David - AKA - HookhairsAge: 46 | Bald Class: Email Me Dr Alan Feller 25th January 2010 - 1299 grafts (FUE).
Ive recently started using rogaine foam on the crown to help keep my hair there. Ive started using propecia at half regular dose because at 1mg dose it gave me gynaecomastia in 2002 requiring surgery to remove.
My Hair Loss StoryI was receding at the temples in my early 20s but it has fortunately been very slow. I didn't take having a hair transplant seriously though until I had got to the point in the last couple of years where I had a 'mohawk' at the front, making it more difficult to style my hair as I liked to wear it and I had to cut it ever shorter to look tidy.
Having a transplant was one of the biggest personal decisions of my life as it must be for many. The decision of whether to just 'keep it short and live with it' or take the action/risk to get a decent hairline back is one of the hardest. I had to ask myself the classic questions: What if it doesn't work for me? If it does work, will I recede further and be left with crazy hair horns unless I keep having procedures to keep up with the loss? After considering Spexs story, I figured I could keep future loss at bay with meds. My girlfriend of 7 years thought I was nuts for even considering surgery.
I took the bold step and had my procedure of 1299 grafts on 25th January 2010 with Dr Feller. I put my faith in his reputation and previous results. The procedure went well, with 100% or near as dammit successful extraction as I was told by the Doc and tecs.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the result of this op was very poor. Growth started at four months but ended up patchy, with an overall yield on one side of around 35% and around 45-50% on the other. Dr Feller reckoned the yeild was slightly higher but it didnt look like it to me.
In fairness to Dr Feller, after reviewing my 12 month photos, he offered me a free surgery, strip or FUE, to try and rectify the situation and make me a happy patient. Despite a number of people recommending I go elsewhere, I took up the offer of FUE and within a few weeks I was back in NYC. I was much more relaxed this time about the whole procedure. Dr Feller and I had a good chat through the risks and downsides of FUE but I was adamant that this was the way to go. The doc talked me through how he was going to change strategy on this procedure since it did not work out for me previously. The follicular units would not broken down so much and would not be as trimmed.
This time also, I completely played by the rules, I took it real easy, drank loads of water and ate well. Whatever the doc did, I can say that this time around was a whole difference. I got no flakes or scabs until a week post op. Redness was gone after two weeks, and two months on and much of the transplanted hair did not fall out at all meaning survival rate is much higher. Im looking forward to the next few months.
How has my hair loss affected me?
Ive lived with it fine for years, ive never struggled with girls but it does affect confidence to some degree. Not being able to style your hair properly without it looking untidy is the worst part.
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
Rogaine foam is good. Propecia also seems to work but has its downsides.
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
Rogaine foam, propecia (but be wary of side effects of propecia which can affect some more than others)
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
It hasnt yet, fingers crossed after op #2.
My general advice and suggestions.
Do you really have to have surgery? There are some great results out there, particularly if you are a strip candidate, but otherwise, think very hard... FUE is high risk as many of the grafts are damaged when being extracted but they still get planted and dont grow. Remember, for every great proud result you see on the forums, there are going to many more unsatisfactory results where people havent posted their pictures as people are more inclined to post good results than bad ones. Remember this before you commit to a decision. The most important thing is to choose a doc with a reputation for standing by his patients, Dr Feller has in my case.