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Hair transplant diary (ongoing)

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,583 ✭✭✭ speedboatchase


    [NOTE] Sorry the photos are massive! No idea how to fix that.

    Hey guys. I had a hair transplant exactly ten days ago, so I wanted to create an ongoing thread to share and update my experience, and maybe answer any questions for people interested in taking the plunge. I'm thinking I should update this thread on a monthly basis, or at least until I hit major milestones (one month, three months, six months, year).

    Pre-op
    vhCT81P.jpg?1

    This is me 20 days ago. I'm 30 years old and have been losing my hair for about 7 years. I'm on the 'big two' - finasteride and minoxodil - and I use Toppik in my everyday hairstyle. As you can see, I've been losing hair in my temples at a fairly gradual pace. I sent this image to a well-recommended Turkish FUE doctor (not sure if I can mention doctors by name here) a few months ago, who suggested that I needed 2000 grafts at €2 per graft. I would never go to an Irish surgeon and pay an arm and a leg for an outdated FUT op. I've been living away from Ireland for a few years, earning good money, and I always said that hair loss isn't the end of the world for me, but if I could get an operation and be in a situation where it wasn't going to eat into a huge chunk of my savings, why not? So, after a few years finally the time had come where I could give it a go.

    Post-op
    Hx9SyKU.jpg?1

    This is me 10 days ago, immediately post-op. It was red raw later that night. I stayed in Turkey for two nights, arriving on a Thursday morning for a consultation, where I was told that I might need more than 2000 grafts (in the end it was 2250, so an extra €500, but I got a €150 discount from the hospital for usage of photos they took for later promotional purposes). At the consultation the doctor drew my hairline and explained that unfortunately 1. the grafts would only be added to my hairline, and not the slightly thinning area of my crown, as it was too early to add grafts at this point and might mess up the existing growth, and 2. because my hair is very fine, I had a smaller than average amount of hairs in my donor area. This means that following the operation, I just have 2000 additional hairs that can be taken from my donor area for any future operation. Let's hope the crown stabilises!

    The operation itself
    On my second day, I had the operation. What people never tell you about these operations is how painful and uncomfortable they are! The first thing that happened was that I lay on my front and had doctors extract exactly 2250 hairs from the back of my head (donor area). There was a half-hour break and afterwards each of the hairs was placed in the temples. Both sessions were about 2.5-3 hours each and the pain comes from the needles in both sessions going right into your head. Yes, there is anaesthesia but in my case, I needed more anaesthetic needles during each sessions when they were operating on areas that weren't fully numb. I felt pain consistently in some spots as they were operating but I didn't want to keep prolonging the operation, so I just gritted my teeth. But at some points I had to call out for another anaesthetic needle because in certain areas I was getting the full feeling of a needle entering my head. So a word of warning: it will hurt and it'll be very difficult to sleep for a few days afterwards.

    Recovery

    uLQNaVL.jpg?1
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    aAgSgJm.jpg?1
    This is me, 10 days post-op. The reason I waited 10 days to post here is because this is when it's generally agreed that the grafts are 'locked in'. I was very careful during the recovery period, following the detailed instructions I was given (extra drugs, and specific shampooing process to follow twice a day, sleeping elevated so as not to disturb the grafts) and I think I only lost or two grafts during the week. My head now looks very different than from a few days ago - it was bright red in the donor area (it was calmed down to where it now looks like a nasty rash) and there was scabs all over the temples. On about the eight day the scabs softened and could be removed when shampooing.

    So what happens next? Unfortunately, 'shock loss' is meant to occur within the first 4-6 weeks, so I'll lose all these new hairs and have to wait for the 3-4th month so the first shoots of recovery. From what I hear, you see about 60% of the full result at the six month mark, and 100% at the yearly mark.

    So it's early days, and the ugly duckling stage is on its way, but this is how things are for now. If anyone has any questions about the operation, or any specific advice, do let me know.


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Comments



  • Fair play man.

