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beachboy

Beachboy's Ht

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Well, I’ve been and done it – I’ve have a hair transplant! And boy is it strange to see and feel hair where before was barren scalp? That sure makes me feel good.

 

I flew from the UK a week last Thursday, 6th September 07 for a strip session with Dr Feller to address deep temple recessions and re-define my hairline. I was a ‘HT virgin’ prior to this and had the good fortune to find the forums and meet with Spex, of whom I can’t speak highly enough, in finding a solution to my hair loss.

 

I was very nervous about travelling to New York, but in the event, I don’t know what I was worrying about! The journey was straightforward and I navigated my way to Great Neck by public transport without a hitch. The rail system is superb, easy to use and the staff really helpful. The cab drivers take a bit of getting use too, but after a couple of trips, you soon get the hang of it! They seem only to vaguely know where it is you want to go, which is a bit disconcerting, but I always ended up at my destination. I read in the local paper that the cabbies had been on strike for 2 days the week before, over the introduction of sat nav in cabs? :huh:

 

I had a pretty good idea of what to expect on the day from reading the accounts of those who have been through this process before. The advice and support of those who post on the forums has been invaluable in preparing me for what I was putting myself through, but it didn’t stop me stressing as the day drew near.

 

On Friday, 7th September 07, I arrived at Dr Feller’s office early and accosted him making his way into work from the car park. I introduced myself as his patient for the day and we rode the lift to his office with two attractive young ladies. Dr Feller has an easy manner, complementing them both of the smell of their perfume, which got him a good response and a smile. :P Unfortunately, they got out at level 1, whist we continued to his office suite on the second floor.

 

Once he had changed into his work clothes, Dr Feller showed me round and settled me in his office to discuss the day ahead. He asked if I had hear the laser comb debate and proceeded to tell me of his plans to seek FDA approval to market a therapeutic ‘thermal hat’ device to combat hair loss ( a woolly hat with heat pads) as a tongue-in-cheek response to the absurd claims made by the peddlers of such laser products. He’s got a great sense of humour! :D

 

I was very soon at my ease and we were discussing what I hoped to achieve, given my loss pattern (NW2), hair characteristics (thick, wavy), available donor (very good density and supply) and potential future loss (limited due to my age [44] and the fact that my loss stabilised many years ago). Laxity was not an issue (This was my 1st HT & I had been doing the scalp exercises for about the last month).

 

Dr Feller drew what he considered was an appropriate hair line, approximately 1cm lower down my forehead and calculated that some 2000 grafts would be required to give good density (Spex had estimated 1800 – 2000, so was spot on). I liked the hair-line as it was very natural given my age and gave me back a little bit more than I had lost. I was also keen to close in the temple area and regain the temple points that I had lost, so Dr Feller drew in the temple points, using the fine hairs that remained in this area as a guide. He then drew a line connecting the temple points back to the hair line and estimated that another 500 grafts would be required to fill in these area’s, giving a graft count of 2500.

 

I was in two minds about the extent of the temple lines and considered asking for them to be drawn further forward to close in the temples a little more, but on reflection decided that what Dr Feller was proposing retained my characteristic broad forehead as a counter-point to my long and angular face shape. It is a testament to his experience and skill that Dr Feller was able to translate my aspirations so well in the hair line that he proposed.

 

Having finalised the extent of the HT, paid my fee and had pre-op photo’s taken, we went though to the main surgery room where I was introduced to the team, who were without exception all welcoming and very reassuring. After I had taken off my shirt and handed a tee shirt to wear, Dr Feller started to mark out the donor area. I could feel him pushing against the scalp, checking the laxity and adjusting the line accordingly. Once this was done, he marked out how much of the recipient area he wanted clipping back. The Tech’s then set about taping up my hair and clipped both the donor and recipient area. This was something I was dreading, but fortunately, very little was taken off and I was relieved that I still had enough to cover up the HT work.

 

This done, I went into another room to have the donor area numbed. I was asked to lay face down and Dr Feller proceeded to inject around the line where the donor was to be excised. He kept me informed of what he was doing all the time, which I found very reassuring. In all I had about 10 injections and can honestly say that it was only mildly uncomfortable and was over very quickly. I felt a little light headed and it was explained to me that this was because the injections contain adrenaline.

