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pianoman99

My Journey: Strip Ht With Dr Feller, New York

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Hi,

 

 

http://www.hairtransplantnetwork.com/blog/....asp?WebID=1253

 

 

I'm from the UK, and have just had a 2600 graft strip HT with Dr Feller. These forums have been a life saver for me, and this decision has been 2 years in the making. I'd like to share some thoughts on my journey:

 

1) Obsessively research on these forums.

 

There is a mine of information, and (rarely) mis-information here. Most posters are helpful, sensible and realistic.

 

2) A Hair Transplant is not normal.

I mean this as a truism, not a criticism. As you get into the forums and blogs, there is a lot of support, encouragement, and congratulations of results- most of which is deserved. However - friends/family/work colleagues may see a HT as extreme/bizarre or laughable. Can you consider buzzing your hair short? You may have no hair, but you can buy a new BMW with the money you save! (I obviously didnt want to consider buzzing by hair - I have the same shaped head as John Cleese - which is why he had a HT as well)

 

3) If you are in the UK- MEET SPEX!!

 

Spex was the first guy I met who has a HT - after 15 years of it being my secret, to meet him was great. He is unbiassed, straight talking, and very sensible. And- he will let you rummage about if hair like a monkey looking for grubs! - so make use of him. IF you decide to go with Dr Feller, he also goes out of his way to make it easy, and cheap.

 

 

So, I bit the bullet, and have just had a HT from Dr Feller. As expected, the guy is really cool. He is obsessive about what he does. I also discovered we have 2 shared interests: Playing piano, and Electronics. Check out the books in his office. Now, I know the sort of people who build their own radios, and that exactly the sort of person I want fixing my hair!

After examining my hair, he said the best donor areas had be left by the UK clinic (The Hair Clinic in London). This is the area just above the lump at the top of your neck. All 4 previous strips had been done very low (why?? because they should be chopping up pigs, not doing HTs). He also confirmed that I have "plugs" in the middle of my head- whopping great 10 hair grafts. Now - The Hair Clinic in London (did I say to not use them? well dont) never told be this, when they schpealed on about min-grafts, and showed me their fraudulent hairline photo collection.

 

So, after a pathetic plea to not shave my head down to grade 0 - they shaved my head down to grade 0 :) I know they cant work any other way. Not shaving is how crap clinic (like The Hair Clinic, in London - did I mention them?) used to hide their pluggy botch jobs. I ended up with 2600 grafts - instead of 2000. Dr Feller didnt charge me for the full difference, since he knew I came all the way from UK. I really believe the Spex and Dr Feller are altruistic, in an industry full of sharks and con-men!

 

After the initial numbing jabs, the procedure was not bad at all. The incisions were done by Dr Feller, and the grafts placed by the nurse/technicians - 2 or 3 of them working at a time. For the important bits then work in silence, and you can feel the concentration! I see where the cost of a HT goes - there were maybe 5 or 6 skilled people there, all working on my hair, for the entire day. Im surprised it doest cost more actually.

 

what else?... some tips if you are travelling from UK to Dr Fellers Clinic:

 

1) Prior to departure you need to fill out a VISA waver form on line, as well as the green form (which you get at check-in). Go to https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov I didnt do this, so had to mess about with my laptop at the checkin desk for 30 minutes!

 

2) Arrive at least 2 hours prior to departure. Security is a lot stricter than is was last time I flew to the US. When entering JFK, they take your finger prints, and photo.

 

3) Avoid American Airlines - there is no leg room, and all the flight attendants have faces like slapped arses and attitudes to match. :angry:

 

4) Print out the directions to the Hotel form JFK - from the hotel web site. The cabbie I used didnt know the way. Cab cost $40

 

5) Checkout the area on google maps before leaving. You can even do a virtual walk between the hotel and Dr Feller's office. This helped in knowing where I was.

 

6) On the evening before, take a walk over the the supermarket, and stock up on fruit, water, drink, sandwiches etc.... (Dont touch the mini-bar, unless you have lots of cash left over after flight hotel and HT costs!). The super market is here.

