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My Experience to date & Hasson & Wong results (Hair Transplant)

posted by SydneyCouver, 08.12.2011, 09:51

I thought I would share with you all a little of my journey that I have experienced over the last fifteen or so years in battling with hair loss, the many mistakes I have made and the successes.

While I don’t feel the need to view the forums as regularly as I once did, it was the forums and the honesty of the people sharing their respective stories that helped inspire me to try one last time to find the best Doctors and consequently be transformed from a disfigured person, hiding in despair to now being able to live life and experience things that I once thought were gone forever.

I share my photos and my story (I’ll keep it as short as possible) as a way of helping others that may find themselves in a position similar to mine.

I will also take this opportunity to say thank you to all the participants in this forum that inspired me not to settle with my past results.

I’m an Australian and like many was deeply affected by my hair loss. I was vulnerable and young and without the benefit of the internet like we have today, I visited and subsequently had surgeries with four Doctors in Australia.

My first surgery was in Melbourne in 1996, I was 23 years old. This was an 800 graft surgery that resulted in next to no yield. This Doctor upon viewing my results 12 months post op. could only state the obvious, furthermore, he blamed it on that fact that he did not use stereo microscopes that he would now purchase. Whilst the Doctor offered another surgery free of charge, I declined. Another thing I can remember from that surgery was how unprofessional the staff were, they seemed less concerned about me as their patient and more concerned about their weekend and what music to listen to. The only positive from this surgery was that I was left with a perfect pencil line thin scar.

Now feeling worse after my experience with my first surgery, I sought the help from a Doctor in Sydney. He performed two surgeries of 600 grafts each. The net result of these two surgeries resulted in poor yield, wrong angulations, pluggy hairline and massive donor scarring. The scarring was so bad that the Doctor refunded the cost of the surgeries indicating that he would not like to have a scar like mine (I did give him a choice, he took the refund option). He also offered to repair the scar to which I declined.

Now starting to get a taste of what the industry is like and with now concerns regarding strip surgery, I sort help from a Doctor using FUE. My thinking was that at least this will not result in a scar as it was a ‘scar-less technique’. It was a ten hour operation that was the most painful I have ever had in terms of the extraction and all that for 350 grafts that produced little yield. Furthermore, the Doctor I found to be extremely unprofessional and the donor was far from scar-less, I had 350 very obvious white dots making my scar position worse again. I was told the donor scars would be undetectable. This was misleading at best.

By this stage, I was at rock bottom, and consulted with another surgeon in Sydney. This surgeon claimed to train all the top Australian doctors and took pride in showing me all of his industry awards. He said he could help me and being desperate but without conviction I booked in for surgery. I had two surgeries 400 grafts each taken just from the sides of my donor. None of the past doctors utilized the sides of my donor just the very rear (apart from FUE). Again, these surgeries left me with poor yield, in fact, I can remember after the first surgery he explained to me that it would be better next surgery that he use bigger grafts as the yield would improve!!! To make matters worse, after the last surgery with this Doctor and after making the three hour drive home, the donor on both sides continued to swell (subdermal hematoma), and after phoning the Doctor who advised me to try to burst it which was unsuccessful (can you image how painful that was), I was told it would eventually go down as it did but as a consequence I was left yet again with massive donor scarring on the sides and from only a 200 grafts (on each side) surgery.

That is a brief summation of my results from the four Australian Doctors. The net result from all six surgeries was that I was left disfigured both in the donor and the recipient areas with scarring, poor yield and at times no yield, poor placement, wrong angles, and multi grafts too low in the hairline and massive donor scarring (the donor scarring we are still fixing today and that will continue into the future). All of these Doctors were nice guys but poor surgeons, commerce before compassion comes to mind.

Unfortunately, even currently, I have to say that there is no hair transplant practice in Australia that I would ever be able to recommend, simply the techniques, technology, training and infrastructure is long out-dated.

In any case, after all of these surgeries, I was left emotionally, financially and physically a wreck. I accentually locked my self away for years, never went out and only under a hat if I did. My family did not understand my grief and I felt alone and in despair. I thought my life was destined to be much brighter than this….. I’m sure some of you have been or perhaps going through similar feelings.

The very last Doctor in Australia told me that I have no donor hair left and I would just have to cope with the mess I had. I was at the lowest and darkest point any human being could be at. I just felt that this industry was immoral and a disgusting vocation for unscrupulous Doctors.

The next surgery was not with a hair transplant surgeon. After extensive research, I visited and subsequently underwent scar revision surgery with a plastic surgeon that was successful in revising one of my larger scars. This particular surgery just emphasises how important the selection of the right Doctor is.

As mentioned above, my visits to the forums gave me the conviction, after all my research, that there were people doing a good job. And against violent but understandable opposition from my family, I decided to go where I was observing the best and most consistent results and I booked a plane flight to Hasson & Wong in Vancouver.

After explaining my position, they arranged some patients for me to speak with and to examine their results. This is the point that changed my life for the better. Any apprehension was gone once I viewed their results and just how overwhelmingly professional the whole organisation was. It was unlike anything that I had experienced before – just night and day difference.

The only apprehension now was can they do anything to help me? I was confident that I was in the right place but my case was challenging on many fronts, also in the back of my mind I wondered if there was something wrong with me that resulted in poor growth and of course there was my donor situation. This was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

After discussing my situation and options at length with Joe and Dr Hasson, the objective was to make repairs to the recipient area first and take care of the donor area later which I thought was the best strategy in my case.

My first surgery was in 2006 and my second the following year. My hairline was lowered by a couple of millimetres, and a natural cowlick created to work around the poor hairline work from the previous surgeries. The rest of my recipient was transplanted as per usual.

Now as of 27 October, I have just commenced the scar work. Dr Hasson removed the bulk of the scar on one side and 50% on the other and time will tell as to how effective this will be. My goal is just improvement and an overall 50% reduction would be satisfactory. To my surprise 428 grafts came out of the revision and were placed in my part line and the singles in the hairline. Dr Hasson is such a perfectionist and I am so thankful he is. The main objective of this last surgery is just to revise the scars, so any additional grafts are just a bonus. Should the revision be successful, then we will repeat same again next year.

I can’t emphasize enough the quality of the people, the skill of the Doctors and the genuine kindness that has been displayed to me from the onset. I can only advise anyone who is considering any surgery to not make the mistakes I have made and base your decisions on actual and consistent results and not the hype.

The below photos are before my Hasson & Wong surgeries and the after shots are the results from the two surgeries I had in 2006 and 2007 with Dr Hasson, approximately 5700 grafts (so much for the award winning Doctor in Australia that said I have no donor left!).

In closing, I will say I am extremely happy with the outcome of my surgeries with Hasson & Wong. Given the challenge they had due to my previous work, the results are way beyond what I thought was ever possible.

The first 4 pictures are pre Hasson & Wong.

The next 2 pictures are 8 days and 14 days post op. from surgery #2 with Hasson & Wong.

The next 3 pictures range from 8 months to 4 years post op. from surgery #2 with Hasson & Wong.

SydneyCouver is located in [NA] and he is available to meet: NO

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