Black Female Suffering Traction Alopecia-FUT Surgery 4157 Grafts - Los Gatos, CA

Hello, For many years, I have suffered from...

Hello,

For many years, I have suffered from receding hairline since the age of 17 (now aged 26) due to relaxers, braiding and weaves. Throughout the years, I covered up my receding hairline by installing more weaves until I began educating myself on how to care for my natural hair (thank God for YouTube)!.

I stopped braiding my hair 2 years and replaced this with wigs whilst taking care of my natural hair. I saw significant growth and thickness however my edges were not growing. I tried various creams, oils and medication including Minoxidil (Rogaine). I even went as far as having Mesotherapy for hair loss however there was lack of growth just money wasted. My hair follicles were dead due to years of pulling my edges.! My hair significantly had an impact on my self-esteem. I was tired of wearing wigs and having to pretend to others I was wearing a protective style when truly it was embarrassing to have my natural hair out.

I became interested in hair transplant surgery after coming across a YouTube channel this year. I researched different hair surgery procedures and looked at before/ after pictures on various websites and forums including this one. I attended various hair consultations in London (UK) including The Private clinic and Transforming Lives clinic. During the consultations, I didn't feel at ease as there was lack of information regarding hair transplant on black women. Following my visits, I felt I needed to research further and consider the possibility of having the surgery abroad.
I came across the MHTA Clinic based in Los Gatos CA- Again through a YouTube channel. Following plenty of further research and a skype consultation with DR Diep who specializes on Afro Hair, I went ahead and booked my surgery on the 17th November 2014.

I flew out two days before my surgery and stayed at San Jose just a few minutes from the surgery. I was provided with all the information and instructions prior to the day of the surgery. The clinic had arranged for my hotel stay by deducting $500 from the cost of the surgery.

DAY OF SURGERY:

I arrived at the clinic at 6.00am, Dr Diep examined my hairline as it was his first time seeing it live as my previous consultation was via Skype. He initially informed me I needed 3,000 grafts during my skype consultation. However during the day of the surgery, he stated my receding hairline was advanced and would need more likely 3,500 grafts which he said he would do for free. He drew a line on my hairline as a guide. I took a few pills prior the surgery and he also recorded a short clip of my hair line. Throughout my consultation Dr Diep was very kind and informative.

During the surgery Dr Diep, injected my head to numb the area-This was the worst part and in my opinion, painful experience. However it only lasted a few minutes until my head was numb, after this, I felt nothing. Dr Diep cut the donor area and instructed the technicians on where to place the grafts. He was in an out of the room as I think he was also operating on another client. I didn't expect this as I thought her would be there throughout. I was provided with lunch which was really delicious, also movies to watch however I was drowsy most of the time to watch a movie. The technicians were so kind and always made sure I was comfortable.

The surgery finished I think around 7.30pm. Prior to leaving, the technicians explained the medications I was required to take and post op care. If I am honest I felt quite disappointed that Dr Diep himself did not come and speak to me following the surgery, he came right before the technicians had finished implanting grafts but I did not see him after the surgery was completed, when they were putting the bandage or when I was leaving the clinic. I think this was a crucial part to check everything was ok. The technician explained they implanted more grafts coming to total of 4,157 therefore was required to pay an additional $2,202.

Following the surgery I took a taxi back to my hotel and slept, luckily I had my travel pillow which considerably helped for comfort. The pain was bearable and I made sure I took painkillers before sleeping.

Day 2 (day after Surgery):
I was feeling much better and managed to get a few hours of sleep the previous night on and off. I returned to the clinic to have my hair washed and pay of the balance. Again I did not see Dr Diep for a post op consultation however he passed me by asking whether I had left my keys???! I found this rude as he didn't even bother asking how I was feeling the next day. Maybe he was busy with another surgery but I felt there was no courtesy to even ask about my well-being.

I waited for my hair to be washed, I thought a technician was going to wash my hair and check my donor scar however, the receptionist who had been organizing my surgery from the beginning, carried out this task. I am not sure of her background or whether she is a qualified technician however I found this astonishing they would allow this. She reported my donor area was healing fine and gave me an antiseptic cream that I had not been provided with the day of my surgery. I paid my balance and I left the clinic not being examined by Dr Diep or a technician.

I flew back to London that evening. It was a direct flight (10 hours) so I slept throughout my flight and made sure I did not hit my donor area or my new hairline. When I landed I noticed my face had swollen, luckily I had my sunglasses which I just wore. In hindsight I should have stayed slightly longer before flying out.

