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#1 spex

spex

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 02:29 PM

Attached is a detailed account of a patient from the U.K (S.A.F)who has recieved previous surgeries in the U.K with unsatisfactory results from differnet clinics. He has taken the time to document his experiences and been kind enough to share it with us all.

If anyone would like to contact this patient direct i can easily put you in touch with him. He is a very nice guy who has been kind enough to share this information to give guys his experience in order to prevent guys from making the mistakes he did.
Spex
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Hi,

I have written this ‘guide’ to hairloss in order to advise and help people suffering with this most frustrating and potentially distressing condition. I do not claim to be an expert but consider myself to be a ‘veteran’ who has gained a great deal of knowledge and experience on this subject over the past 10 or so years.
The fact that you are reading this now tells me that you are in a similar situation to the one that I have faced and want to do something about it. It also means that you have potentially met with Spex. I can assure you that he will give you good and honest advice, just as he did for me when I met with him.
I know that this is not an easy subject for many men to talk about, and so most have to conceal their anxiety. Help and support for hairloss sufferers is pretty hard to find and we can be vulnerable to people who see a chance to exploit us. Hopefully I can save you from wasting your time and money.
This is why Spex does what he does and why I have felt compelled to follow his example.



Why are you losing your hair?

The cause lies in your genes so unfortunately you cant change it any more than you can change your height or the colour of your eyes.
The hair on your head is known as terminal hair. You will notice that it grows thicker and longer than the other hair on your body. Each individual hair has its own growth cycle. Typically each hair will grow continuously for approx 3 years, it will then fall out (shed) and the follicle will enter a resting phase, approx 3 months. After this the growth cycle will begin again. As there are so many hairs on your head each at a different phase of its cycle your hair maintains its overall density.

So why are some men destined to lose their hair?

The condition is called androgenic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness (mpb). It is caused by the male sex hormone testosterone.
Testosterone is produced in the testical and enters the bloodstream and then flows throughout the body, where it is converted to another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (dht). Hair follicles are nourished by the blood supply to the scalp but for the man genetically predisposed to mpb it can have quite the opposite effect. This is because some or all of the hair follicles situated on the top of his scalp have receptors that are sensitive to dht. For some reason the hair at the back and sides of the head do not have these receptors and that is why they are not affected.
The follicle reacts to dht by slowly shutting down and eventually turning dormant. This can begin any time after puberty and can take a period of many years to manifest itself, with the growth cycle of the hair gradually getting shorter while the resting phase gets longer and longer until it becomes permanent. i.e.: the follicle becomes dormant. The physical signs of this can be seen as a miniaturizing of the hair shaft.
Many men suffering from hairloss will notice that their scalp is not actually bald but the hair they have is like a fine ‘peach fuzz’ that is virtually invisible to the naked eye. This is called vellus hair and is just terminal hair in a miniaturised state on its way to becoming dormant.
So you see the old excuses of baldness being caused by poor health, stress or lack of blood supply to the scalp are simply false.(Although its known that stress can cause thinning of the hair it has nothing to do with mpb).
To sum things up there is no lifestyle change that can prevent you from being affected by hairloss. If you have inherited the receptive genes you will eventually lose your hair.

Is hair important?

A hair is basically a strand of dead protein cells called keratin; it grows from a root (follicle) in the scalp. Its primary function is to protect the head and help keep it warm. In today’s world it is practically redundant in both of these uses and seems to serve no real purpose. (Or so you may think). Also hairloss does not affect a person’s physical health so:

Does it really matter?

The simple answer is Yes.
The greatest consequence that losing your hair can have is the psychological impact. There have been many studies over the years into just how far reaching the effects can be. Ordinary hairloss (mpb) can be measured on a scale known as the Norwood / Hamilton scale. Stage one is your original hair or no loss, stage 2 is a small loss usually just the recession of your youthful hairline to that of an adults e.g. as seen on the actor Jude Law. Nearly all men will have this slight receding at the temples and the overall change to the physical appearance is not too great. For many men it is simply part of the transition to adulthood and they will not suffer any further change, but for some this is just the start of their hairloss.
However as you progress through the scale the alteration to your overall appearance can be a massive transformation. The very top of the scale (Norwood 7) would be a total loss of all the hair on the top of the head with just a horseshoe shaped bit on the back and the sides of the head. A good example of this would be the actor Patrick Stewart aka Startreks captain Jean Luc Picard.
Getting back to the original point studies of human psychology have proven that men who have lost or are losing their hair are much more likely to suffer from low self esteem and a lack of confidence, due to having a poor self image. They are also more likely to see themselves as less attractive.
The main reason for this is that although in today’s world we do not need hair for warmth or protection anymore it still has one defining purpose in today’s society.


Hair is an expression of self image and personality
Human nature is a funny thing although we may consider ourselves to be a highly evolved, advanced species the fact is that we still make most primary judgments with our eyes. This is a basic part of human nature. Consider the many styles and colours that you see in people’s hair. E.g. someone who wants to project a smart/sensible image would have a short neat haircut, while someone with an extravagant style may be projecting a youthful/trendy/fun image.