 

7) Wear non white T shirt for the procedure - you may want to bin it after wards!

 

8) Dont watch Fox news for 6 hours. There is only so much "war of terror" one man can take.

 

 

Im attaching 4 pics:

 

Outside of Dr Feller's office

Inside of Dr Feller's Office

The inside of my booze filled mini-bar (dont touch it!)

The top of my head, post op. (Im finding this surreal to look at - maybe its just the pain killers)

 

This was therapeutic to write - hope it helps.

 

(right, start growing you little bu**ers!)

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im glad it went well, great write up, your right about fox news lol. the work looks good and has covered a good area. youve just got to chill now. all the best.

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Nice one! Great write up and full of useful advice and information :)

 

I couldn't agree more with everything you mentioned with the exception of 3) regarding American Airlines.

 

I flew once with American Airlines when the SAS plane broke down on the runway :blink: I don't know what type of aircraft it was, but it was three times larger than any other plane I've ever been on and the sevice was excellent. Not sure about the flight attendants' faces being like slapped arses LOL :lol: - I don't remember now. That description applies more to the jobsworth imbeciles at immegration/"Homeland Security" :rolleyes: at JFK, especially the attitude :angry:

 

I have just got back from a holiday in Malta, so will post some pics of my hair from my holiday snaps when I get a bit of time. I think I was the only guy over 50, possibly over 30 too, that had hair at the hotel. I saw some ridiculous comb-overs at the hotel and even a couple of the most unnatural looking rugs I've ever seen. It's almost 5 years now since my first HT and it's still all there - best thing I ever did for myself :D

 

You should have a great head of hair this Autumn B) I hope you'll keep us updated with your progress.

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Hi Pb

 

Ok.. maybe I was a bit harsh on AA :)

I agree about the "homeland securty" issue. They just blew up a cooler box full of mineral water, in times square - all the news channels were whipping up hysteria about it being a bomb, and an organised terrorist threat. I get the feeling New Yorkers are pretty jumpy about all this - not surprising really given recent history.

 

I read on this forum that one guy went sight-seeing the day after HT. There is no way Im going to Times Square today. Chilling in the hotel, being very careful about moving my head slowly- and drinking lots of water.

Cheers.

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I went on a sight-seeing cruise round Manhattan the day after my first HT :unsure: I was OK for the most part but towards the end of the cruise I had a bit of a headache. Probably best to take it easy at the hotel B)

 

I looked at your pics on HTN and was surprised at how much hair you already have, both transplanted and native. I don't think going back to work will be that bad for you as the native hair you have at the front plus all the plugs will grow quite a bit in a month. I'd probably just have the back and sides cut down as short as possible without exposing the scars. The hair on top will only be slightly shorter after a month, so it will just look like you've had a crap haircut for the first couple of weeks when you go back to work. You can just say you had a go at cutting your own hair and the top doesn't seem to be growing as quickly as the rest.

 

Don't go out with the post-op bandage on your head - the FBI and bomb disposal guys will think you are a terrorist with a bomb strapped to your head :P

 

I had otoplasty surgery last year and had to wear a sweat band round my head, over my ears to keep them in place. They actually checked the headband at the airport in Amsterdam in case I had a bomb concealed in it :rolleyes:

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Hi,

 

12 Day Update: Ive just taken all the staples out. I did it myself ! I read on a forum, (by a surgeon) that he recommended taking every other staple out first, then all of them.

 

I found it quite easy - I used a bottle of Jack Daniels, a plank to chew on, and a claw hammer. :D

It took a while to set up 2 mirrors (one was a shaving mirror, with a x2 magnification) and to get the light right. Really, I would not recommend it - quicker to go to your GP clinic.

pretty pain free, and strangely satisfying - like picking glue off you hands when you were a kid.

The advantage it, then if you snag a hair, or scab, you can immediately back off and get another grip.

 

TIP: never accidentally use the staple remover took UPSIDE DOWN! It will bend the staple the wrong way, further into your head!

