MaximusAge: 51 | Bald Class: Email Me NW5a -->
Total = 6,311 grafts
-1/12/2006 --> 3,217 with Dr. Cooley
-Small, lateral slits used
-8/1/2007 --> 3,094 grafts/7,929 hairs w/Dr. Cooley
1 x 586 =586
2 x 1,513 =3,026
3 x763 =3,389
4 x 232 =928
-33cm long strip by 1-1.5cm wide, excellent laxity
-Saggital incisions used
To optimize healing, used:
-Regranex gel for follicules
-Regranex spray for post-op
-IVIVI Ring Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)
-Topical Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
-Propecia every other day
-Nizoral 1% shampoo daily.
-Bowl of Cocco Puffs daily :-)
My Hair Loss Story
For the last 3+ years, I have read the
Of course, there were things I didn't like about hair loss. Since I give a lot of presentations in front of groups, I didn't like having a "shiny" head. And I didn't like it when a date or girlfriend talked about her ex's hair or commented how she wished I had hair. Also, when I went out with the guys and we met girls, I didn't like be described as the "bald guy."
Still, I considered cosmetic surgery was for only girly-men but two things changed my mind. One was this summer when I had Lasik/PRK eye surgery to improve my vision. It was one of the best decisions I made. Being able to see the alarm clock at night and to throw away contacts and glasses was awesome. I loved it and got a taste how cool it is to make a significant change to my body. Then I started thinking about what a striking improvement adding hair on my head would be.
Secondly, I wouldn't have gone forward if it wasn't for this open forum at www.hairtransplantnetwork.com and the honest information people posted about their experiences. I tend to be skeptical when it comes to infomercials, or the hype of glossy brochures, or testimonials with lots of tremendous claims or excessive glowing praises. In addition to all the good information about the hair transplant process, options and personal experiences, the forum helped me with the hardest part, choosing a doctor.
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
The morning of the surgery, I arrived at 6:45 a.m. and the staff was bright eyed and ready to go. It was nice being the first patient at the clinic and then later at 9 pm I was the last patient to leave.
The hardest thing for me was trying to visualize what the new hairline would look like. I wish I'd taken a hairline picture at the initial consultation so I could refer to it while I waited and wondered if I was doing the right thing. The pictures on this forum are good but it still hard to imagine how it looks on oneself.
Then there is the question, do you focus on the hairline density on the first third of your head or do you spread grafts out as much as you can toward the crown? I chose to focus on the hairline and density of the frontal third of my head. For me, not being shiny up front is important since I do a lot of public speaking and face-to-face meetings. Of course, balance is important. A too low/full hair line and a bald crown throws the balance off. I liked Dr. Cooley's artistic balance and I'm looking forward to seeing how it grows. And as far as "the crown" goes, to me most women who see us from behind will be looking at our "buns of steel" and not the "crown," right?! ;-)
I emailed Prospicience who just had the same procedure and he gave me some good input. Thanks for the encouragement Prospicience and iFloss. By all means, if you have any questions contact people on this forum. It is a great resource. And most of all, talk openly and candidly with the doctor and ask a lot of questions (write them down and bring them to the consultation with you). They are the experts who do this every day and see hundreds of clients. Starting out it probably good to talk to a few docs and read the forums on the Internet. Then you will get a good sense of what works for you. And in the long run, the hacks become more apparent and the cream rises to the top.
Dr. Cooley has done this so many times and has a good artistic eye, especially with my unique noggin. I decided to focus on the hairline and front third. I am really pleased with the hairline he created and the work he did. It is better than I expected. Of course, I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds over the year.
When you think about it, we are living art. For the rest of my life people will see the work of Dr. Cooley's hand and the work of his staff in my visage. When a hottie rubs her fingers through my hair, I (and she) will have Dr. C and his staff to thank. Now, I can’t wait for a girl to play with my hair. Since I’ve been bald forever, it’s been a while.
The 14 hour day didn't seem that long too me. I dozed off a few times. Listened to audio books on my iPod and watched movies. I usually have a hard time sitting still more than 40 minutes at a time. But the procedure was just easy, casual and relaxing. Dr. Cooley and his staff are very personable and easy to talk with...talk a little, watch a movie, listen to an audio book and zoom the day was over. It still amazes me how hard Dr. Cooley, Ailene, Brandi, Christy (sp?), Stacy (sp?) and the rest of the staff work. They pay attention to detail, care about the patient, are highly skilled and diligent.
