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Hair Loss Forum - My Hair Transplant Journey from 1996 -Present Day

GARAGELAND'S Personal Journal

My Hair Transplant Journey from 1996 -Present Day
(posted by garageland Homepage E-mail, UK, 26.02.2014, 19:19)

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In 2006 I sought to repair 3 previous botched transplants that I had in 1996/7 and 8

I thought that I would go see Dr Rogers for a 1000 into the hairline just so it wouldn’t look so much like a HT.

On doing my research about 6 months I stumbled across Joetronics website and couldn’t believe what I was seeing his results were amazing, the wife was promptly called in to check it out. After reading his story I saw he was now working for the company Hasson And Wong, my first thoughts were “These guys must be really pricey” if he is now having to work for them, A few emails back and forth and phone calls after sending my pics over and consulting with Dr Hasson they felt they could harvest 4000 grafts as my donor density looked good and after 8 years with no surgeries my laxity should be pretty good again.

After having 1500 (more like 1000 ish) grafts before and having at least some hair to look at from the front 4000 grafts seemed unbelievable I had visions of my old Morrissey quiff of the late 80’s returning!, naturally I was dubious as was my wife who was never really into Morrissey.
I checked out the websites and saw all the great H&W results and thought I would email consult with some other top docs overseas and well as consult with Rogers in the UK and meet up with this Spex guy I kept on reading about.
Armani said that it was unlikely that i would get more than 2000-2500 with my previous scarring and limited donor area (they all had been sent the same pics) Dr Cole really wanted to perform FUE which I wasn’t interested in as I wanted the maximum coverage on top and for my money. Dr Rahal was very helpful and a nice guy and felt that he would be able to do 2500-3000 grafts depending on my hair characteristics.
Dr Rogers also was a nice guy but very conservative and quoted about 1500 grafts, by now the Morrissey quiff had fallen flat.

After a few emails and phone calls I meet up with Spex in London, his hair is great and his enthusiasm was really infectious, he took a few photos and arranged that I speak to Dr Feller which I did, again Dr Feller is a really nice and easy guy to talk to, he thought that I could get around 2500 grafts but if there was more he would get it. A few of the problems that I have is that my hairline has been placed a bit too low by Dr May (its 7cm above my eyebrows) so I have a very large area of baldness to cover it was also very symmetrical in that what a young person with a very strong hairline would have but in my case without the very strong (or young anymore).
Spex was really helpful and full of good information and in the end it was a straight choice between Hasson and Wong and Dr Feller, but after speaking again to Joe at H & W the decision was made, all the great results on their website and hairloss forums coupled with the fact that they were still confident that I could get the 4k grafts that they had originally said, and Joe’s site being the reason I had really started looking into hair transplants again were the deciding factors.

June 2006

I arrived in Vancouver the day before my operation the flight was 9 hours and 10 mins and was on time I flew with Air Transat –best prices I paid £380 for a return, I got a taxi to The Granville Island hotel which was about 25 canadian dollars (2 dollars to the pound at present) I was staying for 4 nights to take advantage of the cheaper flight, H&W paid for 2 nights stay and booked the accommodation for me, saving me the trouble of doing this, the hotel was very nice and they know what you are there for, so are very accommodating, it also has a great views and is right near some restaurants, pubs etc (although no alcohol was consumed).

I walked to H&W offices (about a 20 min walk) for my consultation and meet Joe, Doug and Dr Hasson and Dr Wong etc, Dr H confirmed that my density was excellent which really pleased me and my laxity was also quite good, we discussed that coverage was an issue for me and that I was not concerned about my previous scars so much (my donor hair being dense has always covered this well with a grade 5) he confirmed that we should get 4k maybe more!

The day of the operation I arrived at 7.30 am, Dr H took my pics, we didn’t need to discuss my hairline as Dr May had taken care of that for us 10 years previous, he shaved my top of my head, which didn’t take very long and started work on extracting the donor hairs.
The injections are the most painful bit of this process but are over quickly and then the area is numb, the area was removed in sections, testing for laxity in each piece, my sides were very lax and a bigger piece was able to be removed but lower down on my head was much tighter and he was only able to remove about a 1cm piece in places. It took 1hr 45 mins to remove the complete donor area he said the last time it took him that long was on Spassky another UK patient whom I have spoken to, Dr H went quite aggressive in the strip he was removing because this was my last chance at getting strip and I wanted the highest amount of grafts as possible.
The actual removal of the skin is painless because of the anthestic that you have been injected, I made a comment on that crunching noise that I heard and was told that was when he was cutting through the scar tissue.
Once this is done I had 4 injections into my forehead to numb the recipient area and Dr H made the first 2000 incisions with his custom made blade (this again is all pain free), he actually had to use a slightly bigger blade on me than normal because of scalp being tough and scarred up from my big grafts previously.