    As someone who started losing their hair as a teenager, the various treatments available i've looked into but in my situation, losing my hair especially at such a young age for me anyway meant i was very used to it and it wasnt a sudden realisation.

    Ive seen the results of bad transplants but that looks good, hope it works out


    In relation to the donor area, you can basically get the procedure done once more and thats it? 4.5K hairs are a chunk to lose from the back of your head, i'm assuming these dont grow back?

    What is the shelf life of the transplant, will normal MPB mean you lose them in a few years?




  • What is the shelf life of the transplant, will normal MPB mean you lose them in a few years?

    No expert but the hairs at the back of the head are genetically immune to the testosterone that causes mpb




  • Fair play man.

    As someone who started losing their hair as a teenager, the various treatments available i've looked into but in my situation, losing my hair especially at such a young age for me anyway meant i was very used to it and it wasnt a sudden realisation.

    Ive seen the results of bad transplants but that looks good, hope it works out


    In relation to the donor area, you can basically get the procedure done once more and thats it? 4.5K hairs are a chunk to lose from the back of your head, i'm assuming these dont grow back?

    What is the shelf life of the transplant, will normal MPB mean you lose them in a few years?

    As far as I'm aware, the transplanted hairs will stick around. Fingers crossed.

    Regarding the donor area, my hair has always been very thin, light and flyaway, so I have a reduced amount of hairs back there - around 4250, with 2000 left for any future op(s). If you have thick hair you could have a lot more than me and be fine for 7000 or more, or at least one more operation than me.

    With FUE you can also have beard hair and chest hair extracted, so conceivably I could go beyond the 2000 grafts I have left for a second op. For the doctor I went to, it was €2 per graft but €2.50 per body hair graft. Transplanting body hair wouldn't be recommended for obvious areas like your temples and hairline, but might not be too noticeable if transplanted to the crown and implanting carefully alongside normal grafts.




  • that'd work wonders on me i'm like an ape :pac:




  • Hi OP, how did you find a reputable surgeon in Turkey? Is there a liaison officer in Ireland for that particular clinic or did you just do some online research and decide that way? I suppose getting a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and trust is a big part of the decision-making process.


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  • Passenger wrote: »
    Hi OP, how did you find a reputable surgeon in Turkey? Is there a liaison officer in Ireland for that particular clinic or did you just do some online research and decide that way? I suppose getting a surgeon that you feel comfortable with and trust is a big part of the decision-making process.

    Hi, Passenger. I've been looking at various hair loss forums for a few years now, and after a while you start to get a sense of which doctors are the most reputed, through a combination of forum consensus and by the results that you see posted by patients or doctors themselves within these forums. I don't think I can name names, but there is generally about 5 different FUE doctors in Europe who seem to be most recommended in any forum, and two of those are in Turkey - I went with one over the other because the doctor I chose was slightly cheaper and I heard the other has trouble communicating in English via email. In general, and I don't know why this is, Turkey seems to be considered a great spot for FUE operations as a whole.




  • Speedboatchase are you also taking Finasteride for your hair transtplant ?

    If so please watch this video.





  • Simon2015 wrote: »
    Speedboatchase are you also taking Finasteride for your hair transtplant ?

    If so please watch this video.


    Hey Simon. Yes, I take finasteride, even though it may or may not have caused gynecomastia for me (hormone levels were balanced based on a blood test I took) and I had to get surgery to correct that. I'm not crazy about having to take it but there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative right now and I think having a HT but not taking it could be a waste of money.




  • Hey Simon. Yes, I take finasteride, even though it may or may not have caused gynecomastia for me (hormone levels were balanced based on a blood test I took) and I had to get surgery to correct that. I'm not crazy about having to take it but there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative right now and I think having a HT but not taking it could be a waste of money.

    :eek:

    Aw man, I was all for the idea of hair transplants until now. Mandatory Finasteride? No, thanks. You grew male breasts from taking Finasteride and had to undergo corrective surgery? How does Finasteride augment the hair transplant? Were there no alternatives at all?




