Postdoc

Victor Hasson MD

coalition member Elite Coalition Member
Hair transplant patient

Postdoc

Postdoc

About

I'd been aware of losing hair since I was about 25. A few years passed, and I ended up at one of the more infamous hair replacement outfits around, Svenson, based in - ironically - Wigmore Street in London. Having parted with a £1000 for two 'state of the art' units, which were horrifically thick wefts of hair attached to my own hair by braiding, I was then pretty much doomed to wearing systems for the rest of my life unless something (or someone) came along which either made me ditch them or offered a realistic alternative. Back in those days, hair transplantation was in its infancy, and anything that was done was pluggy and expensive. Svenson went, Senator Crown came and went, and then I found a nice, reliable lady called Heather who tended to my hair through my years post med school and until the present. The biggest revolution during those years was sourcing hairpieces through the internet. The internet also made it easier to discover what was happening with hair transplantation outside the UK, which took me to the major decision to book an appointment with Hasson & Wong for surgery the week after I retire, in May 2012. In preparation for this, I also started taking dutasteride (Avodart) in Feb 2010. The timing seems absolutely right, as my hair loss has stabilised (a Norwood 5A for many years), I've got a good donor area and transplantation techniques are probably as good as they're going to get. I can't say that I'm facing this without some apprehension but at least I won't have to go into work with a baseball cap!


My Surgical Treatments to Date

3rd May 2012: Dr Victor Hasson
One session, 4416 grafts: 959 singles, 3207 doubles, 250 multis.

My Non Surgical Treatments

Various hair systems over 25+ yrs.
Dutasteride 0.5 mg od since Feb 2010.
Nizoral shampoo and minoxidil 5% foam post HT.

Bald Class

Bald class 5A

Norwood stage 5A

In stage 5A, the hairline continues to progress toward the back of the head.

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My Latest journal entries

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

HT#2 Day 1 Surgery at H&W I met up with Dr Hasson, Joe and David when they visited London in March 2013. Although I was very pleased with the outcome of HT#1 carried out in May 2012 (4400 grafts over quite a large area), I thought I'd probably go for a 2nd procedure to add density at the front and on the crown. Dr Hasson suggested an extra 1500 grafts at the front and 500 to the crown. My partner and I had already booked a vacation in British Columbia for July 2013, so surgery was scheduled for the penultimate day of our vacation on July 26. A week into our vacation, I received an e-mail from Christina asking me turn up an hour earlier at 6:30 a.m. Unlike last May, when it had been wet and miserable, the weather this time had been sunshine and high temperatures throughout British Columbia. Although I'd been dilligently carrying out scalp laxity exercises, Dr Hasson's initial estimation of laxity was that the donor area was still quite tight, but he thought he'd be able to harvest 2000 grafts with a 30 cm strip. In fact, the exercises probably had achieved something, as he was actually able to harvest 2940 grafts (776 singles, 1913 doubles and 251 multis). It was certainly less stressful having had a previous HT, although the local anaesthetic injections were still as unpleasant. From an operative point of view, there was also much less bleeding during the strip excision and less bruising at the recipient sites. A couple of weeks in BC's sunshine had probably done a lot of good. I'd also used an antibiotic lotion pre-op and haven't had a problem with folliculitis. It'll be interesting to see what happens to the previous grafts. I didn't have much shock loss last time, so my fingers are crossed. I'll start using minoxidil a week post-op and have arranged a haircut for five weeks post-op.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Month 5 Just back from vacation in Italy. Still making progress but I suspect a 2nd procedure is on the cards - 'hair greed' is hard to avoid!