If you have no hair you can’t express yourself this way to people around you and this is a part of human social interaction.
Men are not supposed to be concerned about their appearance and some may consider it to be pure vanity but how many people would actually choose to be bald? Hairloss is associated with the aging process and makes many men look 10-15 years older than they actually are. Lets face it baldness is not attractive. Ask yourself would the likes of Brad Pitt be such a heartthrob if he had no hair. Would a bald David Beckham get so many advertising deals? (I seriously doubt it).
Some sufferers will say publicly that it doesn’t bother them but this is highly unlikely. I once read about a study where a psychiatrist asked 100 men if they could trade the last 10 years off the end of their life in return for not losing their hair would they do it? 92 of them said yes.
Although losing your hair is something that you cant conceal in public the implications of going bald are something that sufferers have to deal with in private.
It’s funny how no one would tell a fat person that they are getting fatter but you will find that people have no problem in pointing out to you that you are losing your hair. (As if you hadn’t noticed yourself). Indeed there will always be someone who takes great pleasure in giving you a daily progress report.
If you are unhappy with your physical appearance it can have a detrimental effect on your overall happiness in general.


So what can be done?

The simplest thing to do when faced with reasonable amount of hairloss is to just shave it all off. It’s a common solution among many bald men. If you are a Norwood 6/7 this is probably a good option for you. But how happy would you really be with this style? It can give you a tough/masculine look but only if you have the features to carry it off. Shaving seems to be more popular among black men than white, but I’m sure that’s is of little consolation to any black men who find themselves losing their hair.

Another solution that has been around for centuries is the wig. These days they are more sophisticated and go by various different names such as toupee,hairpiece,and hairsystem. They can give you a great head of hair and look realistic but are not very popular due to the social stigma that comes with them. Most men just would not feel comfortable wearing one and there are many other drawbacks such as the cost and inconvience of getting it regularly cleaned, refitted and replaced. (Ok if you are Elton John). Also how do you explain your new hair that has appeared seemingly overnight!

Cosmetic thickeners available in sprays creams and powders can do a good job of disguising thinning areas but the results are limited and if your hairloss continues they will be of little use.

There have always been unscrupulous companies who claim to have miracle cures for baldness, usually in the form of some highly expensive lotion or cream but in recent years medical science has made some successful breakthroughs.(Although there is still a long way to go until a real cure for mpb is found).
In the mid 90’s a topical solution called minoxidil (Rogaine) appeared on the market. It claimed to offer hair regrowth but only gave very limited results in a few men. More recently new drugs have become available the most widely recognised being Propecia. The active ingredient in Propecia is a drug called finesteride. Its benefit to men suffering from mpb was discovered by accident during the treatment of men with an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Whilst taking their medication that contained finesteride many began to report a welcome side effect, a slowing down or stoppage of their hairloss, and in some cases actual regrowth. Propecia has been shown to be effective in 80% of men but should only be considered as a preventative measure. So it is best to begin taking it at the start of your hairloss. If you have been bald for some time it will not work for you. Propecia cannot be used by women.

The final option available to you is surgery. The commonest form being hair transplantation. For many people this is a drastic measure considered to be a step too far. But for the majority of patients it has a positive outcome.
Surgery has been around for decades but has gone through many major changes of procedure. The basic theory is to take hairs from where you have plenty and redistribute them to areas where you don’t.
Transplant surgery first became commonly known about back in the 70’s when surgeons removed hair in 4mm discs from the back and sides of the head in the form of small ‘plugs’. Holes were then punched into the scalp and the plugs were inserted. The results were not good. Decent coverage could not be achieved due to the limited supply of plugs that could be removed. The patient was left with excessive scarring in the donor area and the hair on the scalp had a dolls hair look. This type of surgery damaged the reputation of hair transplantation for a long time. It is a testament to the desperation of many bald men that they would go ahead with such a procedure.
Things improved in the 80’s with the arrival of minigrafts allowing for a more subtle, natural looking result. The transplanted hairs were no longer clumpy plugs sewed in rows over the scalp but smaller groups placed in a inconsistent, random fashion. This type of surgery was further refined in the 90’s (micrografting) and is still probably the most common form of transplant used today. Now hair is removed in a strip from the donor area, the incision is then stitched or stapled closed. Hair grows in naturally occurring follicular bundles. Typically between 1-4 hairs per bundle. These groups are then separated from the strip under a microscope. Then a series of tiny slits are made in the scalp, (instead of the old style punched holes). The follicles are then inserted and will grow in their new location just as they did when they were in the donor area.
The latest development in transplant surgery is called Follicular unit extraction (fue) It does away with the strip removal method as follicular bundles are now taken directly from the head using a microscope leaving no visible scarring. However as this method is more time consuming it makes it a more expensive option.
These days it is possible for surgeons to achieve a much higher level of density, provided you have the donor area to spare in the first place. Although it is not possible to give you back the same hair that you had in your youth a transplant can give you good coverage of the bald/thinning area. It can make a startling difference to your overall appearance, plus the hair will actually be your own.
The results do not come overnight it takes 3 months before the transplanted hairs begin to grow and 6 months before you see a really noticeable change of appearance. The hairs grow thinly at first, full results can only be seen after 12months when the hairs have returned to normal texture.

Important advice for those considering a hair transplant

Having had 4 transplants myself at 3 different clinics and learning the hard and expensive way (see my journey). I feel I must give my honest opinion with the following statements:

I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a good surgeon. Don’t be tempted to respond to the first flashy advert that you see. Remember a bad surgeon can leave you with horrible scarring and as everyone has a limited supply of donor hair you must make sure that when it is used you actually get decent results. My advice is to look on the Internet forums to see which surgeons consistently get good reviews. A good site to visit is www.hairtransplantnetwork.com. This could be your best tool in the search for the right person to perform your surgery.

