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Back from SMG

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Hairforever

Valued member
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#1
Just thought I'd report back after my recent trip to Minnesota for a hair transplant with Shapiro Medical Group. I'm pretty hard to please and am not given to extravagance with my praise but I have to stay I was very impressed with how helpful, friendly and thoroughly professional the entire staff were at SMG. I was hoping for 2,000 grafts plus but my poor depleted donor could only manage 1,884. Still I'm grateful to Dr Ron Shapiro and his technicians for managing to obtain and place that many. One of the reasons I went with SMG is my confidence in Dr Ron making the most with what donor hair I had left. It was my sixth strip surgery (yikes!) and if I have to have any future work the only option open to me would be FUE. I'm not great with the technical descriptions but the grafts were used to thicken the hairline and behind, going back to the crown. I'll post pics taken before and after the op once I get my head round the technical process.

I won't go into an hour by hour/minute by minute account of my procedure since similar procedures have already been described in excellent detail on this site. Just a few thoughts that come to mind. After a consultation with Dr Ron at about 8.30 (I'd already met him in London earlier in the year and spoken to Matt on the phone so I already knew what the plan was),I had a hair cut before entering the surgery room for injections into the donor and recipient sites. I took some pills to relax me and my eyelids got heavy in no time. I was given a wonderful back massage by this device I believe is called a 'thumper' while the needles were going in to take my mind off the sharp, though fleeting, pain. I'm a bit of a baby when it comes to injections. Three donor sections were taken. I didn't feel the removal of the strips, nor the suturing and stapling. I'm not sure if I fell asleep or not but I wasn't really aware of Dr Ron making the incissions except for a period of time when I heard him asking for a graft count. At least 3 of the SMG team were slivering the grafts under microscopes and they did this so efficiently I think they were pretty much finished by lunchtime.

I was actually quite hungry and devoured a turkey club sandwich I'd ordered in the morning. At that time I was able to get up and look at some of my grafts under a microscope and Janna later showed me the graft groupings. I honestly don't know how the SMG technicians are able to insert those small grafts in the holes so quickly and accurately (I'd be all fingers and thumbs). I think three technicians were placing the grafts simultaneously in my scalp (amazing teamwork). While they were doing this I was watching a film though for the life of me I can't remember what it was about and I'm pretty sure I dozed off at the beginning. The last things I remember about the actual procedure was Dr Ron taking out some staples and re-stapling part of my donor site and (I think) removing a graft and placing it somewhere else along with the final 10 or so grafts. My lasting impression was of a man who really cared about where he put every graft in my head and that's really all you can ask for from a quality surgeon.

From what I can see, the grafts are in the places they needed to be. Now it's a case of the long 5-6 month wait (I'm impatient! Wish I could fast-forward). It's 14 days since the procedure and I've still got to have the staples removed which I'm hoping will happen in the next day or two (sleeping has been a problem, especially with them digging in whenever I roll onto my back). The other hurdle to overcome is when the grafts start to shed. I'm really hoping there will be minimal shockloss - that is my biggest and only short-term fear.

I just want to thank Dr Ron, Janna, Matt and everyone at SMG for working on me, including their excellent post-op service. Janna in particular has been fantastic at replying to my (I'm sure at least sometimes annoying) emails. I hope I can give them (and me) a good end-result!


 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
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#2
Hair and Graft count:

1 Hair Fu €™s 695

2 Hair Fu €™s 974 / 1948

3 Hair Fu €™s 215 / 645

Total Grafts 1884

Total Hairs 3288

Majority of HF's hairs on the top are transplanted hairs from his previous 5 sessions via strip and one fue session. Due to his profession, he did not want to shave his recipient area so he choose Dr. Ron. HF had plenty of spaces to fill, unfortunately, his donor did not allow for a bigger session this time. Dr. Ron stated he has more in the donor bank.


This surgery should help a great deal to give him more hair styling options. I took more photos at 3 days post op - you can see the redness has faded quicky. I will post these pictures when I get some free time.

All the best to you, Hairforever - SMG team


































 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
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#3
Hi Hairforever.

Great to hear you are happy with your SMG experience.

The pictures posted by Janna look great.

As you know,its a waiting game now but i`m sure it will be well worth it.