 

Attached our some pics. Would appreciate your comments. On one side I think you can see a lot of shock loss (either that, or that is the scar from the previous HT. You can see the terraced effect of all the other HTs Ive had, underneath the donor scar). Am worried about buzzing that area down.

 

Had no swelling or spots. All the graft hairs are still in. Am using Minox twice a day - read that this will give a 30% chance that the grafts will not actually fall out - which would be nice.

From the pic of the top, you can also see where the single hairs were placed on the hair line.

Can also see, in the middle, the dirty great f*ck* off orrible punch grafts.

 

Am going on holiday with the out-laws in weeks time. NIGHTMARE. will have to buzz the hair down, and just use a cap the whole time.

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Congrats on the surgery Pianoman I am sure it is going to turn out great, I still can't believe you took the staples out on your own that is crazy I can just imagine it now like a scene from a war movie did you douse the donor in whisky first?

 

Out of interest who carried out your previous four surgeries?

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I think my wife was sort of looking forward to doing it - but I'm a wimp, so had a little play myself, and just carried on. It was a bit like pulling shrapnel !

 

Previous 4 strips were from the hair clinic, in London

Surgeon was David Cuddis

 

http://www.the-hair-clinic.co.uk/

 

Dont start me ranting..... :angry:

 

Congrats on the surgery Pianoman I am sure it is going to turn out great, I still can't believe you took the staples out on your own that is crazy I can just imagine it now like a scene from a war movie did you douse the donor in whisky first?

 

Out of interest who carried out your previous four surgeries?

 

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Hi,

 

16 days post op - went for a hair cut. Feel much better now. I chose my barber wisely I think - a guy who was involved in HTs and now does Hair Systems (god forbid)- so knows how to be discreet. (not like the Italian maniac with number 3 clippers, that I used last time)

He managed to even it out - while still leaving it long enough at the back to almost cover the 5 strip scars. Yes thats 5. Do I win the prize for "Most HTs with bugger all to show for it?" Hopefully that will change.

I feel vaguely normal now. the ironic thing is, this is the first time in my life Ive been out in public with very short hair, and exposed thinning crown, and it was great! Felt like I had nothing to hide - didnt care if the wind blew by hair.

 

I am using Couvre to cover the scars that show through. The graft hairs are still hanging in there. And Im quite attached to them. They are my friends, and I talk to them every night. (Im kidding). (no Im not).

 

anyway... the guy that cut my hair was quite old, and was telling me a lot about the history of HTs and some of the horror stories he has seen. Invented by Dr Orentreich (new York) in the 50s, using 4mm plugs - can you imaging looking like this:

http://www.surviving-hairloss.com/images/history_3.jpg

 

He was also telling me about "Flap Surgery" - he has met a few people who have had this done. OMFG. A 4cm stip harvested from the side is implanted on the hairline - skin and all. This must have been utter HELL for the people that had it done. Can anyone reading this shed any more light?

 

All this did make me think: HTs are still only 40 years old. Will we look back in 100years time and view FUE/strip surgery with the same disbelief? What will the technique be at that time? (or, as Gene Roddenberry once said, when commenting on jean Luc Picard's baldness, in 2233 we wont need a cure, because we wont care about make Pattern Baldness)

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it looks to be healing nicely, and the hair cut looks good aswell.

 

ive seen some horiffic flap surgeries on these forums over the years :o ,

 

it does make you think whats in store in the future :blink:

 

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Thanks Withnail:

 

"hear hair here"

 

:D

 

Looks like you've done a great job concealing that.

 

You going to be one happy chappy in a few months.

 

Thanks for sharing :)

 

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Hi,

 

4 Weeks post op.

Attached some pics. All the graft hairs have gone - shame, because all that is left on top is the pluggy old grafts. My native hair on the peak is still there, which unfortunately shows the difference between natural hair, and a early 90's micro-mini graft job.

I am returning to work tomorrow, and will have to keep my head held high (literally, and metaphorically!)

Am still using Couvre at the back (on the old HT scars - the new one seems to be very small - great!)

