Well, here we grow again.
I underwent my second procedure with Dr. Paul Shapiro (3rd overall) this Wednesday. I received 1,999 grafts = 3,624 hairs. The plan was to increase the density behind my hairline with about 500 grafts in the frontal tuft and 1000 grafts strengthening the corners of the frontal third and going back towards my bridge. Roughly 500 grafts were placed in the crown.
The hair count is:
1's - 654
2's - 1074
3's - 262
4's - 9
1999 grafts = 3624 hairs
I was very happy with my prior procedure with Dr. Paul as I got a very natural hairline and received a significant improvement in density. He also fixed up some of the shoddy work from my first procedure. The aim this time around was to address some bare/thin patches in the front corners and increase the density overall. The 500 grafts in the crown should give me more hair in which to better blend with concealers.
The physiology of my skin was a big factor in preparing and strategizing for the procedure. Dr. Paul noticed in the pre-op consultation that I had small patches of psoriasis-type irritations on my scalp. I also had irritated/inflamed spots in my scar even though it was almost two years old. Dr. Paul started me on an anti-biotic and prednisone regimen the day before the procedure to reduce the redness/irritations and preempt any bad reaction that I had experienced last time (I fought off a possible staff-infection).
Dr. Paul was not entirely pleased with how I scarred from my last procedure (it didn’t really bother me as my hair covered it just fine, no one noticed it). He believes I may be the type to scar a little wider than normal. So Dr. Paul approached the donor strip differently. Instead of doing a trichophytic closer and sutures like last time (which may or may not have contributed to some irritation around my scar) he opted for staples and a double layer closure. The strip was taken right above my previous scar to get more grafts. I will be going in again for a complimentary strip revision within the next year. Due to my fair, pale, easily irritated skin type, Dr. Paul highly suggested regular checkups with a dermatologist.
This is one of the many things I really appreciate about Dr. Paul. He is not just a skilled hair transplant surgeon but he also has great experience as a medical practitioner. This makes a big difference for people like me who may have some physiological issues that could negatively impact the yield if not properly recognized before hand. I know that the patients physiology is often thought of as an easy scapegoat for bad results on this forum. But if you are with a surgeon who understands the external factors you bring to the table, you are in a much better situation.
The surgery went smooth even though I was more nervous than I thought I would be. I mean, this surgery #3 for me after all – I’m a vet now for crying out loud. Janna doing a large portion of the planting was also very reassuring. SMG really does have a great crew and I’m looking forward to sharing my monthly progress again.