Unfortunately I have to say that there appears to be no highly skilled surgeons in the UK. Believe me I have researched this thoroughly! I have seen their work from the very bad to the barely acceptable.
A good surgeon will offer a vast range of before and after photos (good clear quality, not blurry retouched ones). Many brochures just show models not real patients. They will even be able to put you in touch with previous patients. Forget confidentiality, people who are pleased with their surgeons work will be happy to recommend them. Many surgeons are barely qualified in hair surgery and just do it when not performing facelifts and nose jobs.
Make sure that your clinic and surgeon specialise only in hair transplantation and are members of the international society of hair restoration surgery (ISHRS) and the international alliance of hair restoration surgery (IAHRS).
Be realistic about the results. It is not possible to get back the same hair that you may of once had, especially if your hairloss is severe. But a top surgeon can make a little go a long way and occasionally on some patients with good characteristics for surgery you can see some truly amazing results.
Beware of salesmen. A reputable surgeon will do his own consultations, as it is important for him to see what he will be working with. The guy you meet should be the same person who eventually performs your surgery. Many of the worst clinics employ ‘consultants’ these are just salesmen who have no medical training and are just there to talk you into having surgery often promising unrealistic results.
Be suspicious of clinics that do not offer a set pricing policy. They will just ‘size you up’ as you walk through the door in order to decide how much they think that they can get out of you.
Many clinics claim to guarantee the results but they know that people are reluctant to kick up a big fuss over such a highly personal operation and their guarantees are usually just the offer of more free surgery. But why would you want to go back for another botched op? Many dodgy surgeons make their money and disappear after a few years once their reputation gets around.
Finally despite what the glossy brochures may tell you having a hair transplant is no picnic! Yes there is a little bit of pain involved, both during the op when you must have a series of injections and for a few days after when your head will be feeling a bit sore. Realistically you will need at least a week off work as you will have scabs where the grafts are implanted and swelling from the injections. The longer you can have off the better if you don’t want people to know what you’ve just had done.
It is also expensive not because of greedy surgeons but just because of the high cost of any surgical procedure.
Think of the equipment used and the staff involved (possibly about 5 people per surgery). This is especially true for people with a higher degree of hairloss, Norwood 4+ as they may need several procedures.
I myself have spent more than the cost of a new car on surgery but this is mainly due to making the wrong choices. With what I know now I could have done it for less than half the cost. This is why it is important to plan things right and do your research. Everybody’s situation is different. The advice you get from Spex will be a great help, as he will give you his opinion based on his wealth of knowledge.
Well if all that hasn’t put you off then my advice is to ‘go for it!’ Because it has made a huge difference to many people in you position. I know that having surgery is scary enough but as long as you follow my advice and go with a highly recommended surgeon you will be fine.

Disclaimer
As you can see I have given you the full truth both good and bad about transplants I hope this proves that I am not a salesman and will not benefit in any way should you decide to go ahead with surgery.

My Story

Ever since I was very young I have always known that I was destined to be bald. Both of my grandfathers were bald and my father has also lost most of his hair. Even as a child my hair was always very fine and thin. I noticed that on windy/rainy days my hair would soon get messed up while other peoples seemed to remain unaffected.
Back then I thought that going bald was just something that happened to old men. During my teenage years I remember people looking at my hair and telling me that one-day I would go bald. But when you are young and carefree growing old is almost unimaginable, in fact I’d always hated looking much younger than I actually was.
Then at the age of only 19/20 I suddenly noticed that something had changed. My hair seemed to have much less ‘body’ than before. ( Due to the hairs thick density it is believed that by the time you actually notice your hairloss you may have already lost 30% of it). In the back of my mind I realised that it had started already.
Very soon after that I suppose that I started to get a bit paranoid about it. Even though I still had a lot of hair left I began to check for more loss everyday worrying when I found a few hairs in the sink or on my pillow. I was a long way of being bald but much too young to be losing my hair. It was at this point that I began to look at other people’s hair. I soon realised this was a problem that most other men didn’t have, even the older ones. This just made me feel even worse about it. I was convinced that other people had noticed it and this was a blow to my confidence.
Over the next few years the thinning continued and I did all the things that people do in the early stages like experimenting with different ways of combing my hair to try and disguise it.
Back in the mid 90’s there wasn’t much information available on hairloss but I tried to do some research. I learned that it was caused by hormones and that the amount of hair you lose is predetermined from birth. This was also when I first saw the ads in newspapers for hairtransplants and strand by strand hairsystems. I sent off for the literature but never had the nerve to go ahead with anything (thank God).
However it wasn’t just my hair that was changing. I had already become withdrawn for some time now, losing contact with my friends I just stayed indoors only leaving the house to go to work I didn’t want to start going out socialising because I felt too self conscious about it. Just one comment can be devastating to your confidence and the worst and most frustrating thing about losing your hair at this age is that you know the problem is only going to get worse with time. It seemed that I had missed my chance of enjoying being and looking young.
By the time I was 25 my hairloss was getting obvious, my hairline had receded back a bit and what I had on top was getting so thin that my scalp was beginning to show through. At this point I heard about minoxidil and decided to give it a try, hoping it would give me my hair back. But it had no effect whatsoever I continued to lose hair at the same rate as before.
By now I didn’t know what to do. Work colleagues would make comments and tell me to ‘just shave it all off’. All the while finding amusement at my situation.
And so at the age of 26 and being at least a 3 on the Norwood scale I took the clippers to what remained of my hair.
This was definitely a low point. A grade 1 buzz cut is not a look that I would ever have chosen for myself. The next 4 years were probably the worst of my life. I hated the sight of my baldhead in the mirror so much that I started wearing baseball caps all the time.
It seems ridiculous to make such a big issue out of it but I just hated the unfairness of it all. I just wanted to look the same as all the other guys and not stick out.
I hated being in a room full of other guys my age and being the only ‘baldy’. I hated it when people who didn’t know me referred to me as ‘that bald guy’. I even began to resent my parents blaming them for my bad genes. I knew that I could never be truly happy looking this way. It made me feel ugly and old.
(Does any of this sound familiar?)
I realise that I must have taken going bald worse than most sufferers but I know I’m not the only one to feel this way.
Baldness seemed like an obstacle that was preventing me from getting on with my life.


