so that she could observe the quality of the grafts, the ease by which they can be removed, etc. And, of course, she does the final inspection at the end of the surgery. But full credit goes to the technicians who work long, exhausting hours.

What I've noticed is that the Eugenix team from the consultants to the technicians are all proud of the work they do, it's like a big family. Credit to everyone who's instrumental in the process from start to finish. 

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.

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28 minutes ago, Melvin- Moderator said:

What I've noticed is that the Eugenix team from the consultants to the technicians are all proud of the work they do, it's like a big family. Credit to everyone who's instrumental in the process from start to finish. 

Absolutely, They have a large team consisting of doctors, technicians, marketing, patient care consultants, videographers, etc. Their current clinic has 4 operating theaters plus a spare. Their new facility, currently under construction behind the old one, will have 9 operating theaters with plans to expand to 20! This is not a Mom-and-Pop operation. It's well coordinated. They also often work around the clock to accommodate international patients who are experiencing jet lag and so will schedule a surgery in the middle of the night. When I went to my pre-op meeting on Sunday around 8 pm, they had one of the operating rooms at least in full go mode. And it is a big family. You can see how the staff behave around Dr. Bansal and Dr. Sethi - they are like the parents to a large group of kids. And many of them are under 40.  

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@kirklandI could not agree more. They really do operate like one cohesive unit. Dr Pradeep and Dr Arika run a tight ship, but the respect factor they have with all their workers and the admiration the workers have towards them was truly a special thing to witness up close. Where other clinics fall short in my opinion is not have a staff with that degree of dedication and commitment to world class results. They truly do take pride in what they do!

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22 minutes ago, MazAB said:

@kirklandI could not agree more. They really do operate like one cohesive unit. Dr Pradeep and Dr Arika run a tight ship, but the respect factor they have with all their workers and the admiration the workers have towards them was truly a special thing to witness up close. Where other clinics fall short in my opinion is not have a staff with that degree of dedication and commitment to world class results. They truly do take pride in what they do!

One defining moment came for me yesterday when I returned to the clinic to have the donor area cleaned. I was asking a couple of techs who worked on me for their names as I wanted to mention them by name specifically when I do my review write-up. They insisted that their individual names and efforts were not to be highlighted; rather, they just wanted me to refer to them all as the Eugenix team. Great stuff.

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Ok boys - winging my way out of India in a few hours. Had dinner with Dr. Pradeep and Amrin plus a couple of Eugenix clients tonight. Got the chance to meet a couple of you through Dr. Pradeep's phone and it was nice to put a face to a screen name. I love Dr. Pradeep's passion for his work and his relationship-building skills. I really don't think there is any other HT doctor out there who would take the time to hang with his clients, phone up other clients and connect them and build a larger sense of community. The whole experience here the past few days was satisfying, tiring, joyful, and fulfilling. I'm grateful to the Eugenix Team, Dr. Bansal for her oversight, and everyone on this site who gave me feedback throughout the journey. If there is anything I can do to help those of you yet to come to Eugenix, please let me know. It took me years of dithering, frustration, humiliation and determination to finally be at this point. I am glad for the choice I made.

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On 10/13/2021 at 9:07 PM, kirkland said:

Absolutely, They have a large team consisting of doctors, technicians, marketing, patient care consultants, videographers, etc. Their current clinic has 4 operating theaters plus a spare. Their new facility, currently under construction behind the old one, will have 9 operating theaters with plans to expand to 20! This is not a Mom-and-Pop operation. It's well coordinated. They also often work around the clock to accommodate international patients who are experiencing jet lag and so will schedule a surgery in the middle of the night. When I went to my pre-op meeting on Sunday around 8 pm, they had one of the operating rooms at least in full go mode. And it is a big family. You can see how the staff behave around Dr. Bansal and Dr. Sethi - they are like the parents to a large group of kids. And many of them are under 40.  

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5 hours ago, H3ri said:

We didn't get to cross paths @kirkland. Wishing you the very best outcome and rooting for your progress as we're so close together on the HT dates and similar hair loss pattern. 

 

 

Thank you. Are you at Eugenix now?

 

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As I kick back in London for a day before my connecting flight back to Toronto, I thought I would share my 3-day post op pics. Sorry they are not the best of quality. When I get back to Canada, I will get my wife to take some more close-up higher res shots so that you can better evaluate the progress. Eugenix is once again showing how professional and caring they are. Each day, post-op, for at least the next 7 days, they send a reminder through WhatsApp about following the post-op care routine and make themselves fully available if there are any concerns. I had some swelling around the temple regions and brow arches yesterday and a lot of swelling around the back of the head but all of that has mostly subsided at this point. 

Please make sure that you bring a small, empty spray bottle to put some saline solution in when you are flying home. Eugenix provides a large spray bottle of the saline solution plus a large, spare bottle of the solution but they are not convenient when you are on a flight and want to get the bathroom to keep the recipient area sprayed (every two hours or as best you can during a flight). Much easier to deal with if you have a small spritzer bottle to take with you to the bathroom.

Also not sure if it is only some dispute between the UK and India but British Airways had us wear full-face shields again for the outbound flight to London. They had the same policy on the inbound flight to Delhi. It created a concern for my because the soft, elastic headband has to stretch across the back of the donor region when being put on. The headrest for the face shield can be placed lower on the forehead to avoid touching the recipient area but you can't get around stretching that band across the back of the head. Luckily, everyone ditches the shield as soon as they get on the plane so I am assuming that it is only a formality for boarding the aircraft itself in India.

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Your impeccable work is settling in nicely after only a few days.😉 Looks great! Can't wait to asses the work after the first head wash.

You put it so well calling the Eugenix team Dream Givers! That is exactly what they are.

 

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Haha! Dr Sethi messaged me and told me how touched and emotional he was by your kind words, then he forwarded your video to me. Not sure if it's posted on their YouTube channel or anywhere else, but for sure it was kind words, straight from the heart. Everything looked great at all angles. I will also quote @Zoomster I'm over the moon happy for you @kirkland!

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Thank you for all the useful info !!

I'll be traveling to Eugenix in December from the U.S. for my upcoming procedure. This will actually be my first time traveling out of the country. 

I'll be staying for 2 weeks in India, just for my own personal comfort so I have accomplished some healing before traveling back home half way around the world. 

Anyway, Could you tell me what were the standards at the hotel like ? Was it clean and modern? everything was efficient? Do they have laundry facilities if I need to do my laundry? 

You covered a lot of great info, I can't think of anything else at the moment.. 

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