 

I still have a lot of numbness above the HT scar, going all the way up the the crown. Im hoping that will decrease? Anyone else had this ?

 

Waiting for these new grafts to come in is going to be REALLY HARD!

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the numbness does go over time, it goes around the 3 month mark,

 

have you tried nanogen on the old grafts?

 

waiting is a bitch but its def worth it :D

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Ive tried Toppik - but it made it look even more clumpy, since there is not enough fine hairs in between the big grafts. Not sure about Nanogen - essentially the same product?

 

the numbness does go over time, it goes around the 3 month mark,

 

have you tried nanogen on the old grafts?

 

waiting is a bitch but its def worth it :D

 

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The dreaded wait hey...

It will come in and possibly is its just with you watching it 24/7 you will not see any change. The change is so very gradual that it will be hard to see even the slightest change at this still early stage.

 

I remeber so well Ian calling me up at 8 months telling me he had had no real growth...... ;)

 

 

 

 

Can you email me current pics?

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Hey Guys,

 

I'm in my thirties starting to thin out at the temples. Was thinking of getting a HT with dr feller so this thread is very insightful (thanks pianoman!)

 

This is the area that I want to sort out. Doesn't look too bad here but it is very thin (barely any hair there) and I am very consceous about it. The other side isn't as bad but still needs some attention. How many grafts would you think this would require?

 

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I'm not on the big three. I use nizarol every now and then (not sure if thats making things better or worse) but I really want to stay away from meds as I'm happy with the hair I have and dont quite see it falling out anytime soon. The temples have always been thining for years now. So my question is does the hair transplant need meds? Also pianoman, are the transplanted hairs shedding as part of a natural process or because of the minox/fin?

 

Can I email Dr Feller, show him photos etc. online for an analysis?

 

cheers

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Hey Piano.. great write up...sorry I'm a bit late seeing your post! I checked out all ur profile pics before ur latest session with Dr Feller.. and I can relate to a lot of your ht journey.. sorry to hear you went through so much crap with the UK clinic! :angry: It really reminds me of how bad things were before my repair. Its great to see you straight after ur latest session, the new hairline looks awesome and I'm certain you will be smiling a great deal more when ur waiting is over! B) its tuff waiting... I couldnt hardly see any changes either until the half way point.. but a good idea is to look back at your 'pre-feller' pics... and compare to how your looking at the end of each month.. I found I was surprised I missed the new growth as its so slow coming through you hardly notice it to begin with... month 8 onwards is a good time to start seeing the new puppies arriving to the party! hang in there mate.. and thanks for your detailed write up... after checking out ur link on google maps....I spent an hour just walking around NYC again! its awesome ;)

 

All the very best!! ;)

 

Hey Guys,

 

 

Can I email Dr Feller, show him photos etc. online for an analysis?

 

cheers

 

 

Hi Hudsonhawke, the best guy to speak to regarding the quotes on estimated grafts etc is SPEX (he posted just above you)

most of the UK guys speak to him 1st as he's Dr Fellers main man here in the UK ;) he'll be able to give you every detail you need to know B)

 

Hope this helps.... your loss looks to be absolutely ideal for an easy fix for Dr F.. but thats just from the pics.

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Hi HudsonHawke,

 

Feel free to send me an email with Pics and i can obtain Dr Fellers opinion for you no probs B)

 

Email: spexhair@hotmail.co.uk

 

regards

Spex

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thanks spex :) Though now I think the problem might be a little bigger. Starting to lose hair at the front! :S It's alot more noticable than it was a year ago. Not sure to get on the fin or not, though I think Nizoral may be having something to do with the shed. I've stopped it now and will see if anything changes. Also dont have a camera at the moment, so waiting on that.

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Update from Pianoman here -http://www.hairrestorationnetwork.com/eve/156303-my-journey-so-far-strip-hair-transplant-dr-feller-new-york-some-thoughts-pics.html B)

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Hi pianoman99

 

Ive just read your story...u mentioned that u had 4 previous HT, what happen to them grafts/hair(s)...didnt they grow??

 

 

 

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