My journey – surgery History (First 2 Surgeries with the “Norton Clinc” – 3rd surgery with “Nobel Clinic”)

About 4 years ago Propecia began to gain some publicity in the press. There were reports of men who claimed to have regrown their hair. At first I thought it sounded to good to be true. But when I looked into it I found that there was scientific evidence to show that it could lower levels of DHT. I decided it was worth trying, and searched the Internet to find a pharmacy that would supply it by mail order. It was not cheap, £150 for a 3-month supply! I started taking it straight away and sat back and waited for my hair to grow. After 7 months I couldn’t see any results, I thought about the cost over sticking with it over the rest of my life and gave up. (More money down the drain).
After that I suppose I just had to accept that my hair was gone and I was destined to spend the rest of my life looking like an old man.
A year or so passed and then one day completely out of the blue I just decided that I’d had enough of living like this and was going to do something about it once and for all. I had always considered hair transplantation as too extreme and wondered if it even actually worked, given that everything else I had tried had failed miserably.
I realised that I might live to regret it but I would definitely regret never trying it. I saw an ad in the back of a newspaper and checked out their website. I’d seen this company nearly 10 years before when I first began to lose my hair so I knew that they were well established, and the photo’s on their website looked pretty good to me (back then).
This was more than enough to convince me to contact them. So one evening in 2004 I travelled to a hotel in Birmingham for a consultation.
I was met by a man in a flash suit who reminded me of an insurance salesman. He sat me down and took my details, name, address ect. The first thing he did was try to sell me Propecia but I told him I’d already tried it. (This clinic makes most of its money by selling mail order drugs Propecia, viagra, ect and various other hair products). In small talk he asked me what I did for a living, then said he’d just go and check if the boss was ready to see me. Five minutes later he ushered me into a room where I met the ‘main man’. The first thing I noticed was that the guy didn’t have much hair himself. (About a 3 or 4 on the norwood scale). Hardly a good advert for his company.
He looked at my head for about 5 seconds then asked me what I knew about the transplant procedure. I explained that I had researched it and he gave me a brief explanation of what would be done. He showed me a before, post op and after picture of someone who had about 400 grafts put into their receding temples. He looked at my head and said I would need about 1500 grafts to fill in the front part of my head and then 2nd procedure of 1500 to fill the crown. (By now I was about a norwood 5/6 He promised me that that by the summer my hair would be looking “pretty good”. He finished off by asking me straight “so would you like it done then”? I wasn’t completely sure but I agreed. The salesman took me back downstairs and a date was booked for surgery and I gave them a cheque for the deposit. 4 weeks later I travelled up north to have my first op.
The clinic turned out to be a back room in a local GP surgery. This didn,t fit their image of the UK’s most established clinic.
I met the surgeon who advised me to take an alternative to Propecia called Avodart (dutesteride), which they could supply, by mail order. He had a quick look at my head, checked my blood pressure and drew on my new hairline.
20 minutes later I was having it done. The whole thing took about 5 hours and was only slightly painful. When it was over I looked at his work in the mirror. Instead of the front half of my head being covered it was just about ¾ of an inch. Just enough for a thin fringe. (I’ve since learned that this was probably just a few hundred grafts). But not having any previous experience I trusted that it would look alright when it was grown out. (at this stage I didn’t know any better). The donor scar at the back was about 5mm thick and about 13cm long it was really sore the next day and I had to grow my hair for weeks to try to disguise it. The scabs on my new fringe took about 10 days to fade. As I left to go home the ‘main man’ showed up in his brand new Ferrari. (Business was obviously good).
I started taking Avodart as I’d been advised; it was even more expensive than Propecia. After about 3 months my new hair started to sprout. Although I’d been promised that the front half of my head would be covered there was only enough grafts to achieve a thin fringe.
Was I disappointed? ‘Hell no!’ After years of watching my hair disappear, suddenly I had new hair growing on my head. It felt fantastic! I couldn’t wait to go back for more. So 5 ½ months later I returned for a second procedure (the one that was supposed to complete my hair).
This next op also for 1500 graphs (supposedly) was placed behind the first lot of graphs. Both ops seemed to go about the same except now I had another new scar, but for some reason the 2nd op just did not work.
The hair didn’t grow like it did the 1st time. The work was guaranteed but proving what was there before could prove difficult and (photo’s can be accidentally lost and the only compensation is another free op).
I wasn’t put off transplants but decided to find a new clinic. As you may know there’s not a great choice in the UK. So I looked at adverts in magazines, searched on the web and found another clinic closer to where I live. Like before I knew that this clinic was well established so I sent off for their brochure.
It seemed pretty good so I booked a surgery date for 2000 grafts. (This clinic was cheaper and they didn’t try to sell me anything else).
The new grafts were put in the middle of my scalp and the finished results were pretty much what I’d come to expect. A small patch of fine hair with a very thin density.
I don’t believe that all UK clinics are just out to rip people off. I have to say that the people who actually performed my ops seemed genuinely compassionate about my situation. But for all their goodwill I believe they just don’t have the same abilities as some of the surgeons in the U.S.
So the situation was after 3 ops I had not much to show for it all, just a very small amount of very thin density hair that didn’t exactly look natural. I found that by combing my hair in from the sides and using lots of cosmetic thickeners (this was a pain in the arse) I could achieve a barely acceptable look. But I was always very self-conscious of how my hair looked. I learned to avoid standing under bright lights as this made me look ‘pretty much bald’.
I was in a real situation here, I’d started something and I needed to finish it once and for all. It was then that I had a small stroke of good luck.
I started to visit hairloss forums on the Internet and read about the experiences of other dissatisfied UK patients. They all seemed to say one thing if you want it done properly you have to go to America.
Then I heard about Spex, his name kept popping up on the forums. Here was a guy offering help and advice to anyone concerned about their hair. Like many I was suspicious at first but after seeing so many positive things written about him on the web I decided to give him a call. He suggested we meet up but because of the distance between us I couldn’t commit to anything. A week later he called me and said he was planning to come to a city nearer to me and asked if I wanted to meet him there. So that Sunday afternoon I found myself travelling to a hotel.
As I stood at the bar waiting (I was the guy wearing a baseball cap inside as usual) I felt a bit apprehensive about meeting a complete stranger in a hotel what were his motives? Why would anyone go out of their way to help a stranger?
As soon as I met Spex I realised that he was no salesman. I couldn’t get over how good his hair looked. You would never know he’d ever had a problem. He began to tell me his story and I found that I could relate to everything he said. This was the first time I’d ever been able to openly discuss losing my hair. Before I knew it we’d been talking for about 1 ½ hours.
Spex suggested that I start taking finesteride because it had worked wonders for him by stopping his hairloss in its tracks and therefore preventing the need for a lot more surgery.
He was able to put me in touch with a Dr who could presrcibe me Proscar at the cost of just over £8 a month, compared to the £50+ a month that I’d been paying for mail order for Propecia/Avodart.
He showed me some examples of Dr Fellers work and we both agreed that a decent transplant was what I needed to sort out what had been started. So he asked me if I would like him to take a few photo’s to send to Dr feller for his opinion. Obviously Spex has a good correspondence with Dr Feller and this makes the process of sorting out a transplant a lot easier, but he did not put any pressure on me to have surgery. He even mentioned some other top world-renowned surgeons in the U.S.
And so I decided to book myself in for what I figure is my ‘last role of the dice’ since I guess that 4ops is about the limit that anyone can have (strip surgery). The results of this will be make or break for my hair.
Spex was able to help me prepare for my trip giving me plenty of advice about the best ways to organise and plan things. He was also always available for me to phone if I had any questions or concerns.