  • Hey Simon. Yes, I take finasteride, even though it may or may not have caused gynecomastia for me (hormone levels were balanced based on a blood test I took) and I had to get surgery to correct that. I'm not crazy about having to take it but there doesn't seem to be a viable alternative right now and I think having a HT but not taking it could be a waste of money.

    Hi Speedboatchase if you want to risk your health by taking Finasteride its your choice.

    Just bear in mind you are taking a huge risk with your long term health.

    One of Ireland's most respected Doctors Andrew Rynne has called Finasteride a "dangerous toxic medication".

    The only Doctors that will tell you the drug is "safe" are those with a vested interest in the hair loss industy.



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  • Simon2015 wrote: »
    Hi Speedboatchase if you want to risk your health by taking Finasteride its your choice.

    Just bear in mind you are taking a huge risk with your long term health.

    One of Ireland's most respected Doctors Andrew Rynne has called Finasteride a "dangerous toxic medication".

    The only Doctors that will tell you the drug is "safe" are those with a vested interest in the hair loss industy.

    It certainly has a lot of detractors, that's for sure and not worth the risk considering some of the side-effects.

    After doing a little online research, it turns out Finasteride is NOT mandatory after a hair transplant. Finasteride is prescribed to prevent existing hairs from falling out not the transplanted hair.




  • Passenger wrote: »
    :eek:

    Aw man, I was all for the idea of hair transplants until now. Mandatory Finasteride? No, thanks. You grew male breasts from taking Finasteride and had to undergo corrective surgery? How does Finasteride augment the hair transplant? Were there no alternatives at all?

    It was never that bad but my chest did begin to get a puffy around the nipples and it appeared as though things were heading that way. I underwent corrective surgery and things are better but not ideal. The finasteride isn't mandatory but it is generally recommended to maintain the areas that haven't yet begun balding or may have began but can be slowed down.

    It's obviously a risk on my behalf in taking it but after the operation, I want to try stabilise the entire hair loss on my head for a few years, rather than risk needed a second treatment on the crown quite soon (within 1-2 years).




  • I would have put that side effect into your OP tbh, you're not giving the full picture at all.

    Have hair but have a good chance of growing boobs.. break out the mach 3 tbh




  • I would have put that side effect into your OP tbh, you're not giving the full picture at all.

    Have hair but have a good chance of growing boobs.. break out the mach 3 tbh

    The thread is just about the hair transplant operation, and as it will be updated, the eventual results. It's intended to give advice or detail to people who have been considering such an operation. I assumed most people who are losing their hair were aware of finasteride and minoxidil, and their potential side effects.

    Either way, I'll update the OP now.

    UPDATE: Actually, is there a period after you've sent a post that you're unable to edit it? I tried to make changes to the OP but was unable to do so. Below is what I intended to add.

    NOTE: I should point out that finasteride and minoxidil (though not Toppik) carry side effects and in the case of finasteride, can cause gynecomastia or erectile dysfunction. I had corrective surgery two years ago while in an early stage of gynecomastia (with laser liposuction of excess fat, though not excision of breast gland, which would be a more extreme case). There was no oestrogen imbalance in my blood tests so the need for the surgery may or may not have have caused through finasteride. In any case, before or after any operation, please carefully consider the potential side effects of finasteride.




  • Here are some one-month post-op pics that I sent to my doctor last weekend. As you'll the recipient area hairs aren't as dense as they were two weeks ago - it's definitely not the same level of coverage. This is 'shock loss' and is basically going to leave the area as it is below for the next 3-4 months, while I'm told I can expect 60% of the transplanted hairs to growing after six months (which should look reasonable) and 100% after 12 months (the final result).

    3WKbAd7.jpg?1

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    This last pic is the donor area. As you can probably see, there are some temporary red patches on the back of my head from the areas the hair grafts were extracted. This has actually really calmed down from how it was for the first two weeks, where it was red like a rash and prone to flakey skin. I had to rub aloe vera onto it quite often.

    HrB4nER.jpg?1

    I'll leave the next pics for the fourth-month post-op mark, where hopefully things will start to get moving!




