Hope for new hair - Columbus, OH

I had become numb to dealing with hairloss for...

I had become numb to dealing with hairloss for about 10 years, I have had alopecia since I was about 17 years old.... I can think of several things that have triggered it to not getting enough nutrients to bad styling choices. I started losing my hair at 17 after reinstalling micro-braids for about a year. After I had my daughter around 20, I had a severe iron deficiency which I think made my hairloss even worse. At 24 I was diagnosed with Cicatricial alopecia (scarring alopecia) and lost most of my hair by about 26. I had looked into permanent solutions for a couple of years after I was diagnosed years but to no avail. I decided to give hope another try and discovered that African americans too can have hair transplant surgery.Once researching surgeries, I immediately came across Dr. Frank's office. I knew when I saw he was in Ohio and he specializes in hair transplants for black women that this would be my go-to guy if I was eligible for this type of surgery. After about 4 consultations, I decided to bite the bullet and try this. I have tried wearing weaves, hair fillers, steroid shots, creams, viviscal, biotin and a slew of other vitamins (which I still take daily) and closures to cover up my hairloss. but I noticed the extensions were becoming less and less effective. I am hopeful that this surgery will help me with having some fuller hair although I have been told that I will never have the fullness I had prior to having alopecia. I just need more styling options and I'm praying that this will work out for the best.Dr. Frank assured me that there is hope for me to gain some of my hair back and I have quite a bit of confidence that he can do the job, my main concern is returning to work after the surgery, as I have been wearing wigs for about 4 months now, he even consulted with my hair stylist as she thought the best option for me is a custom made wig post surgery. I have been searching high and low for breathable wig caps and I hope that I experience the best results from surgery. I will definitely be documenting my journey here, and would love to continue to hear from many more of you that have encouraged me to share my story.cheers,

Surgery is finally over!

I went to see Dr. Frank for my surgery just this past weekend. It was quite a stretch as I drove 5 hours from home to Columbus, Ohio. The technician from dr. Frank's office called me to confirm everything the evening before. I arrived promptly at 7:30 and my surgery started around 8. The team was very hospitable and they even made sure my 10 year old daughter was ok (not a big deal since she slept during most of my surgery). The outpatient office was modern and completely comfortable. I get kinda grossed out by older medical offices. I filled out my paper work which took about 15 minutes then we got started on getting me ready for surgery.

As far as the surgery, I was given a muscle relaxer. I think I reiterated quite a bit how nervous I was because about midway through the surgery, Dr. frank mentioned I was quite frantic. I was pretty calm after the muscle relaxer kicked in. Dr. Frank then went over where my grafts would be placed and an idea of the look I should expect. Dr. Frank was very confident that the surgery was going to work for me. After a few photo snaps, Dr. Frank and his technicians started numbing my scalp and working on shaving the donor area. It was amazing the type of chemistry his team had, I wish I could even work for them, they got along so well! I wasn't really in any pain, and the technicians checked on me every 20 minutes or so to make sure I wasn't ( at least when I was awake, I dozed off quite a bit as I had not had any sleep in 3 days). I can only recall 1 time when they had to up the anesthesia because I could literally feel the poking and the needles in my scalp, but they took care of it.

After the surgery was over, one of the technicians reviews the pre op steps which i figured I would have to get used to (saline water, shampooing, etc). I had a silk scarf that I had been using prior to surgery. Dr. Frank saw my custom unit and said it was fine as long as I used it only during work hours. The cap is breathable and the wig is made to where it does not have to fit over my entire head ( allowing the grafts to breathe). There also wasn't any combs or tapes in the wig. The pre-op instructions advised not to drive myself home but I didnt have a choice as I stayed in a Delaware hotel and couldn't get an uber or cab in time enough to make it to Columbus for the surgery. I felt fine enough to drive back to the hotel and that's what I did, of course I went straight to bed after the surgery- Dr. Frank's team was fine with that but I don't think that this is ideal for most patients after their surgery.

As for post op, I am getting used to it, my eyes swollen after about 2 days of the surgery, my head was still numb and quite sore. Per the dr. advice, it is 2nd day after the surgery and I washed my hair with some gentle baby shampoo that doesn't have any sulfates in them, and I have been using the saline spray every few hours. Of course I have been taking anti biotics and I have kinda of weaned myself off of the pain killers (just don't think I need them). However, My head is itching all over like crazy!!!! I am not sure what is up with that but I am really trying my hardest not to scratch or bump my head. I hope the stitches heal and this hair gets to growing over the next 6 months or so......

Pics below are 2 days post op- my 10 year old took them so they are not the best, but I think they are better than what I could have done on my own.

5 Days post (Posted Late)

I went back to work today. I was told the sutures would hurt more than the recipient area and it did. I am continuing to was daily at night wit baby Shampoo. Below is a picture of my wig which was barely touching the grafts on my edges and I sewn a piece of satin inside the wig, in the area that is covering the top/ crown of my head. Most of my grafts were placed in the front and edges of my head, and the wig is not touching this area. As soon as I get off of work, I take the wig off ( And I can stick my fingers straight through this wig cap, no clips or glue, just a elastic band on the back that is optional to use).. This stuff itches like crazy!!! I really wish someone had of warned me about the itching! After 8 hours I could tell it is putting pressure on the sutures and I can't wait to remove it! Eyes are also super- swollen.
Dr. Frank

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