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2500 Graft FUE Dr Nadimi (02/08/24)


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Hello all -

I've been a lurker on this forum for over a year. It's been an invaluable resource to me as I researched options for hair transplants and garnered an idea of what the process looks like. I've decided to "pay it forward" in creating a profile and sharing my hair transplant journey.

Profile

I am a 33 y/old male who has been experiencing visual hair loss since I was 19. For the first several years, the hair loss manifested in a receding frontal hairline. At 22, I started applying topical minoxidil foam (Rogaine), but my adherence was spotty at best and I never really stuck to it. I went through alternate phases of buzzing my hair or growing it long to conceal my hair loss, but that became harder and harder to maintain as the hair loss progressed. When I was 27, I started taking oral finasteride, which I credit with significantly slowing my hair loss. Since then, I've been able to maintain most of the native hairs that I have left in my mid-scalp and frontal regions; however, I began to slowly lose hair in the crown over the past 5-6 years. About 10 months ago, I started taking oral minoxidil and that's resulted in some marginal improvement by slightly thickening the hairs in my crown. 

Research and Consults

I never seriously considered a hair transplant as a viable option for me because I had a preconceived and outdated notion that they always resulted in a "pluggy" or unnatural hair line and/or were too expensive for me to afford. I began doing some serious research into the procedure in 2022. Shortly after, I happened upon this forum and it helped me deconstruct a lot of the stereotypes I previously associated with the procedure. After some preliminary research, I reached out to some of the surgeons recommended here and elsewhere, including the offices of Dr. Bloxham, Dr. Shapiro, Hasson & Wong, Konior & Nadimi, as a well as a number of surgeons in Europe. That said, I knew that I had a preference to remain in North America for ease of any needed follow-up care, etc. After some virtual evaluations and consults in April/May 2023, I narrowed down my choices to Shapiro, Nadimi, and Hasson & Wong. After a virtual consult with Dr. Nadimi, I decided to move forward with booking an appointment with her and putting down a deposit for a scheduled FUE in February 2024 (earliest available at the time). So, that ended up working out to a 9-month wait.

During the consult, Dr. Nadimi quoted me 2,000 - 2,500 grafts to restore the mid-scalp and frontal regions. We both agreed that a conservative hairline would be best given that I have some loss in the crown and it would be best to save grafts to address it if medication ultimately proved ineffective. She left the choice of FUT vs. FUE up to me (she performs both procedures), and I decided on going with FUE because I like to cut the hair on my sides short. The quoted price at the time was $9/graft. I read somewhere that her price has increased since then, but I am not entirely sure, FYI.

Interim

During the long wait between the consult and the procedure, I kept in touched with Karen, the patient coordinator for the Chicago Hair Institute. She was an extremely helpful resource and always responded to my questions within a couple of hours. Otherwise, I just counted down the days until day zero.

Pre-Op

I flew into ORD on Feb. 7th and took an Uber to the hotel I booked (Staybridge Inn). The hotel is about a 4-5 minute drive from the Chicago Hair Institute. It is clean and adequate but it certainly isn't plush. [If you're looking for plush, I would recommend staying at the Hilton 5-10 minutes down the road.] The hotel room comes with a fridge and kitchenette, however, so I was able to Instacart some food so I didn't have to worry about how or what I was going to eat for the next couple of days post-op. The remainder of the day prior to surgery, I just relaxed in the room and got some work done.

The Big Day

I arrived at the Chicago Hair Institute a little before 6AM on Feb. 8th. FYI, in some older threads on this forum, I've heard some people say that Dr. Nadimi doesn't perform procedures of more than 2,000 grafts per day. Well, if that was true, it certainly isn't any longer as she planned on completing my 2,500 graft procedure in a single day. I was warned ahead of time that it was going to be a long day, so I anticipated staying until the late evening. Anyway, after arriving at the office, I was immediately greeted by Karen - the patient coordinator - who took me to a consult room where we chatted for a bit, went over some paperwork (consent forms, etc.) and completed payment. Afterwards, Dr. Nadimi and her assistant Anna (sp?) came in to the room. We chatted about my expectations, she took some pictures, and then we went over the hairline. I've heard that this can take quite a long time for some individuals, but for me, I think we were done in 20-30 minutes. Dr. Nadimi and I were generally aligned in what we thought was best, although I mostly deferred to her judgement in terms of drawing the hairline. Dr. Nadimi then left the room and Anna proceeded to buzz cut my hair and give me some Valium. I changed into the gown for the procedure and was then led to the operating room.

As most say, the most painful part of the procedure was the initial numbing shots before the grafts were extracted. I was offered a break and some snacks and drinks between the three main extraction segments (right side, back, and left side). The graft extraction process was probably the worst part of the procedure for me - I bled quite a bit and the Valium hadn't kicked in for me yet (I had a high tolerance, I guess). That said, "worst" is relative. Overall, it was still a very tolerable.