Day 3:
I spent most of the day relaxing, my face was still swollen and the donor area was hurting really badly. I continued to follow the post op care.

Day 5
Several days had passed and on day 5 I noticed my donor area was becoming more painful and not healing as it should be. There was yellow pus coming from the scar and my throat was swollen despite the swelling reducing around my eyes. I felt something was not right therefore I e-mailed the surgery with pictures to request for Dr Diep's advice. I received an e mail from the receptionist having talked with Dr Diep (I assume this, as I did not receive a direct response from Dr Diep). The receptionist advised me to have my scar examined by my local GP. On the same day, I was seen by a Doctor who confirmed I had an infection on scar hence why I was experiencing a lot of pain and had a fever. I was prescribed with antibiotics and an antibiotic ointment to put on the scar.

I am now 13 days post Op and the infection is healing. I am due to see my Doctor again today 1st December 14, for a follow up appointment and check my donor scar. MHTA clinic to this day have not attempted to follow up with me via e mail knowing I had an infection which again I find quite disheartening.

Overall experience:
My experience with MHTA clinic was fantastic to begin with however I believe they need to also focus on their post op care. It is well and good having a caring attitude to begin with but you need to follow through this kind of attitude throughout. Maybe if I was properly examined the following day after surgery Dr Diep or a qualified technician may have spotted early signs of an infection. However I was left to have my hair washed by a receptionist.
However overall, I am happy with my new hairline. The crust has now gone and I will now begin to patiently wait for the next few months to see whether all this was worth it. I will surely keep you posted on my progress.

1 Month post op

It's now been 1 month and a week since I had my operation. My hair has now shedded and it looks like I never had the surgery in the first place. Apparently this is normal and I am told hair will start to grow from 3 months. Fingers crossed.
In regards to my scar, I am so disappointed on how it is healing following my infection. It appears as if it was stretched and there is a slight raised bump. It looks horrible and I am just waiting for my hair to grow back and hopefully cover the area.. I made contact with the surgery 3 weeks after surgery as they had not bothered contacting me for a follow up. I asked them about their protocol for post op care for international patients and also raised my concerns about the scar. The receptionist who washed my hair day after my surgery replied back disregarding my e mail to seem as if she was the one who made the initial contact for the follow up. My questions were also not answered about my scar. I didn't even bother replying as i was so annoyed but I will continue to monitor my scar for the next couple of months and contact them again if there is no improvement.
I will update you next month.

2 Months Update

It has been two months and can now see tiny hairs coming out...I haven't noticed much difference from month 1 but I'm waiting patiently.

I have now gone back to my normal weekly hair regimen and I have started applying minoxidil to the recipient area and castor oil on my donor scar. I tried minoxidil about 2 years ago but didn't see any difference as my hair follicles were dead at the time. I'm hoping this time I will see faster results.

I am also back on my vitamins that I was taking before my operation (Manetabolism vitamins from the Mane choice) I have been taking these vitamins for 7 months and I noticed length and thickness on the rest of my hair.

I will keep you posted for my 3 month update.

Coming up to 4 months post op

It's now coming up to 4 months on the 17th March since I had my transplant. I am now starting to see the little hairs coming through. I am hoping the growth will continue. I am still taking vitamins, applying tea tree oil (for my donor scar) as well as castor oil (for my recipient area). I will keep you posted in the coming months.

4 months

4 months post op

5 months

It's now the beginning of the 5 month mark since the op. The front is growing in more than the sides, hopefully this will change mid point. The donor scar is still slightly raised but my hair is starting to cover it and the bump has reduced. I am now certain it's not a keloid scar as previously thought.. I will keep you posted for my 6 month update.

coming up to 6 months (17th May)

Soon I will be reaching half a year since surgery (on the 17th May)!! Time surely does fly! Here is my mini update but I will write another review/post more pics when I'm fully into my 6 months.

7 months post op

I am currently 7 months post op (soon to be 8 months July 17th). I am still putting minoxidil daily and taking hair supplements. I am hoping the hair will start to thicken over the coming months. I'll keep you posted

Coming up to 10 months post op

I thought I would give a quick update as I have not been here for a while. It's now coming up to 10 months since my op (17th September will be exactly 10 months).
I'm still following the same hair regimen as stated in my previous posts and I also continue to take hair vitamins.
I will be back soon to give my 12 month update.
Los Gatos Hair Restoration Surgeon

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
1 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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