My surgery with “Feller medical” - Dr Feller

So just 8 weeks later I travelled to New York for my surgery with Dr Feller. I wont try to pretend that this wasn’t a big deal for me. I’d never travelled this far on my own before so it was a bit daunting.
On the morning of surgery getting to Northern Boulevard on the subway is easy but it’s a very long stretch of road so you will need to get a taxi in order to help you find the place.
The first person you will meet when you get there is Dr Feller. He will give you a full consultation to check things like the elasticity of your skin and the density of your donor hair he will keep you informed of what he is doing as he goes along.
Then he discusses with you what you hope to achieve and exactly what you would like done. All this is different from what I was used to in the UK.
The Dr will give you his advice on what he thinks will give you the best results with the amount of grafts available and the extent of your hairloss. Remember he has built his good reputation on the finished results. So he will perform the surgery to make you look your best and not just the way that is easiest for him to do.
Also unlike the UK clinics he will try to get the job done in one go or in as few procedures as possible. Dr Feller has had a transplant himself so he knows exactly how you are feeling.
He pointed out straight away what the UK clinics had done wrong and why I ended up with almost nothing to show from my 3 previous transplants.
1). They failed to use the best donor hair that was available and took it from the wrong areas. This made closing the incision more complicated and left me with excessive scars.
2). They implanted the hairs at the wrong and therefore an unnatural looking angle.
3). The density used was only 10-12 hairs pcm2 as they tried to spread it over as big an area as possible but in doing so the hair was not dense enough to be seen. (Dr Feller aims for a density of 40-50 hairs pcm2).
4). My last UK clinic had used 1980’s style minigrafts and planted the hairs in obvious looking rows each placed 5mm apart.
5). After 3 procedures in the UK, 2 for 1500 grafts and 1 for 2000 grafts. Dr Feller estimated that I had only about 800 grafts on my head! I.e.: I had not received anywhere near the amount of hair that they had charged me for.
After the consultation was over and Dr Feller marked the area that he was going to work on and we were ready to start.
The first thing he did was shave my head. I wasn’t exactly thrilled about this as I hadn’t encountered it in surgery before, but this is a standard procedure amongst the top surgeons as it is necessary to help them get the best results.
As far as the surgery itself went sitting in the chair I was unaware of any differences from my previous experiences. However 7 hours later when I saw the finished job I was in for a pleasant surprise. I could see that Dr Feller had managed to achieve almost full coverage from just behind the hairline to nearly all of the crown. (This was much more than I’d dared to hope for). Previously I was used to seeing only a small area (about the size of a matchbox) being covered. Also not only was the density much better but the individual grafts themselves were much neater with smaller scabs and less redness.
Although I have yet to see the finished results I feel that after nearly 2 years of continuously having surgery then immediately saving up for the next op, I am now in a position of not needing any further surgeries.
Dr Feller has done in 1 op what the UK clinics hadn’t come close to achieving in 3. I can only say that in my opinion it is definatly worth the effort of going to the U.S for your transplant surgery. I only wish I had done it years ago.
In fact I would say if you have decided to have surgery either go to the U.S or don’t bother getting it done at all. I’m not saying that all UK clinics are bad and all U.S clinics are great. There are plenty of dodgy doctors in the U.S as well but to my knowledge there are no surgeons in Europe who could perform a transplant to the same level as Dr Feller. It just seems that the worlds best surgeons happen to live in the U.S. and Dr Feller is just one of them, whatever you decide make sure that you do your research and don’t just take their word for it. There is no better critic than a former patient.