  • its really coming on.

    Do you get many people asking about your hairline?




  • It's coming along. What was the surgeon like to deal with? Were you happy with his ability, manner, professionalism?




  • its really coming on.

    Do you get many people asking about your hairline?

    Thanks. I don't style my hair like it is in the above pic - I just combed it back to show the area in full. Generally I try to comb it downwards to cover the temples, but it's impossible to cover about an inch at the front of my hairline. So if I'm talking to someone up close occasionally I can see their eyes glance upwards. But people have been too polite to say anything!




  • Passenger wrote: »
    It's coming along. What was the surgeon like to deal with? Were you happy with his ability, manner, professionalism?

    He only speaks Turkish, but there was always an excellent English-speaking assistant on-hand. I had heard before the operation that the hospital is so popular that he generally oversees everything now during ops, rather than implanting every graft directly. I was again informed of this during the consultation.

    I made a point of ensuring that he is directly involved in the surgery, and showed the assistant the exact passage on the clinic's website where it states that the Dr implants the grafts, rather than his team. I got my way and while there were two operations at the same time, in two separate rooms, I would say that my grafts were implanted directly by the surgeon (and not one of his medical staff) about 80% of the time. In the case of this Dr (I'm not clear if I can name him or not, as per Boards.ie guidelines), I would recommend that people get it in writing beforehand that he will implant grafts directly.

    Aside from that event - which is probably a result of the clinic's increasing popularity and number of surgeries per day - I had no issues whatsoever. The consultation gave me realistic expectations and the hairline he created seems well designed. I'll know by the six-month mark whether I can recommend his results but his manner etc I had no problem with.




  • Thanks for showing us the pics and sharing your story, its very interesting.

    I'm very much balding myself (way more than you on top) and have briefly entertained the thought of getting something done (if I won the lotto!) but your story has banished that thought forever.

    You had to have corrective surgery because the drugs you were on to stop hair loss resulted in you growing (the early stages at least) breasts, you had to travel thousands of miles to have a painful, relatively expensive operation which takes a year to see full results and you can only have one more go at it. What happens if you continue to bald or it doesn't take well? You'll be left with weird patches.

    I have to say I don't think its worth it. More power to you if you are happy with this but I'm feeling a lot better about my going bald after hearing your story, thanks for sharing and the best of luck!


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  • Full Marx wrote: »
    Thanks for showing us the pics and sharing your story, its very interesting.

    I'm very much balding myself (way more than you on top) and have briefly entertained the thought of getting something done (if I won the lotto!) but your story has banished that thought forever.

    You had to have corrective surgery because the drugs you were on to stop hair loss resulted in you growing (the early stages at least) breasts, you had to travel thousands of miles to have a painful, relatively expensive operation which takes a year to see full results and you can only have one more go at it. What happens if you continue to bald or it doesn't take well? You'll be left with weird patches.

    I have to say I don't think its worth it. More power to you if you are happy with this but I'm feeling a lot better about my going bald after hearing your story, thanks for sharing and the best of luck!

    To be honest, with the job I've had the last few years and its salary (I'm based in the Middle East, by the way, so the trip to Turkey was a four-hour flight), I was in a position where the corrective surgery and this operation wasn't a huge drain on my finances (in total it was 2000eur for the corrective surgery, two years ago, and 4350eur for the hair transplant last month).

    I'm very grateful to be in that situation right now and back when I worked in Ireland I wasn't in any position to think I could ever afford a hair transplant without crushing my savings. So I figured, let's try this operation and ultimately if it gets to a stupid patchy stage and doesn't stabilize, I'll just shave it off and know that I at least gave it a shot, safe in the knowledge that thankfully I hadn't bankrupted myself in the process.

    As for the finasteride, I had been using that for five years with no ill effects, and it may or may not have caused the 'pseudo-gynecomastia' I was diagnosed with - I've no idea.

    Many people will have a better situation than me - thicker natural hair for a higher hair count in the donor area, zero side effects from (or perceived to be) the medication. But I'm glad I was able to at least try do something about the situation. If it doesn't work then ah well, it wasn't meant to be.