Heal and grow well.

bm.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
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#4
Forgot to say after all you`ve been through with the poor choices you made prior to SMG you deserve to have a great result and be able to stop worrying about your hair.

bm.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
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24
#5
congrats dude im over the moon for you after the ordeal you endured up to know with your previous clinics :)grow well buddy and please keep us all updatedZ:B
 
H

Hairforever

Valued member
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#6
Thanks Janna for posting the pics and to Bigmac and bullitnut for your good wishes messages. It's comforting and reassuring to be able to keep in touch with people who know what it's like to undergo a hair transplant and it's subsequent various stages throughout the following 12 months. I find it not only a physical process but also an emotional/psychological one.
 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
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#8
No problem posting your pics. 5 - 6 months is a long ways away but it's surprising how quickly time flies. Feel free to email me with questions - they are not a bother at all. All the best to you.

-j
 
Nervousnelly

Nervousnelly

The Coolest Member
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0
#10
Thanks for the write up. Excellent looking work as usual. I am certain that you will be very happy with your result and it is going to make a big change for you. Seems like your experience was essentially typical with SMG. Keep us in the loop.

NN
 
H

Hairforever

Valued member
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#12
Will do Nervousnelly. It was blessed relief having the staples out Janna. Kasia did a very thorough job of it and I feel like the back of my head is normal again. Oops! Didn't think of taking pics. Will have to do some home shots and post them. The scar is healing nicely but I will apply some aloe vera gel to aid the healing process. Thanks again for helping to organise the staples removal for me over here.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
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#13
HF,you`ll of had a nice relaxing sleep with those staples out.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your donor area.

Thanks bm.
 
timuk

timuk

My member is cooler than NN's
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#14
HF...

Just a waiting game now mate, this time round you know that the results will be great having had the SMG treatment...

All the best

Tim
 
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BAD LUCK

Member
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#15
I read your story about 6 hts it has been a very long journey for u. Please can i ask how many scar's u have on the back. Do u have any advice for me am trying to fix this mess up from 2 previouse hts am just going round and i ask for help and advice from this forum. The more i learn repairing hts the more it get's me down it's year's of evasive surgery.
 
H

Hairforever

Valued member
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#16
Hi Bad Luck.

Sorry to hear about your experience. As I belatedly found out it's so important to do your research before putting yourself in the hands of a surgeon. Unfortunately I didn't know about forums such as this so I went by clinics' advertising and marketing which is like playing Russian roulette.

It would help others to help you if you were to post an account of your transplants along with pictures.

I don't know where you are based but don't let geography be a barrier to you going to the best surgeons in the business - if that means going to the States or Canada, so be it.

I and others have found out the hard way that we only have a finite amount of donor hair. I believe I have 2 strip scars - the first surgeon took hair around the initial scar. My mistake was to keep going for small sessions which I guess wasted donor hair as each time a new strip is taken it takes out some hair around it (or so I'm led to believe - perhaps an expert on this site can confirm this or otherwise). If I had known about the top surgeons who do mega strip sessions, 2 hair transplants would have sufficed and I guess I would have ended up with a better result.

You, like me, need expert repair which means you need to go to a top, experienced and compassionate surgeon.

I'm very early into my post-op following my seventh transplan but Dr Ron Shapiro is regarded as one of if not the best ht surgeons in the business. Moreover I can say from my own experience that his clinic SMG provide excellent post-op after care.

There are other top surgeons who are constantly mentioned on this site and other sites. Take time to look at their work (before and after pics - make sure there are grown-out results in comparable lighting conditions) and read the experiences of their patients.

I'm merely saying what countless others say on these sites. I hope this helps and that you get the quality of repair you need.










 
D

dodger1

Valued member
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#18
Hi Hairforever,

I think you made an excellent and well educated decision to go with SMG. Looking forward to viewing your updates, please keep us posted! Heal and grow well!
Best wishes,
Dodger
 
N

NW5a

Valued member
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#19
Looks good so far. How many grafts did u get in your crown ? How big were your strip sessions before ?

Happy growing !
 
M

martinvain

Valued member
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#20
Can I just add that this topic is a year old and that we are asking if there are any 12 month updates from the patient.

I only noticed this at second reading and its easily missed. :)