Summary

Well that’s about it I hope that this has been of some help and that I’ve possibly been able to answer some of the questions that you may have had about this subject. As you can see it takes someone who’s been there to understand what a distressing problem this can be.
For some guys it’s just an annoyance but for some it can make their lives a misery. Being told not to worry about it and that “It doesn’t matter” by people who don’t have this problem is no help at all.
One final point I would like to make to you is don’t feel as if there is something wrong with you. Wanting to keep your hair and look like the majority of men out there is perfectly normal. It doesn’t make you vain or superficial.
Luckily we live in an age when medical science is advanced enough to help out, and the good news is that things can only improve in this area.

All the best, S.A.F
Consultant and Showcase for Dr Feller and Dr Lindsey and Beauty Medical's SMP.

All opinions expressed are my own.Website : www.spexhair.com

My Hair Loss Education project : MaximumHair MinimumLoss.com


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#2 Martin1

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 03:24 PM

Thanks for taking the time to write that account SAF. It certainly took time to read it B)

I'm sure Feller will have made good the previous work as he notoriously does. Do you have any pictures you could share with us?
2313 Graft Session with Dr Feller
My Experience My HT Tips Clinics to Avoid

#3 hairless

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Posted 24 May 2006 - 05:00 PM

norton and nobel are the worse clinics in the business as we know. sorry to hear about your previous experiences there.
Feller sounds like he has yet again saved you..congrats and be sure to keep us updated.

how many grafts did Feller harvest out of your donor area??

pictures of the previous work would be very interesting B)

#4 spex

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 07:56 AM

Pics:

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#5 Martin1

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 09:52 AM

Thank you for sharing the pictures s.a.f.



The previous work by Norton / Nobel is truly shocking!! :D
Feller looks like he distributed a great no. over a large area...congrats!! :)

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#6 helpme

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 01:11 PM

I think i need glasses now after reading that! :D The longest post i've ever read. Good one though! :)

Norton and Noble are true butchers and need to be exposed. Have you thought about sueing them?
2800+ graft session with Dr Feller June 07

#7 s.a.f

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 06:26 PM

:)

I think i need glasses now after reading that! ;) The longest post i've ever read. Good one though! :angry:

Norton and Noble are true butchers and need to be exposed. Have you thought about sueing them?


To b honest I cant be botherd to go through all the hassle of legal action. I'm sure that they may even believe that they r helping people they dont realise they r crap.I just hope that after the feller ht everything is now sorted and I'll be happy with that. Mr Norton is a millionaire and was struck off the medical list for performing bad cosmetic surgery. Even the consultant was wearing a rolex. The guide is intended for newies. Spex may even get it put on his site. Hopefully they will see it before they get their fingers burnt. I didnt know any better and just took my chances from magazine ads. Hopefully after years of anxiety its all over for me soon just trying to give someting back.
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#8 spex

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:05 AM

I wouldn't go down that road - it would be along one with little outcome. These places cover their backs with disclosures etc...

Best thing you can do is what you have and expose their work. nuff said!

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#9 helpme

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Posted 29 May 2006 - 01:22 PM

Best thing you can do is what you have and expose their work. nuff said!


This previous work that has been performed on you is just sickening. I am sure that now you've seen Dr Feller you will be able to walk around in several months with great confidenc!...All the best s.a.f!!
2800+ graft session with Dr Feller June 07

#10 ccs

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 07:54 AM

I wish you all the best on your recent experience with Dr Feller. You deserve it!

#11 helpme

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 08:59 AM

How has the healing gone s.a.f?
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#12 s.a.f

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 12:07 PM

[quote name='helpme' date='Jun 2 2006, 09:59 AM' post='7165']
How has the healing gone s.a.f?
:) Grafts r fine but scar is still highly visible as a red line. This is and unfortunate outcome of having the area shaved b4 surgery and also that its on the previous norton scar. (hair does not grow on the norton scar, and I have 2 of them). My hair is still v short. will have to grow it at least 1/2 inch in future. Have to go to work monday hoping a spray of 'mane' will conceal it. Thanks for yours and ccs concerns.
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#13 helpme

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 06:46 PM

Keep us informed mate!
2800+ graft session with Dr Feller June 07

#14 hairless

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Posted 02 June 2006 - 07:46 PM

get on msm as it will help speed up your hair growth. hope the mane does the trick. dermatch is good stuff

#15 AJG

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 09:29 AM

When I was down in the dumps with work I had done by THE HAIR CLINIC in London (Another no no) I went to see my GP who referred me to a specialist dematologist. This specialist charged me £100 for 20 minutes of their time only to refer me to the Nobel Clinic! What a waste of money that was. I refused to pay them only to get legal action letters. Luckily for Spex and this forum (and others) I made an informed decision about Nobel and got on the first plane to NY!


