M&MBald Class: Email Me Bosley Medical Group - most recently around 2000 - horrible work!
Dr. Ron Shapiro: May 2006: 1662 in the hairlineDr. Ron Shapiro: October 2009: 1105 in the hairline and temples
My Hair Loss StoryIt was about 12 years ago when I had my first hair transplant at Bosley Medical in Seattle - 50 grafts placed behind my existing hairline. The goal was to 'stay ahead of my hair loss' (as they marketed in their brochures) with small procedures spaced out over time. After four of these small sessions (100, 300, 400) and the thinning of my own hair, all that was left was the Bosley Mini & Micro Grafts. Well, as you can see, the result left me styling my hair in a manner that would cover the thin and unnatural hairline.
My goal? To thicken my hairline and to allow me to style my hair in any manner I desire.
In early January of this year, I decided to look into Hair Transplants and did a search on Google. The first site that came up was the Hair Transplant Network and I’m *so* thankful!
In March, I selected Shapiro Medical Group based upon their hairline expertise and the photos I saw on this site and booked my appointment for early May. Matt Zupan at SMG was extremely helpful in our consultation and actually took nearly 1 hour on the phone with me explaining the procedure, the recommendation for me based upon the photos I submitted and answering all of my questions.
And – 10 days ago, I had that procedure and I couldn’t be happier thus far! It started with a long, long drive to Minnesota. On 8:30 am the day of surgery, I met with Matt in person, filled out the forms and within minutes, Dr. Ron Shapiro came in to meet with me. He reviewed my recession, took photos, and discussed and answered all of my questions. I truly appreciated the time they took with me prior to surgery (and during and after) to ensure my goals were realistic and achievable, to explain the procedure in detail and to answer any and all questions I might have had. It made me feel very comfortable and - dare I say it - relaxed.
The target was about 1500 Follicular Units to thicken and create a much more natural hairline. The other goal was to minimize my existing donor area scars. (Thanks Bosley!)
After freezing the donor area, Dr. Shapiro did the donor area strip removal and he followed the entire line of the prior scar so that he could remove the scar while using the Tricho-closure technique so that I would see a tremendous improvement in my donor area. I was so impressed with the careful attention to detail. In comparison, it took Bosley all of 5 minutes to get the donor hair ... and about another 15 minutes to punch the recipient sites.
Anyway - back to Dr. Shapiro.
Next up was the recipient site for the hairline. After trimming the hair a bit in front, the recipient sites were placed carefully and strategically. This took quite a long time - much longer than I expected. Dr. Shapiro even showed me on the monitor the level of magnification used and how he carefully finds locations to place a graft where one might normally not see the location. The recipient sites are so miniature!
Once most of the recipient sites were done, the rest of the team worked diligently on creating follicular units – mostly single hairs for the hairline. Eventually, all was complete and my number was 1662 – all in the hairline.
While watching all of about 30 minutes of Seinfeld on DVD, I fell asleep, ate lunch … or was it the other way around?
The entire staff was so friendly and skilled and even though I spent a great deal of time sleeping during the procedure, the attention to detail in both the donor and recipient areas did not go unnoticed. In comparison to my prior procedures with Bosley, the time Dr. Shapiro took in both the donor area (to extract and to close it while helping to remove much of my prior scars) plus the time and care taken to place each recipient site and each follicular unit was truly remarkable.
It was also so appreciated how Dr. Shapiro personally placed every hairline graft and showed me and talked to me about where the grafts were going during the procedure, to again ensure that my goals were achieved. He is a true caring professional.
Similarly, my post-op care was of the highest calibre. At around 7:30 at night, photographs were taken to document my progress, questions were asked, post-op care was provided (verbally and written) and I was able to come back the next 3 days for a shampoo as I stayed in the area for the next 3 nights.
Included are photos from Day 4 post-surgery which I took mid-day Saturday after my shampoo. The results are truly outstanding, in my opinion. The grafts are so clean and the redness is almost completely gone already.