 

Once back in the surgery room I was prepped and the local anaesthetic given time to take effect. Work then started on the removal of the donor. This was painless and all I could feel was the Dr pressing against my head. The strip was removed in three sections, with each section being stapled before proceeding to the next and took about 45 minutes.

 

With that part of the procedure finished and the Techs busily working on excising the grafts, Dr Feller proceeded with numbing the recipient area. I found that this stung more that the injections to the donor site, especially in the temple regions. Dr Feller explained that the skin was thinner here and was more sensitive. He was very apologetic, but worked quickly and it was over in less than a minute or so. He told me that he uses a thinner needle for these injections and that made them less uncomfortable. All I all, it wasn’t too bad and was bearable.

 

Once the local anaesthetic had taken effect, Dr Feller started work on making the incisions for the grafts. This again was painless and all I could feel was slight pressure and hear a ‘snick’ sound as each incision was made. During the 1 ½ hrs or so that this stage took to complete, he was totally absorbed in his work and I just lay back listening to the radio.

 

Following lunch, the Tech’s came in and started on the laborious job of placing the grafts. This for me was the most uncomfortable part of the whole day as it was necessary to keep very still. In order to get my head at the right angle, I had to keep my chin tilted downwards, which I found awkward as it made swallowing very difficult. The Tech’s did what they could to adjust my position and in the end gave me a valium to relax me! :mellow: After that things when more smoothly and the final graft was placed at 3.30pm.

 

Finally, I was cleaned up, changed back into my shirt and had a chat with the Tech’s about post-op care. Dr Feller took a series of photos and gave me some pain killers, together with a prescription for more if I needed them. Whilst I was getting ready to leave, Dr Feller was chatting with the brother of a UK patient who had had HT the day before and he kindly gave both of us a lift back to out respective hotels.

 

I can’t thank Dr Feller and his team enough for what they have done for me. Dr Feller’s skill, knowledge and empathy were manifestly evident and I know that I made the right choice in putting myself in the hands of one of the best HT surgeons in the world. I can’t wait for the final results around 12 months from now!

 

Spex please can I ask you to attach the photo’s of my session with Dr Feller?

 

 

Cheers

 

Beachboy

 

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thankyou for this account of your experiences with feller. it has come at a much needed time for me although i am confindent in my decision to see him for my repair it only helps confirm reading posts like this :)

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Looks absolutely fantastic! Congrats!

 

Cheers for the excellent write-up - invaluable stuff ahead of my op in 10 days. I put a much more detailed reply on PB's forum, but can literally be shortened to what I just wrote above!

 

Looking forward to comparing my pics. I think your case is reasonably similar-ish to mine, although our hair types are very different. Will be very interesting, indeed...

 

Anyway, happy growing and well done!!! Gonna look incredible when that's all grown out. Brilliant work by Dr Feller :) B)

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thanks for a brilliant write up. how has the healing gone?

Thanks for such a great response everyone - really appreciated. I'm nearly 14 days post ops now and healing well. I had the staples removed (not at all painful, only midly discomforting) on day 11 and was glad to be rid of them (47 in total) - they made sleeping very uncomfortable at times. :blink: They were taken out by my girlfriend's mother, who is a retired staff sister and was very impressed with Dr Feller's handiwork - she said it was one the neatest bit of wound closure she has seen and should almost be invisible when fully healed! :)

 

I've just started on fin, using Revita shampoo, back on the msm and using Minoxidol once a day (evenings) in the hope of getting things moving. Using aloevera gel has done wonders for the redness in both the recipient and donor area.

 

I have noticed some shedding of the grafts - shame they don't just stay and grow. That said, I am taking the good advice of those who have gone before me and just trying to put my HT to the back of my mind for now.

 

Unable to attach photo's but you can view them here:

http://www.pb-hair.co.uk/forums/view_topic...=129&forum_id=3

 

 

 

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couldn't see the pictures but well done and thanks for sharing the information :)

 

You have to log in to be able to see the pics... if you have trouble logging in, reset the cookie if you are promted to.

