I just had the proceedure done in Dallas 2 days...
I just had the proceedure done in Dallas 2 days ago, and have decided to write an on going review to let people know how things progress.
First let me say that the staff and doctor were really great, and overall it was a good experience. I was very surprised about the amount of pain from having the anisthesia injected. I have never had anyone administer that much pain to me purposely, and since it wears off durring the proceedure it is done several times. As much as the proceedure cost there should be some thing they can do about that. Also, I wanted to fly to Dallas as it is a 3 hour drive from home but my intial councelor nearly insisted that I drive. He actually said it would be more benificial. WOW WAS THAT A MISTAKE!!! Since the medicine they give me for pain is a narcohtic I could not take it before the drive, and that was the most painful 3 hours of my life other than the time in the chair being injected with anithesia. Make travel arrangements despite what they may say.
Yesterday the day after was a long one to say the least. The woman I am dating is an RN so she came to take care of me, and I recommend you have some one do the same. You are not going to want to do much at all. I am following all of the post-op proceedures which is much eaiser with her help. This is especially true with the shampooing. I am on the second day now, and my face is horribly swollen. The donor line they cut from ear to ear on the back of my head is extremely visible as it is swollen, and still caked with dry blood. The front and top of my head looks like a voodoo priestist went nuts on me with a big needle but this was all expected. They gave me a hat to wear which I anticipate I am going to need for a week or so. It is very hard not to scratch or touch the graphted area which is very uncomfortable despite the medicine.
I met with a councelor just prior to the proceedure, and was a little put off by his trying to push a post surgery care kit and lazer comb on me for an extra $800 and some change. I had read in other places that most of it was not nessasry so I continued to turn down the offers which were many. Then the doctor inadvertantly confirmed that I did not need any of the stuff the councelor was pushing. The doctor did tell me to use Rogaine and prescribed Propecia. Rogaine is available over the counter for about $25 generic, and $50 name brand. It takes a long time (48 weeks on average) to work, and if you do have growth you have to continue using the product or the growth will fall out. That sounds a little shadey to me so I will research it more. The same can be said about propecia as it is meant to help maintain exsisting hair as well as aid in new growth. If it works (and everything involved in this process has a big IF in front of it) then you have to continue taking it for life. At $250 for a 3 month supply it seems a bit off putting.
So that is all for now. I just wanted anyone thinking about this to be more informed, and thus better prepared than I was. I will continue to update here every week until I think I can move up to a month.
As promised I am making another post one week...
As promised I am making another post one week after the procedure, and what a week it has been. They give you medication to help you sleep but it does not knock you out so when it wears off the pain wakes you up. You have to sleep with a plastic travel pillow of sorts so that you do not role on your sides, and it is very uncomfortable because it rubs the sutured area across the back. Cover your pillows because you bleed for the first 2 days, You are given about 3 days worth of pain medication but because I had to work I was able to stretch it out for 5 days. I suffered a little but hey, I just had surgery.
I really hate the constant tension headache, and let me tell you I do mean constant. It is dulled by the pain meds but once they wear off look out!!! Once I woke up, and it was so bad I vomited. There is still pain today which can be minimized with OTC like Alieve but what really gets to you is the discomfort. The need to scratch is maddening, and the sutures are the worst. They are more aggravated because of the tail ends which stick out and catch the ball-cap rim. And can you say high maintenance!!! You have a lot to keep up with to keep your graphs in the optimum condition. There is a spray you have to apply every hour for as long as the bottle last which looks like about another 3 weeks. For the first 3 days you have to drape these wet-nap like things on your head twice a day, and once a day apply a gel to the sutured area. Of coarse you have to apply the Rogaine twice daily as well. Showering and shampooing is different as you can not allow water to hit you head for 7 days, and in the first 4 you can only pour warm water with shampoo in it from a cup over your head. They do give you a conditioner to use but be warned, it does not dilute well in water, and it very hard to wash off once it is on your scalp. The top of my head still looks like an old dart board as you can clearly see the thousands of scabs so you have to either show people or hide it from them.
So overall I am 7 days out from a surgery, and not doing to bad at all. I can see that once the graphs take hold and start growing it is really going to fill in nicely. So I am very pleased despite the pain and discomfort. I should note that I did do a test call of sorts to the 1-800 support line Bosley's gives you, and asked about a rather important health issue that I knew would interfere with the graphs. It took 32 hours before I got a response which was not from the doctor nor from one of his clinical staff members but from his receptionist. So much for follow up questions to a person relaying a dictated message. One other note; I find it really funny that you have to take Propecia for the rest of your life, and one of the side effects is erectile dis-function. So you go through all of this to attract women that you cannot do anything with!!!! I get to take the stitches out in 6 more days so YEAH!!!! I will write again then, and then I think I may slow down to once a month.