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Month 4 haircut! Had a nice, short haircut yesterday on my 60th birthday.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Month 4 Pretty good progress, really. Front is thickening up and crown is filling in. Definitely feeling less self-conscious with bandana off. Next step is a haircut on my 60th birthday on 7th Sept! Thanks for comment, Cop! Donor scar pic attached. Most of the numbness has gone now and donor site feels as it was pre-op.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Month 3 OK, definite progress being made, which is more than I expected after just three months. The difference between month 2 and now is quite dramatic. Next stop is a haircut but I'll probably wait for a month or so in the hope that the front thickens up a bit.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Month 2 So, just back from a vacation in the south of France. Shedding seems to have stabilised and I reckon that about 10% of the frontal hair have stayed put and some new ones are sprouting. But it's early days and they may still shed. I'm pressing on with minoxidil regardless. Still wearing bandana when out and about.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Day 14 Staples removed by my very patient partner - all 120 of them! A bit painful at times but a relief to be free of the metalwork. One area that bled a bit but otherwise very clean + scar nice and thin.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Day 2 4 Day 2 Went to sleep on sofa with pillows + duvet in order to minimise swelling and protect grafts. Switched to bed, didn't sleep well and then fire alarm went off at 02:30 - remembered cap and room key to get back in. This morning, swelling has gone down and grafts look intact. No pain from staples. Breakfast in room. Vancouver very grey and wet outside. Walked to H&W for 12:00 wash and had a quick check over from Dr Hasson. Dose of ciprofloxacin increased to 750 mg bd as signs of folliculitis. Another wash arranged for tomorrow. Sun has come out finally - enjoyable looking around the myriad shops, galleries, etc. on Granville Island. Day 3 Slept well last night. The blow-up travel pillow that H&W gives you is really helpful. Slight swelling above the eyes and grafts look fine. Vancouver still v grey and drizzly. Another trip  to H&W for a hair wash. More pimples (folliculitis) which were drained (fine needle + swab). Back for same tomorrow before check-out. Day 4 Finally going home. Bit of periorbital swelling. Final hair wash and folliculitis dealt with. Switched to nice black H&W bandana for comfort on flight and to avoid inspection going through security (that was the intention anyway...). Decided to head for airport on checking out from hotel at 11:00 despite flight not being until 18:30. Generally feeling homesick. At security did have to take off bandana but in privacy of private room (totally unnecessary - urgent need for PR by H&W). Headed for Air Canada lounge to chill until flight. Overall thoughts of H&W experience: Very polished, friendly and professional.                       Worth having a consult well before booking your day - in my case, this would have established that scalp laxity wasn't optimal.                                                                                    Dr Hasson goes the extra mile to get as many grafts as possible.                                                                                                      Useful to have a few days post-op in Vancouver for hair washing and dealing with minor problems.                         Whole procedure isn't without stress, particularly at the airport. Bottom line: One of the best for FUT, but travel is a hassle. If further work is needed, I'd probably choose FUE and stay in Europe.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Day 12 Swelling well gone and redness going. Started using Nizoral shampoo every other day + 5% minoxidil foam bd from day 6 in the hope that shedding would be reduced. Thus far, few hairs shed and buzz cut growing. Staples uncomfortable at times. Minor folliculitis - using chlorhexidine lotion.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Off to Vancouver Got up at 05:45. 06:30, discovered that Air Canada flight is delayed with take off at 14:30, i.e., same time I'm due for consult with Dr Hasson. Groan. E-mail to Christina@H&W but they won't receive it for hours yet as it's midnight in Canada. Call on mobile from Air Canada on the way to Heathrow informing me of delay - thanks for the advance warning, guys. Fast track through security and took off cap to show not carrying any sharp objects on my head - minimally stressed. Lounge busy but ok to pass a few hours. 13:30, finally took off, sitting in 1A with cap on and feeling good. FAs, food and drink excellent. Poor movies, though - glad I've got my iPad. Finally arrived at Vancouver at 15:00 - 3 hours late. Then 1 hour in an endless, snaking queue for border control. Interrogated - in a gentle enough way - about why staying for just 4 days, why H&W, how I was paying AND had to take off cap to prove the point. That bit was unexpected and a tad humiliating. Still, the border guard smiled and wished me well. Taxi to H&W was 30 CAD, met Daria on reception who said they'd replied to my e-mail but of course I was mid-flight then. So the consult with Dr Hasson will have to wait until tomorrow. Walked from H&W to Granville Island Hotel - a pleasant 20 minute walk. Good first impressions of hotel with friendly staff and a great room with a great view. Plus free wifi. Early to bed as actually 04:00 back home.

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Postdoc
Bald class: 5A
Procedure 1

Day 1 Surgery at H&W Fruit juice and granola bar out of mini bar for breakfast. Walk to H&W for 07:30 start. Pre-op consult with Dr Hasson: good donor density but laxity quite tight despite two months of laxity exercises (not convinced they make much of a difference). Agreed on hair line which is approx 1 cm higher than with hairpiece. Surgery started at 08:00. Definitely the worst part was the excision of the strip, which followed a pattern of local anaesthetic, strip removal and then staples. Because of the laxity issue Dr Hasson went low and high. The end result was 9 strip sections yielding 4416 grafts and requiring 100 staples!  A bit less than I hoped for but about average for their mega sessions. Dr Hasson uses a nerve block to anaesthetise the scalp and makes all the incisions and gets you to click a counter for every 100. Assistants then dissected and implanted the frontal and mid-scalp grafts. Sandwich lunch at 12:00 with lots of juice and bathroom breaks throughout the day. More grafts implanted including to fill in traction alopecia areas from clips. Over 500 films to watch on TV. Fantastic view of Vancouver from windows but raining all day. Everyone friendly, professional and efficient. Post-op instructions carefully explained and a goody bag given containing oversized H&W cap, pillow protector, neck pillow, mild shampoo, medication + staple remover. Finally left at 18:00 and walked back to Granville Island Hotel. Had nice pizza Margharita via room service as couldn't face restaurant. Forehead already getting a bit swollen.