Dermatch is great. It is not so matty looking as Mane, but you need to have some hair there to use it. My crown is thinning a bit, and this stuff looks great as there is enough hair there to not make it look like a black coloured scalp!

SAF, your comments are very much appreciated and pretty much mirror my experiences. If I had my time again, I would have shaved the bastard hair off and been a happy slap head. It is so much more fashionable these days. Good luck with it. Keep us all updated to your progress. I can' believe the area that Dr F has covered with 800+ grafts. I hope the density is enough to cover previous work.

#16 PB_

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 11:37 AM

I can' believe the area that Dr F has covered with 800+ grafts. I hope the density is enough to cover previous work.


I understood him to mean that out of the 5000 grafts he was charged for in the UK, only 800 were actually growing on his head:

5). After 3 procedures in the UK, 2 for 1500 grafts and 1 for 2000 grafts. Dr Feller estimated that I had only about 800 grafts on my head! I.e.

There appears to be a lot more than 800 that Dr Feller has planted :) I would guesstimate somewhere around 3500 looking at the photos...

PB_

4532 grafts in two procedures with Dr Feller
Dr Feller 17.11.2005 - 2700 grafts into front 1/3 - excellent growth
Dr Feller 8.6.2007 - 1832 grafts in total - 1300 dense packed into hairline @ 65+ grafts/cm2 and 532 into crown (almost all singles at the front with a few doubles at back of hairline - all crown grafts are multi hair grafts)
Dr Lindsey June 2008 - 711 FUE
My Webpage

#17 s.a.f

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 02:55 PM

PB is right ater 3 procedures in the uk I can only presume that our clinics do not give you the amount that they charge you for. (You cant exactly count your grafts in the mirror can you, so you just take their word for it) The amount I got from the Feller transplant was 2879. When I met with spex he told me that looking at the length of my strip scars there was no way that I'd had 5000 grafts taken. Places like Norton want their patients to keep coming back for more surgery,(once you've started down the HT road you have keep going back until the job is finished) If I'd stuck with them it would have probably taken about 8/9 procedures. Imagine having your head sliced open that many times! Not to mention the cost and the amount of years it would take. The consultant at nobel told me one of their clients has had 10 x 1000 grafts (as if it was a good thing!) Dr Feller is a good bloke and will try his best to get the job done in 1 go especialy if he knows that the patient has had to travel.
As for just shaving it all off I suppose it depends on the individual circumstances. If I started losing my hair at say 40 I would probably opt to be be a happy slaphead as well, but losing my hair at a young age I really feel that it robbed me of the best years of my life. When I shaved it all I didn't look like a tough guy more like a leukemia patient. Thanks everyone for your advice and encouragement.
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#18 PB_

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 03:17 PM

When I shaved it all I didn't look like a tough guy more like a leukemia patient.

LOL :) I don't think the shaved look suits many people really. I couldn't walk round with a shaved head, I look ridiculous. I think most people walking round with shaved heads thinking they're cool look like jokes. I think you have to have a certain shape of head and facial features for the shaved look to look cool and most people don't have them. Someone athletic like David Beckham looks OK with a shaved head for example. A guy at work has a shaved head and he looks OK but he isn't bald and you can see dense stubble on top of his head which makes it look better than a rim of stubble round the sides and back.

A NW 7 friend of mine shaves his head and he thinks he looks cool and tough but he really looks like a leukemia patient and there is proof of it - his wife has cancer and last time she was in H******* and he went to visit, all the staff at the H******* thought he was the one with cancer :)

PB_

4532 grafts in two procedures with Dr Feller
Dr Feller 17.11.2005 - 2700 grafts into front 1/3 - excellent growth
Dr Feller 8.6.2007 - 1832 grafts in total - 1300 dense packed into hairline @ 65+ grafts/cm2 and 532 into crown (almost all singles at the front with a few doubles at back of hairline - all crown grafts are multi hair grafts)
Dr Lindsey June 2008 - 711 FUE
My Webpage

#19 s.a.f

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 03:26 PM

[quote name='PB_' date='Jun 5 2006, 04:17 PM' post='7339']

[/quote]
A guy at work has a shaved head and he looks OK but he isn't bald and you can see dense stubble on top of his head which makes it look better than a rim of stubble round the sides and back.
[/quote]

Yeah dont you hate to see people with thick hair wasting it by shaving! Many guys think they look like vin diesel but actualy look more like phil collins. You need the masculine features to look good with it. :)
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#20 PB_

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Posted 05 June 2006 - 05:25 PM

Yeah dont you hate to see people with thick hair wasting it by shaving! Many guys think they look like vin diesel but actualy look more like phil collins. You need the masculine features to look good with it. :)


Here's a picture of Vin Diesel with hair... doesn't like like it will be long before he too is a Phil Collins :)
Posted Image

Here he is with stubble hair... this must be an older pic because his hairline is rounded here but in the picture above he's got a V hairline:
Posted Image

PB_

4532 grafts in two procedures with Dr Feller
Dr Feller 17.11.2005 - 2700 grafts into front 1/3 - excellent growth
Dr Feller 8.6.2007 - 1832 grafts in total - 1300 dense packed into hairline @ 65+ grafts/cm2 and 532 into crown (almost all singles at the front with a few doubles at back of hairline - all crown grafts are multi hair grafts)
Dr Lindsey June 2008 - 711 FUE
My Webpage

#21 AJG

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 07:32 AM

FOr sure you have to have a head that would look OK With a shavedhead. I think I have as it is a big mother! Big forehead! I would probably end up looking like Right Said Fred but without the muscles. Anyway, it is all hyperthetical anyhow as like SAF I have a host of strip scars, and HT pits so shaving my head now is not an option. And agreed, why do I need to when my Dr Feller bad boys are poised and ready to sprout! Good luck with it SAF. I'm sorry I misread your earlier posts, and can't believe you only got around 800 with all the hair they took out! What a waste. These guys should be closed down in the UK.