Hey folks!!! Sorry I was unable to get back on as...
Hey folks!!! Sorry I was unable to get back on as promised but some times life is just that way.
Well, let's see. On day 14 I still had stitches in which bothered me to no end. I mean the need to scratch was maddening. The little crusties as they are called were still very visible, and so I was still wearing a hat. I was lucky I was able to stay in the field so I could wear a ball-cap. That is something you may want to consider about your job in that are you able to wear a hat full time or are your co-workers going to be able to see the mess that is your head. The crusties did start falling off on day 15, and were completely gone in 3 days.
Getting the stitches out was a real treat for those of you into S&M. I am dating an RN, and she attempted to remove them with the suture removal kit I was sent home with but it was so cheap, and the scissors so dull, she gave up on them, and returned the next day with a surgical quality pair. Still, it was very painful even though I had saved one of the strong pain pills just for the procedure.
I am now 24 days out, and my head still feels as if I have the worse sun burn up there one could ever imagine. I did loose some of the implants as well as the existing hair up there as they had told me I would but surprisingly a lot of it started to grow. I am told that the donor line is invisible for the most part but because there is no hair there it looks as if I have a really bad hair cut.
I can say I did have a very strange event happen that can only be related to the procedure. A few days ago a portion of the transplant area about the size of a quarter suddenly felt like some one was putting a large cigar out on it. It only lasted a few seconds but MAN DID IT HURT!!!! As for the constant head ache, I cannot tell you went it finally receeded because I had a sinus flare up with head aches on day 17 that lasted 4 days but when it was over the head aches were gone.
All in all the pains are many and great, and so I will never do this again even though I can again in a year to fill in the back area of my head. It really is not worth it in that respect. I will write back in a month to let you know how the growth is going.
OK I am at a month and a half now, and I think it...
OK I am at a month and a half now, and I think it is time for an update. Remember the "burn like a cigar" experience? Well, they continue but lessen in their intensity for about two weeks. Now I have little blisters that pop-up here and there. Notice I said blisters and not pimples though they look the same. The donor line has yet to completely heal, and still hurts in areas though the sun burn sensation is all but gone. The hair around the donor area has started to grow back (about 1/2 an inch now), and so I am thinking about getting a badly needed hair cut. That is where I still have hair. Again, if you are in a professional setting where grooming counts keep in mind the hat for over 2 weeks, and the look of your hair for what is now 6 weeks. I want to clear some thing up; After having gone through the pain of this procedure I will never, ever do that to myself again unless they refine the pain control methods of before, during, and after. I have yet to see any real improvement, and am told that I will not for a few months but if it is as good as I hope it will be then I think the whole thing was worth it. I am just letting every one know what is in store for them should they be considering it. I would have preferred better (stronger) drugs and sleep aids for after, and now that you know about how much pain is involved you can demand better, for longer (I would say a minimum of 2 weeks worth), and plan to have some one drive for you during that time. You will also have time to plan for the hats you will definitely want to wear, and inform your superiors that you may need to violate the dress code for a couple of weeks. The whole purpose of my little blog here is not to discourage you from the procedure but to better prepare you for it. I only wish some one had done the same for me.
I started this blog to prepare those thinking...
I started this blog to prepare those thinking about having this done would be better informed, and thus better prepared than I was as no one told me about what to expect, and I really wish some one had. A good example is the little blisters I told you about. They have increased, are a bit painful, easily break open, and bleed a lot. When there were only 2 or 3 I just figured it was a reaction to the Rogaine but then they began to spread, and my head is looking like I am a teenager with bad skin who continuously hits his head on sharp objects. So I decided to call Bosley's to find out what was up. Turns out it is the same as an ingrown hair if I understood the councelor correctly, and is completely normal.
I want to clear up the erectile disfunction joke I made early on. It was a joke, and nothing more. One of the possible side effects of Propecia is ED. It is a side effect I have thankfully not suffered from. Another joke you can use after you have the trnasplant done is, "I had half my brain removed so now I am only twice as smart as every one else."
Anyway, I just wanted to update you on the blisters thing. And by the way, you can see the donor scar line now that I have had a hair cut. I am going to have to make sure that from now on I do not get my hair cut as short as I normally do. The only way that is going to look good though is if the transplant fill in the bare areas. I will keep you posted.