Have you seen the picture of the gaping slash Prospicience posted about his strip removal yet? Well, as I laid face down on the massage table that gory image was in my mind and I was waiting for the feel of “Velcro” pull of skin being yanked from my scalp. I was paying careful attention and it was hard to tell what was going on. It seemed like the recipient area was shaved and a blow-dryer/vacuum thing was used to catch the hair. Then I felt a vibrating massage instrument and an occasional pinch of a shot of some sort. Then the next thing I felt was a small pinch and it felt like a stitch…then it was done. Received 100 stitches and didn’t feel a thing other than a couple of pinches on head and arm. It is pretty amazing and I can’t believe how totally painless it was for me.
I had a great lunch and took about 4 bathroom breaks. A couple of times I had one of those “tickles” in your throat from allergies that make you cough and eyes water and they brought me a class of water when I needed it.
Dr Cooley, and everybody are caring and encouraging. You can tell they enjoy their job and the impact their work makes on the patients appearance and life. He also offered to remove a red spot (cherry angiomas) off my head, which was thoughtful and appreciated. Plus it saved me the expense of getting it done later.
Most of the staff went home towards the end of the day and for about the last 2 hours or so Dr. Cooley looked at final results and meticulously added the final touches of grafts here and there to perfect his work. Kind of like an artist adding the final touches to a masterpiece.
Afterward, I had no swelling, minimal scabbing, a little tightness and little pain, which Tylenol took care off. When I awoke in the morning there were spots of blood on my pillow when my surgical cap and saran wrap came off as I slept. It kind of freaked me out. I couldn’t tell where the blood came from…seemed like from the stitches. Later that day for the follow up appointment, Dr. Cooley said everything looked good. He said he was “blown away” with how many grafts of 3 hairs I had. That is encouraging news to hear.
I knew the suture would be long but it is still kind of freaky when you feel the stiches with your hand for the first time. Instead of having a short wide suture, my suture goes from ear to ear…kind of intimidating and scary. The idea of a longer scar is that it will be thinner and less perceptible. Especially, compared to shorter and wider scars. Dr. Cooley uses the “Triphalic (sp?) closure” method that allows hairs to grow through the scar making it hard to discern. I believe Dr. Rose calls this a “Ledge Closer.” I went with regular stitches instead of dissolvable ones b/c they seem to provide a less visible scar and better healing. At any rate, I am confident that my scar will be as good as you can get. Often I wear my hair short (#2-#3) for the military reserve weekends every month and I don't expect any noticeable difference in appearance.
The Best Western hotel they arranged was really comfortable and I was surprised how nice it is…a free, modest breakfast buffet of sausage, biscuits, eggs, waffles, cereal, coffee, etc.; in room internet connections (bring your own Cat 5 cable), public computers online and wireless Internet available in the lobby. I ended up paying for an extra night to relax, catch up on reading, work, and do a little goal setting. It felt good to be away from home and in different surroundings. Turned out to be a nice break.
My regimen now is spraying the special “green stuff” that Dr. Cooley gave me. My head isn’t that itchy and I spray the green stuff several times a day. It is a good excuse to look at my hair in the mirror. Also, I put Neosporin on my sutures 2-3 times a day. It seems to lesson the “tightness feel” and from what I read, it is supposed to reduce visible scaring. Then of course I’m taking a “Vitalert” a great multiple vitamin (at WalMart) and also MSM. On day 3, I started 5% Minoxidil and will use it for a month to "fertilize" the graphs. My crown is so bare I doubt it would help it much. I can’t wait to get the stitches out and get back to exercising.
Going into this I was confident it would be a positive experience, yet I realize that expectations are often premeditated resentments. I knew I was in good hands but not sure how things would work out. I couldn’t have asked for a better, more pleasant experience and I am really glad I had the opportunity to do this. It makes me want to do it again and I probably will in a year or so. Even if I don’t have a second procedure, I am very happy with what I have.
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
I still can’t believe I finally did this…WOW! It feels like anticipating Christmas day and eagerly wondering awaiting gifts. Feels great to finally be on this side of the HT decision. It will be a fun adventure to watch develop.
Simpson and Delilah
When you get a chance, watch “Simpson and Delilah” on the second season DVD. Homer grows hair on his head…too funny and so true. With his “executive hair” he gets promoted, a big raise and all kind of perks.
I'm glad I did this and it all turned out great. It was a little scary when I first started thinking about actually doing it. It helped to ask a lot of questions and read as much as I could. This forum is a big help.