If you look at the shaved down pictures you will see the poor placement and the big gaps in between each graft and that it is in rows just like as Joe calls it ‘stadium row seating’, I think Dr Norton got carried away and starting constructing some hot dog stalls in my crown!.You can also see where Dr H had originally intended to fill in.

When I saw my before and shaved down pics I was shocked that most of the grafts had been packed in so tight into my scalp that the hairs faced all different angles and that I still had some redness, what isn’t obvious from the pics is the pitting that you can see under bright light, the pics are pretty brutal the lighting the H&W use really shows off your hair for what it is, if I had of seen these pics I would have done something a long time ago!

There were four girls cutting and grouping my grafts and were happy to let me take a look through the microscope, they commented that my hair was coarse and because it was wavy it needed to be trimmed more to fit the incisions that were made on my head. Anyway I was well provided for with lots of drinks, lunch and dinner, and had a lot of stops to stretch my legs, there are about 250 dvds to watch to pass the time. Once the 2k are planted Dr H comes back to make more incisions, you get a clicker to count every hundred he is making so you know you are getting what you pay for unlike my previous experience where no counting is done. That was pretty much how the rest of day panned out with Dr H coming back to make more incisions and then the girls planting.

Things were looking good and I was told that there should be enough grafts to together with my hair characteristics to cover the entire top of my head!! After 14 hours in the chair I had a grand total of 4850 grafts being a mixture of singles into my hairline and around the previous grafts in my crown , mainly doubles and also some 3’s aswell.

I was totally blown away by my graft count as I never in a million years believed it would be this high, I had been hoping for 3k with a outside chance of getting nearer four at the most, I wanted to soften my hair line and cover up my pluggy appearance and fill in the totally bald areas in my bridge were no previous work was done, but to be able to cover my head totally is just awesome. I don’t know the exact cm2 density, its not dense packed, but it is around 50 into the hairline and 20-30 working back into my crown but with my coarse hair and slight wave plus the previous work we are all really confident of a great look when it grows in. When you leave you are given painkillers, antibiotics, baseball cap, pillow covers, shampoo, staple remover etc in a goodie bag. The next day I returned to have my hair washed.

I am now day 6 post op and home, the redness is fading and I am applying aloe vera gel as of today (thanks guys) and starting to take msm again, I have noticed that the donor area although tight and still numb in places is not as painful as I remember it being, before I couldn’t sleep on the scar for at least 2 weeks, this time I have had only slight discomfort in sleeping on the scar ( a few painkillers soon soughts that out, which is good as the scar is ear to ear, and I would have to sleep standing up top avoid putting any pressure on it).Whilst out there I picked up 10 months supply of Proscar, I will start taking this shortly which hopefully will add to my overall result.

Thanks for reading guys the above is a light hearted take on my experiences, lifes too short to be bitter and twisted about what I have been through, its not healthy to be angry for ever. I have been really been through the bad times HT wise in the UK and now have put that right. The truth will be in the result and I am now very optimistic about the future and wish I could fast forward to 4 months to start seeing the results come in.

Thank you to all who post their experiences and pics on these sites, without you this decision would have been much, much harder to make, it is because of you that I am posting in the hope that I can help other people not make the wrong decisions.

To recap
1996 450 grafts Dr May
1997 500 grafts Dr Norton
1998 600 grafts Dr Norton
2006 4856 grafts Hasson and Wong

2010 623 Single Grafts into hairline Hasson And Wong

October 2013 1755 Grafts into frontal area and SMP into mid scalp, crown and old donor scars.

Pre-op pics taken in 2006

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These are taken post op 5 years taken in 2011
Apologies for the expression on my face I find
it difficult to smile and take a shot of myself
at the same time.


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Here are some photos that were taken at the clinic in October 2013 just before my latest session with Dr Hasson for 1755 grafts, Once these new grafts grow in I will of had around 8500 grafts all from strip.

This represents around 1000-1500 mini and micro grafts in the 90's.

4856 graft session with Dr Hasson in June 2006 and around 300 grafts split into 623 single hairs to refine the hairline in 2010. This was a result of a scar revision.


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So I had 1755 grafts into the frontal and mid scalp area of my scalp to thicken and allow some more styling options once grown in. To compliment this I also had SMP into the mid scalp, crown and donor scars. Here is the progress day by day and month to month. Enjoy! This was done on 10th of October 2013.

Day 3 Post Op


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Day 4 Post Op


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Day 5 Post Op


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Day 6 Post Op


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Day 7 Post Op


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Day 8 Post Op


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Day 10 Pre Op and Before SMP into Mid scalp, crown and old donor scars.


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After SMP

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Day 12 Post Op


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Day 15 Post Op Staples Out


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Day 16 Post Op Some Close Up of the SMP


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Day 18 Post Op


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Day 23 Post Op


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1 Month Post Op


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2 Month Post Op

 
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