 

I just looked at the pics, looks great :) Won't be long until they are sprouting again.

 

http://www.pb-hair.co.uk/forums/attachment.php?id=47

 

http://www.pb-hair.co.uk/forums/attachment.php?id=49

 

http://www.pb-hair.co.uk/forums/attachment.php?id=51

 

http://www.pb-hair.co.uk/forums/attachment.php?id=53

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Looks really good so far BB - You are a nice quick healer by the looks of things - Congrats!!!! B)

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Very nice work BeachBoy. You will have a very nice hairline in 8-12 months so just be patient as you have a long way to go now. It will be worth the wait though as everyone says :)

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how has the healing gone, has it been quick :unsure:

 

Hey 11664 - Healing's gone really well, thanks for asking. Still have a bit of itching in the donor area from time to time and the numbness is still there in the middle front of my head (between the recepient sites). The redness is fading, particularily where the temple point work was done. I still have a few small scabs where the staples were taken out and have been applying surgical spirit and tea tree oil along the scar line. The scar is healing nicely and the ridge where the two edges of the wound were brought together is regressing and has a nice, flat feel over 90% of its lenght. Still at little bit of tenderness, but this is fading as the weeks go by.

 

I still have a few graft hairs in place, but the majority have fallen out. What has amazed me is that I already have some new growth from the grafts and can see more just below the scalp, waiting to start sprouting and its only 4 weeks since the transplant!! I had expected everything to lie dormant for about 3-months before anything started to happen!

 

I'm begining to understand why the waiting is probably the hardest part of this whole transplant business - you make your decision to have an HT - great! you've taken that positive first step towards dealing with your hairloss. You then spend the time between paying your deposit and having the procedure fretting about whether you're doing the right thing, what will it be like, will you get the result you want etc, etc. The feeling of elation post-op when you see hair where before was just scalp makes it all worth while and for the next few weeks, you're pre-occupied with healing, getting those staples out and worrying about how how well you'll be able to disguise the fact you've had an HT when you go back to work. And then.....the tempation to check in the mirror, grab for a magnifying glass and scrutinise your scalp for those first signs that something - anything, is happening kicks in.

 

This is my first week back at work and I've been late 3 mornings as a result of studying my head in the bathroom mirror. I scoffed when I read the 'helpful tips' post - "remove all mirrors from your home, car - seriously". But guess what? Its actually good advice. Even if you don't physically hide mirrors, then you need to mentally block them out otherwise you run the risk of obsessing about your HT. This is where posts showing progress at 1 month, 3-months, 6-months etc is so helpful. It sets a benchmark that you can use as a guide for you own progress and serves as a reminder of what's likely to happen and when - so you can stop checking yourself everytime you walk past a mirror and just go with the flow.

 

Anyhow, how's things going with the research and have you decided yet when you are likely to take the plunge again?

 

Cheers BB :)

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I am still scrutinising now at almost 4 months post-op. I don't really think it's a bad thing as I enjoy watching the progress.

 

I also had some hairs sprout very early on but after sprouting they didn't grow any longer until the rest of the hairs started sprouting just before the three month mark. In fact, those hairs that sprouted first have been over taken by the other hair that sprouted later :huh:

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It looks great BB :)

Im havin trouble sleeping cos of the staples, another 7 days to go b4 they come out. This is a VERY minor thing when i think of what should be a great result in 12 months ;)

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Hey BB - any update healing pics for the geeks :) (me)

 

Here's a couple of shots showing progress at 1 month post-op. The redness is subsiding nicely and I'm starting to loose some of the numbness in the area between the reciepient sites. I am getting one to two pimples, which I'm treating with a mixture to blended tea-tree oil and surgical spirit, rubbed in using a cotton bud. This seems to be quite effective as they subside in a couple of days or so.

 

Can't seem to attached pictures, but they can be viewed here.

 

http://www.pb-hair.co.uk/forums/view_topic...d=3&jump_to=926

 

 

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