On Day 6 I was back to work and was able to style my hair in such a manner that you could not see anything. And the best part – tomorrow I get the staples out!
Thus far, I’m very impressed with the results (and excited and anxious!). I think this also speaks volumes about the very quick recovery time that is possible when one goes to one of the best in the business!
I’ll continue to post the results as each month progresses.
Thanks to everyone on this site for helping so much!!
UPDATE - 2009
'm back from Minnesota and proudly sporting 1105 new grafts in my hairline, so I couldn't hold back any more and wanted to share my story and some photos to give back to this community that has helped me so much over the past few years.
1’s – 541
2’s – 492
3’s – 72
1105 total grafts = 1741 total hairs
First, a little background: it's been about 3.5 years since my last procedure at SMG which did a great job of hiding my old Bosley mini and micro grafts in the hairline, which was the primary goal of that procedure. I've also continued to respond well to Propecia and Rogaine, so my crown and mid-scalp is holding up quite nicely, which gave me the confidence to add some more density to my hairline and to revise one side of my scar. I know everyone heals differently and clearly, my right side did not heal as well as it should have. Now, this is just human nature, but I must take my hat off (literally) to Dr. Ron Shapiro and Janna who not only emailed me, but actually provided me their personal numbers so that we could discuss my situation in detail. In fact, we spoke at length on more than one occasion. Similarly, Matt and Jason (BSpot) were also very supportive and helpful, speaking via email and phone. Let me put it this way - they are a class act organization and we discussed several options from FUE into the scar, to a scar revision to a scar revision + grafts.
I continued to watch the results come in on this site and again and again, I was impressed by Dr. Shapiro which reaffirmed why I went there in the first place. So, I decided to schedule another procedure for a scar revision and about 1,000 grafts to the hairline.
Before I get to the surgery, let me mention that I did a few things differently this time, which I'm hoping might help others as well. For my last procedure, I don't think I had my haircut for about 1-month prior to the surgery, meaning that it did a great job of covering everything up and allowed me to return to work within a week of the procedure, but I was dying for a haircut only days after surgery. I mean, it just looked messy and unmanageable. So this time, I went in for a very light trim 1 week prior to surgery with emphasis on cleaning things up, such as trimming the bangs and around the ears while leaving sufficient density and length in the donor areas. I'm sure my hairdresser was thinking to himself "what a bizarre styling request this is"!!
Then, on I traveled to Minnesota, stayed at the Country Inns in Bloomington, which I highly recommend, as they were very courteous, have a free breakfast (cereal, toast, juice, coffee, waffles, etc.), and I opted for a King Size Bed with flat-screen TV.
Back to the procedure: On the day of the surgery, I arrived shortly after 7:30, where some pre-op photos were taken. I'll be honest, even though this is not my first HT and not even my first HT with SMG, my heart was still beating at twice its normal pace and I was quite nervous still. But, as soon as Dr. Ron walked in, greeted me and shook my hand, nearly all of my fears went away. I immediately knew I was in good hands. You just know that he is looking out for your best interests.
We discussed my goals and my expectations and he started the hairline and temple work planning. My donor was still rather tight, so although I have sufficient donor for further procedures as required, I would definitely need to do some extended scalp stretching exercises in advance.
Given that I had 1662 to the hairline already, the rough figure we targeted for this procedure was about 1,000.
The new procedure for injections is great - a couple of shots to the forehead (yes, they sting a bit). At this point, Janna walked in and greeted me and it was like suddenly being greeted by a best friend you hadn't seen in ages. Whatever 'fear' or nervousness that still remained, completely vanished at that point!
Back to the surgery... for the donor removal, you lie face down, with one tech providing a wonderful back massage to keep your mind at ease, while some further injections are done at the donor site. The strip was taken out in two sections - about 0.8 cm on one side and 1.2 on the other. Again, added care was taken on my one side that seems to be extra sensitive to stretching.