  • Thought you'd like to see this thread OP
    My most recent (and final) transplant from January has filled in - thought I'd share some pics with the misc. This is a continuation of some previous threads, but with pics of my final transplant. We get a lot of "my life is over I'm losing my hair" threads - I want to demonstrate that you don't actually have to be bald if you don't want to. Yes, granted there's money and time considerations, but planning & perseverance can overcome that.


    I started losing my hair when I was 17. In high school, I would go across the street from school to buy rogaine - hoping & praying that none of my classmates would see me.
    In college it wasn't too bad - but my hair really shed like 30% during the summer between my junior and senior year. Many of my friends/classmates would comment on my receding hairline, as well as my growing bald spot.

    By the time I was in my late 20's my hair had progressed to this:

    e8nyAv9m.jpg

    I began researching hair transplants after I started taking finasteride. I believe fin is altogether necessary for hair survival if you're losing your hair, but there's ways to mitigate side effects (best discussed in another thread).
    I had a tiny procedure to test the waters, attempting to recreate my hairline. After the first one, I sprung for the "mega-session", where I had like 4500 grafts moved. Below is the outcome of that one:

    wymJfEjm.jpg

    So I still wasn't entirely satisfied with my hairline - and I really wanted to get my hairline close to what it was like before I started losing my hair. So I had an additional 1000 grafts applied to my hairline. Below is an immediate "after surgery" pic, and then some before and afters:

    bQ6wyvjm.jpg?1

    Keep in mind, all of the pics on the left are from like 2007/2008. The pics on the right are all from August 2015.
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    FRYd7pCl.jpg

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=168731963




    Stuff like this actually amazes me because it shows har far these procedures have come. I remember hearing there were people working on some stem cell hair follicle thing where the donour only needs to give a few follicles and they basically clone as many as needed and transplant them rather than removing the follicles from the back of the head. If this sort of thing existed I could genuinely see basically every man availing of it at some stage in their lives lmao. I'm not even bald and I'd still use it just to get a flawless hairline. Picturing everyone walking around with hairlines from their teenage years is pretty funny.




  • Thought you'd like to see this thread OP



    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=168731963




    Stuff like this actually amazes me because it shows har far these procedures have come. I remember hearing there were people working on some stem cell hair follicle thing where the donour only needs to give a few follicles and they basically clone as many as needed and transplant them rather than removing the follicles from the back of the head. If this sort of thing existed I could genuinely see basically every man availing of it at some stage in their lives lmao. I'm not even bald and I'd still use it just to get a flawless hairline. Picturing everyone walking around with hairlines from their teenage years is pretty funny.

    ^^ Woah. That's definitely the gold standard! My result won't look like that because I had about half the amount of grafts, and my hair isn't as thick, but fingers crossed :D




  • hi speedboatchase, any update on how your hair is at the moment, im very interested as it gets me quiet down that im losing my hair . Dont think the meds im taking doing much maybe slowing it down .




  • iebamm2580 wrote: »
    hi speedboatchase, any update on how your hair is at the moment, im very interested as it gets me quiet down that im losing my hair . Dont think the meds im taking doing much maybe slowing it down .

    Hi iebamm. I was going to leave it until the four month mark but I took some photos tonight. Things are progressing faster than I expected. I won't get a clear sign of where things are until the sixth month but the pics below are post-14 weeks. Fingers crossed how it all turns out but exciting times!

    GKLkOsM.jpg?1

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    JtFlKzS.jpg?2




  • looks good and has very even distribution so far. Keep us updated thanks.




  • yep looks pretty good so far!




  • G'wan ye stud!

    I started going thin about a year ago (I'm 25 now), so stuff like this is pretty interesting to me.

    I'd never take anything that could possibly give me moobs, but I'm always on the lookout for something that'll fix this darn hair of mine without drawbacks...




  • 4 month update

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  • Looking well alright. From what you were saying earlier even more of the hairy fellas will grow in the next 6 months?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.



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