John - AKA - Senior65
Age: 78 | Bald Class: Email Me
Dr. Wong harvested 5,667 grafts from a donor strip measuring 30.5 x 2cm long, 92fu/cm2, 2 hairs-3471, and 3 to 4 hairs-699, and 1 hair-1497. Before my hair transplant, I tried minoxidal on my crown area for 6 month with no results.
Now, I take 1/4 Proscar as recommended by Dr. Wong. I also use Tiniazol shampoo with Ketoconazol. This seems to clean my scalp of oil and appears to facilitate hair growth, and is known to inhibit DHT.
My Hair Loss Story
Like most men, I first noticed a a slight loss to my hairline and then the crown area as I got older. My hairloss increased in my 40's then it slowed down and began in my 50's. Since I have curly hair, I didn't have the option to comb over the crown or the hairline. When I retired at 63, I noticed that my age was catching up to me. Most of my life I looked much younger than my age. But reality has a sense of catching up to you. My crown was shiny and reflecting light, while my hairline was disappearing rapidly. I only had a bridge of hair in the middle of my scalp and it was vanishing as the hairline and the crown were racing to me each other. Because of the old school hair plugs, I did not consider hair transplantation. I would rather be bald than look rediculous. But, the advancement to follicular unit hair transplantation and the trichophylic closure caused me to do a significant amount of research on the doctors that appeared to get the best results.
Of course, like everyone else, I wanted the best doctor that had a proven record of outstanding results. Given my advanced age of 65, I wanted a doctor that did the mega session because I did not want to repeat further hair transplants, since it take over a year to see each result. I looked at the all the blogs and the questions and answers from potential patients and past patients. I narrowed the selection to Dr. Wong, Dr. Hasson, Dr. Ron Shiparo, Dr. Cooley and Dr. Arvani. I narrowed the selection to Drs Hasson/Wong and Dr. Shiparo. I discounted Dr. Shaparo because there staff was not as response to my e-mail. Dr. Shapiro appeared to be more conservative in doing mega sessions. The staff at Hasson and Wong were very responsive and provided me with the time to answer all my basic, and possibly silly questions. They invited me to submit a virtual consultation. I sent them the photos they requested. They responded with Dr. Wong's recommendations. From the photos, he thought he could get from 3,500 to 4,000 grafts.
I delayed the decision for a year until I saw a photo of my head in the sun. I didn't realize how deep the see through effect of my hair had progressed. This brought me to a new reality, given my age of 65, that if I were to do a hair transplant the time has past to further any more contemplation. I finally decided to do it. During this year of waiting, I did not get any pressure or follow up call from Hasson and Wong to convincing me to do the procedure. The decision was mine alone.
I looked at the video on the scalp excercises and religiously did them for approximately a month before my scheduled procedure with Dr. Wong. I choose Dr. Wong because he was an innovator in the industry. He developed the lateral slit approach which attracted me. The secret to the mega session is that the insertion blade is cut to the exact size of the follicule minimizing unnecessary trauma assuring a greater growth rate success. Also, Dr. Wong utilized the trichophylic closure technique that virtually eliminates any scaring to the donor site.
Although I live in Sacramento, I decided to have the procedure in Vancouver, Canada. Hasson and Wong paid up to $400 for my airfare and two nights and a great hotel near the clinic. I arrived at 6am as instructed. After meeting Dr. Wong for the first time I was impressed with his easy going demeanor and caring attitude. After I filled out the medical and acknowledgment forms, he analyzed my scalp and to my surprise he told me that my scalp was very flexible and could harvest possible up to 4800 to 5,000 grafts, but would reduce the cost by 300 grafts. I didn't come prepared to spend more than the 4000 grafts, but I decided to harvest as much as possible to provide me with the greates density possible.
Let the transplant begin. He cut the top my hair very short and made the hairline with a marker. We both agreed to it. I didn't want a youthful hairline because that is one of the tell tale signs of a hair transplant on an older man like myself. So the he drew the hairline to approximately where I had my existing hairlilne. Now I wished that it could have been a little lower, but I will wait until my hair grows out before making any final judgement. Dr. Wong numbed the top of my head with a machine that pricks the skin and inserts numbing solution. I was amazed that I felt no pain at all.
In addition to Dr. Wong there were three support staff with binocular microscopes each disecting the donor strip into individual units. It took them from around 8am to 3pm to totalling disect the donor strip. I asked them what the final count was and to my surprise the staff said, "5,667" grafts. I was floored not expecting such a high yield. Given the high cost of hair transplant, I told Dr. Wong "Dr. you are killing me." I thought you said that I would only yield around 5,000. I was happily surprised when he told me that he would only charge me for the 5,000 he estimated. I was very happy. This saved me around $2,000. Given my large donor amount, he started inserting around 1,400 grafts in my crown area, and about the same in the frontal area with single hair follicles. He also partially repaired by temple areas. The procedure ended around 5pm.
I returned the following day for photos and a hair washing by staff. .
Overall, the hair transplant experience was professionally done and painless. Since my procedure, I have e-mailed Dr. Wong with updated photos and questions and he has been very responsive. The cost was high but my vanity is much more expensive. Most people now estaimate my age between 45 to 55 yesrs. The total cost was $5 per graft up to 2,000 then $3 thereafter. This is standard for the best doctors. I paid a total of $19,000. At first I thought it was too much money. I was saving to buy a Lexus, but finally realized that I am the Lexus. The car will depreciate and I will continue to be balding. The Lexus in short lived, while my hair is life long. After looking at it this way, the cost for the transplant appeared inexpensive.
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
So far so good, I am extremly happy with the results so far. No one can detect that I had a transplant unless I tell them. Most people like my short hair look. They say I look more modern. Dr. Wong is an innovator in this field. He is respected in the professional community. He consistently gets the best results and guarantees growth or he will refund the cost. The pre transpant fear and anxiety of whether the hair would grow was baseless in my case. If I decide to enhance it in the future, I would do it in a New York minute.
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
My life hasn't changed, but my attitude has significantly changed since I am not conscious of the wind revealing my bald and thinning areas when it blows.
My general advice and suggestions.
The hardest is the decision to actually do it. It's like being an alcoholic and seeking help when you get to a certain stage - that you are willing to admit it is time to change your appearance for the best.