35 Year Old FUT Procedure - New York

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I'd been contemplating a hair transplant for many...

I'd been contemplating a hair transplant for many years. After using rogaine for 5+ years and trying various other methods of hair growth/maintenance, I decided to have a hair transplant procedure.

After a significant amount of research, I decided to meet Dr. John Frank who is conveniently located in NYC, has excellent review on Realself and offered a free consultation.

Despite it being the holiday season, he was able to accommodate my consultation request. During the consultation, we spent an 1.5 hours together. He was kind, interested in my background and learning about how I arrived upon the decision to consider a hair transplant procedure. We spoke of various options and he took several photos of my hair, pointing out the differences between different areas of hair (donor vs recipient) and their characteristics.

This very positive experience combined with his excellent interpersonal skills, 17 years of experience, University teaching experience and excellent reviews led to my decision to move forward with an FUT procedure.

As you can see from my photos, I had quite a lot of thinning through the center of my scalp. Rather than charging by graph, I paid a flat rate for a staff of five, including the doctor and his expertise.

On 12/23, I arrived at 8:30, completed some paperwork and had my bp taken which was a bit elevated. After a bit of medication to reduce my bp and something for relaxation, the donor region was shaved and I brought into the operating room where I laid face down. The area around the donor region was prepared and then several rounds of anesthetic were administered. Once that had set in, the donor region was removed. I must say, the anesthetic was less painful than expected and after that I didn't feel anything. Once the donor strip was removed, it was brought into another room for dissection of the follicles.

As the team started to split the follicles, I fell asleep for a bit. When I woke up it was noon and time for lunch.

Following lunch, the doctor came in and applied some additional anesthetic to the recipient region; again the pain was very minimal. After he placed small holes for approximately 2000 single follicles starting at my forehead and working back towards the crown. Once the incisions were made two technicians came in and began placing the graphs. There were a couple of rotations as some placed graphs while others either took a short break of continued dissecting the donor strip.

Once the 2000 were placed up front another 1000 graphs placed behind them. I believe these graphs contained more than 1 follicle. At the end, the doctor came in to inspect the appearance and then placed the final 100 graphs in areas where he felt they would be most beneficial.

The entire procedure took about 8 hours and 3000 graphs were transferred.
During the placement of the graphs, I got up to use the restroom a few times and watched two movies.

The entire staff was wonderful, supportive and kind. Although this section of the review is not yet based on the actual results of the procedure, which will take time to show, the experience was very positive. I’d like to particularly mention David, the senior technician who helped make the experience fantastic. He made sure to check how I was doing regularly and ensured that I was comfortable.

When I got home, I had a dinner that is low in salt and then slept on several pillows to elevate my head. The pain was not too bad, but the sutures certainly give a feeling of tension.

The next morning, I woke up and the tension was a bit better or perhaps I am getting more used to it. I’ve been misting the recipient area frequently and put bacitracin on the sutures this morning.

More to come as the days following the procedure progress.

Pre procedure pictures

Pre procedure pictures taken around 12/10/14.

Post procedure first night

Post procedure pictures taken on 12/23/14, the evening of the day of the procedure.

2nd day post op

I have been keeping the graphs moist spraying saline on them every 20 minutes. They appear to be doing well, the redness that is seen on my day of the surgery pictures is definitely lessening. The pain from the sutures is manageable and I have been resting a lot. Nothing more to report at the moment.

3rd Day Post Op

Not a lot to see here. This is after my first shower post procedure. The scabs are quite limited at this point. Since the day of the procedure, I have been misting my recipient area with saline water every 20 minutes or so.

6th Day Post Op

The healing is coming along nicely. These photos were taken after a shower. I am not yet letting the shower directly hit the follicles, rather I am putting a small amount of water in a cup and rinsing it over the graphs.

18th Day Post Op

Recovering well. The shedding seemed to slow down when I resumed the use of rogaine on the 14th day post op. There are a few pimples and a couple of spots that have bled a bit. I'm wondering if the rogaine may be irritating my scalp.

18th Day Post Op photo

Whoops, forgot to add the photo. Here it is.

8 weeks post op

The healing has come along nicely. Ive been using tea tree shampoo, cleaning my scalp with witch hazel, argan oil and rogaine and aloe vera gel. There have been some pimples which I treat with a small amount of clindamycin. In addition, I have been taking a very small amount of propecia (1/4 mg every 5 days).

At 8 weeks post op it is still too early to draw any conclusions, but I can see many little hairs starting to grow which is exciting. I'll add some additional pictures in the next few weeks.

2 months post-op photos

It is difficult to see a change due to the low quality camera and my lack of selfie taking skills. However, I can see quite a few little hairs starting to sprout up. I'm excited to see the results in a few more months.

3 months

Its been over 3 months now. Over the past 3 months, I have done everything the doctor recommended (tea tree oil shampoo) plus I continued rogaine and added a small amount of propecia (.25mg 2x a week) and use emu oil/argan oil/aloe on my scalp daily. I can see small hairs sprouting, but its obviously too early to draw any conclusions. Here are a few additional photos.

4 months and 3 weeks

Here is an update. Its coming along slowly, though no slower than I was advised to expect. Looking forward to the six month mark - about 5 weeks from now.

5 months and 2 weeks

Still making progress. Its funny, for some reason my hair feels and looks like it is becoming more thick than the pictures seem to reflect. All in all, things are going well. Still using low amounts of propecia and rogaine foam. Also applying magnesium oil and aloe or emu oil a few nights a week.

7 months post procedure

The new hairs are grown in thickness but still a bit different in texture than the non transplanted hairs. I'm hoping the results continue to improve over the next few months. Still too sparse to comb over without looking like a "comb over."

7 months post procedure - 2 more photos

7 months - a few more photos

Just cut hair with a #5 setting. No signs of donor scar!

10 months

I'll add some pictures at the 1 year mark. The results have improved over the past few months. I've also been using topical propecia and rogaine. Considering that my hair was thinning more and more and its a year later and I have a great improvement, I am pretty happy. However, I think that I will want another to improve the crown since I didn't have enough hairs to adequately cover that area and also thicken up the rest. I'll probably wait another year before considering a 2nd surgery (so 2 years after the 1st).

1 year post procedure photos

Okay, these are actually about 10 days short of a year, but who's counting. My results have been good, but not as good as expected. My hair is still too thin for a "comb over" type of hair style.

To be fair, my hair loss was bad and progressing, so had I not had the procedure I would be on my way to being very bald. I am thinking of getting another 2000-4000 graphs this spring, which will be 14 months after my first procedure.
New York Hair Restoration Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 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
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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