Around 1PM, I was taken to another room to chill and eat lunch. It's a sub from JJ's that you order from a menu at the beginning of the day. I was able to relax for about 15 minutes and then we were back at it. Quite honestly, I can't remember if we began the implantation process before or after lunch, but when I came back into the operating room, Dr. Nadimi told me that were going to extract another 400 or so grafts before continuing the implantation process. I guess that since I was bleeding so much in the morning, they decided to stop the extractions a bit early and get the rest later on. Dr. Nadimi assured me that the bleeding didn't effect her work.

After those extractions were completed, we continued with implanting the grafts. I can't remember exactly what time we finished, but I think it was around 5PM. The afternoon was kind of a blur as the Valium finally took effect and I went in and out of consciousness. I was cleaned, bandaged, allowed to change, and given some post-op instructions. I took an Uber back to the hotel and got there around 6PM. I chilled in the room for the rest of the evening and then went to bed.

Post-Op

The next day, I went back into the office for a check-up and cleaning. Dr. Nadimi also came in and checked things out, giving me the proverbial thumps-up. She said that the caliber of my hair was good and that she was able to extract a lot of 2s [I'll ask for the exact breakdown tomorrow and will let folks know the exact distribution.] I also went in for a cleaning on the following day. They really encourage you to stay at least 2 days following the procedure and they're more than willing to allow you to come in additional days thereafter for cleanings and check-ups. Unfortunately, I had to catch a flight back home after my second cleaning yesterday. I was bandaged up again for the flight back and that drew quite a bit of eyes, but I honestly cared a lot less than I thought I would. These are strangers that you're never going to see again anyway and a head of hair is worth it.

Overall, the entire process - from pre-op to post-op (thus far) - has been very positive. The staff at the Chicago Hair Institute really do treat you like royalty and make you their number one priority when you're there. I never felt rushed or pressured to make certain decisions and my questions were always answered quickly and directly. In the medical world, it's very difficult to find that consistency throughout the continuum of care. In the case that I do need a follow-up procedure for crown work or a touch-up, the CHI will be my first preference.

It's now day 3 of post-op recovery and I think things are going well. I have had little to no swelling and the redness in the recipient zone has decreased dramatically. I took a couple of Advil on day 1 and 2, but now I don't feel anything except some minor dull pain here and there. Honestly, the itchiness it the worst part. I am counting down the days until directly shampoo and clean those grafts!

I'll post some pics of the donor areas later this week. From here on out, I will also plan on providing 1 week and 2 week updates and then monthly updates thereafter.

Pre-Op Photos:

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Immediate Post-Op Same Day

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Day 1 Post-Op

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Day 2 Post-Op

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  • Senior Member

Wow, what a very detailed and comprehensive write up. Thank you for sharing you're case. Dr Nadimi does some very nice work and it's evidenced right here. 

Look forward to seeing you're journeys progress. 

Edited by Britanium
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16 hours ago, Britanium said:

Wow, what a very detailed and comprehensive write up. Thank you for sharing you're case. Dr Nadimi does some very nice work and it's evidenced right here. 

Look forward to seeing you're journeys progress. 

Thanks man. I still have a long road ahead but I don't think I could have asked for a better experience thus far. I usually take longer than average to heal from cuts and such, so the ease of post-op recovery really speaks to Dr. Nadimi's skill set and precision, I think.

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Just a quick 10-day post-op update:

The donor areas seemed to heal pretty quickly and - at least to me - it's hard to tell I had 2,500 grafts extracted.

I would say about 80% of the scabs/crust washed away in the shower today. Not a ton of redness or inflammation. Hopefully the rest of the crust comes out in the next day or two so that I can enjoy this new hairline for a couple days before the inevitable ugly duckling period starts in earnest. 

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Just passed the 2 week mark this past Thursday. No shedding yet. I think the donor areas healed pretty well and there's no noticeable redness in the grafted zone. Just a bit of itchiness here and there and the usual residual numbness. Pictures are from Day 14. Going to resume light cardio next week but will probably hold off on any weights until the one-month mark.

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Also realizing that some of my pre-op photos weren't the best. This one shows the extent of hair loss in the mid-and-frontal regions a bit better gives an approximation of the area I wanted filled in. Disclaimer: the picture is from April 2023 (when I was doing consultations), but I don't think my hair loss situation has changed much at all since then.

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  • Valued Contributor

@Steeler99 the work looks excellent at this point. I particularly like how the hairline is made asymmetrical as you see in nature. A lot of lesser surgeons can make the hairline straight or symmetrical which gives an unnatural look. Happy growing. 👌

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  • Regular Member

Wow…I must’ve just missed you! I had my procedure with Dr. Konior the previous day. I haven’t posted a write-up yet but while you were having your surgery, I would’ve been in the next room for a check up. Everybody was wonderful at the clinic. I look forward to seeing your progress.

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