#22 s.a.f

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 07:58 AM

By the way guys went back to work yesterday, :D using loads of concealer on the scar :D nobody's spotted it yet (Pheww!!) :) they said that my new shaved grade 2 hair looks better than the tufty combover I had before. Have to keep this style at least until 4 months stage. Cant wait until new grafts begin to sprout. Thanks for the tips!
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#23 spex

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Posted 06 June 2006 - 08:17 AM

All good!!
Consultant and Showcase for Dr Feller and Dr Lindsey and Beauty Medical's SMP.

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#24 goeasy

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Posted 08 June 2006 - 07:56 PM

thank god i found this site. :)

#25 quick

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Posted 13 June 2006 - 06:51 PM

thank god i found this site.


No doubt about that :D

#26 garageland

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 04:19 PM

Hi Saf, i am right in saying that you have shaved your sides and back to a grade 2, and using concealer on the scars, you have 2 old scars and your new feller one, is that correct? also what concealer are you using? looking at your post op pics you got a lot more coverage than the blue lines that Dr F first drew on your head.

I ask because i am in the same predicament as you and have old scars that take some hiding, plus the new one, at the moment my hair is long at the sides which makes me look a real tit! but i am able to avoid everyone when not wearing a hat, so i have two options, carry on avoiding everything that i can't wear a hat to until my hair on top grows to a level that is near what the sides are, or do what i think you are doing, how is it going doing?
I am the UK consultant for Hasson & Wong. My opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hasson & Wong.

www.hairtransplantdoctors.co.uk

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#27 s.a.f

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Posted 16 June 2006 - 08:42 PM

Garageland, not sure exactly what you want to know so I'll try to explain everything. Had my surgery on 12th may. As you know the donor strip and surrounding area are shaved down first to grade 0, so is the recipient area, in my case the entire top of the head. otherwise my hair was about 3/4 of an inch on the back and sides. I had two scars originally from the 3 previous uk ops. One was between the ears at the same level as my eyes, the other one was about 1 and a half inches below at the same level as bottom of my ears. Dr feller tried to incorperate my donor strip into the top scar therefore removing it but there were complications probably due to the fact that it had been so poorly closed previously and in the end he could not take most of it off but I think there is improvment on th left half of it. Anyway the Feller donor strip was much longer than the previous ops (like a big smile from ear to ear) instead of a straight line between the ears. So I still have only two scars.
As for my haircut, post surgery once the staples were removed panic set in (realizing that it looked bad and I couldnt stay hidden forever and I started taking msm 3000mg aday to help the hair grow back quicker. Luckily having previous experience I had made sure that I didnt have to go back to work until more than 3 weeks post op. At about 2 1/2 weeks post op I shaved my hair down to make it all the same length as the shortest areas ie the area surrounding the donor strip and the recipient area (as you can see from my pics there was'nt much on the top to start with but my old pluggy grafts which were starting to grow back. My new grafts had actualy started to grow as well the overall lenght was grade 2. Not bad growing 0 - grade 2 in just over two weeks. Had to go to back to work about 5 days after this and although the hair had continued to grow a few more mm the scar was still highly obvious. But having vast experience using concealers/thickeners I applied dermatch into the scar and blending into the surrounding area. It made it dissapear quite well. Nobody seemed to notice, (and trust me the people I work with would come straight out and say something !!) That was 2 weeks ago and have been doing it ever since. Will keep the hair at about grade 4 and continue to use dermatch. Without the dermatch scar is still very noticible. Cant wait until the new grafts start to sprout then I can let it all grow a bit longer. (Ps anyone trying Dermatch dont use the applicators provided, they are shit. Try appling it with an old mascara brush (honest) it works much better. You were right about the coverage I was quoted 2000-2500 grafts but because of good density on the sides got 2879 so Dr Feller was able to go much further back into the crown area. (I was well happy) Hope this helps you Garageland. I know what it feels like post being post op and waiting for the results to appear, Hang in there mate, I am.
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#28 spex

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:47 PM

Another informative post s.a.f - Thanks!!

Indeed hang in there all of you - my journey was a long one but well worth the wait! :)
Consultant and Showcase for Dr Feller and Dr Lindsey and Beauty Medical's SMP.

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#29 garageland

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 03:10 PM

Hi Saf, thanks for the reply, glad you are getting away with having your hair cut short, you answered my questions perfectly i think i will buy some dermatch and give it a go, i am in the lucky position of being able to wear a cap to most things but would like to be able to go without it on the occasions it is not suitable, look like dermatch will allow me to do that, i have just got the staples out yesterday and really want to trim the sides and back down.
I am the UK consultant for Hasson & Wong. My opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hasson & Wong.

www.hairtransplantdoctors.co.uk

ukconsultant@hassonandwong.com

www.hassonandwong.co.uk

#30 dukey

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 03:27 PM

Courve is also a good concealer :)




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