By the time they turned me around to start the hairline, I think I was already asleep - valium obviously hits me really hard! The next thing I knew it was noon. It was honestly shocking how I remained passed out for the entire morning session. No more valium for me, so, I stayed awake (groggy, but awake) during the afternoon session. Again, what impressed me was that Dr. Ron only made incisions of about 50-100 at a time so that he could continually refine the hairline as he progressed. It is true artistry at work.
By around 4 or 4:30, surgery was completed, some post-op photos were taken and I was back at my hotel where I ordered some room service. There was no pain whatsoever - just a bit of tightness in the donor region.
The next day, I got up, had some breakfast and returned to SMG ... without a hat!! Yes, I was able to style my hair so that it covered up the donor and recipient areas one day after surgery! Now mind you, I'm not sure it would pass a visual inspection by friends and family, but I felt comfortable enough eating breakfast and going to the office without a hat.
Once again, I was back in caring hands of Dr. Ron and Janna - Dr. Ron took some more photos, inspected everything and Janna gave my hair a wash. I remained in town for one more day so that Janna could once again wash my hair and ensure that everything was looking great.
The next challenge was getting ready for work, which was only 6 days post-op again. But, given the length of my hair and the quality of work performed, it went off without any issues whatsoever.
I'll continue to post updates as time progresses, but don't look for too much over the next 3-4 months as not much happens in the first few months anyway and I'm quite confident that I will retain the title of a 'late bloomer'.
Once again, thank you to the entire SMG Team - you are a class act organization!
How has my hair loss affected me?
At an early age, losing my hair affected me a great deal. It became a sign of 'old age' and I feared visiting friends who I hadn't seen for a while. It also caused me excessive time in the mornings 'styling' my hair to cover the hair loss and make it look more 'full'.
What hair loss treatments have worked best for me?
Well, I've tried everything:
- Fancy shampoos etc: no - they don't work. However, I should say that I now use Nizoral to ensure that the scalp is clean and not flaky. This shampoo definitely does work (not in growing hair, but in a healthy scalp).
- Propecia & Rogaine (2%) - started both around the same time and they definitely helped in my thinning crown
- Following my hair transplant with Dr. Ron Shapiro, I started using 5% Rogaine Foam
- Hair Transplants - definitely work! But... make sure you go to the best and not those who do huge infomercials on TV
Am I happy with my hair transplant experience and the results?
I'm extremely happy with my most recent transplant with Dr. Ron Shapiro of the Shapiro Medical Group (SMG). However, I am not happy with the procedures I had prior to this with Bosley Medical Group. They are still using outdated techniques and it shows. The result? You will need additional 'repair' work. My experience at Shapiro Medical was superb. They are true caring professionals who take the time to understand your hair loss pattern and answer any and all questions.
What hair loss treatments would I recommend?
Get on Propecia and Rogaine to halt future hair loss and to potentially grow back some hair as well (especially recommend this for younger patients).
I also recommend hair transplants, but only from those who demonstrate the latest techniques, including trichophytic donor area closure and ultra refined follicular unit transplantation, such as what I received with Dr. Ron Shapiro of the Shapiro Medical Group.
How has hair restoration surgery changed my life?
Honestly? It's an ongoing process.
My general advice and suggestions.
If you are losing your hair, take the time to review all of the photos and recommendations as posted on the Hair Transplant Network website. It's an unbiased forum that those who are losing their hair can visit in order to get most questions answered.
Then, take the time to consult in person or on the phone (if you live a long distance from their offices) with a few of the top surgeons. Do NOT let location determine where you get your work done. Do NOT get lured by those with big advertising budgets. Do NOT succumb to studio lighting post-operative photos. Instead, seek out real answers from reputable doctors. In my opinion, there are only a handful of top doctors in the *world*, so it's important to do your research so that you don't regret your decision later. Hair Transplants are NOT reversible, so if you decide who you go to based upon a limited budget, an aggressive marketing campaign or proximity to your home, you could end up spending countless more dollars trying to repair the poor work.