• Welcome to Hair loss Experiences hair loss forum.

    Free impartial hair loss advice, hair transplant advice, hair loss medications and hair loss news.
    You can contact us directly at [email protected] if you experience any problems.

Dr. Paul Shapiro -- FUE 2553/5562

D

DonnyJ

Valued member
New here, but you may have also seen my recent postings elsewhere.

...after several years of debate, and many struggles with propecia (extreme mental sides -- brain fog, migraines, terrible vision problems, anxiety, etc.) I recently decided that now was the time to pull the trigger and to undergo surgery. After much research, I landed on Shapiro Medical Group in Minneapolis (Bloomington), MN. My FUE procedure took place roughly 12 days ago with Dr. Paul Shapiro -- here's my experience thus far:


Heading into my surgery date, I had a whole plethora of emotions -- nervous, anxious, hoping for the best, etc...My biggest concern at the time (and still today), however, was "what will people think of me if they knew I underwent a hair transplant?" Because of this, I've decided to keep this to myself. It's been a struggle having to keep to myself these past couple weeks, but it's something i'm working through...small sacrifice for hopefully great long-term results.

Along these same lines, this is why I chose to not shave my entire head (to leave the recipient area unshaven -- the "goal" of mine is that after a few weeks, I'll be able to pass my haircut off as just being a shorter cut.


All of that said, SMG did an excellent job of making me feel comfortable upon arrival. Dr. Paul Shapiro was able to go through my history, answer my questions, and work with me to determine a surgical plan. I believe that my goals were realistic -- for me, this procedure was equally (if not moreso) pro-active/preventative as it was corrective. I only wanted a slight increase to the hairline (I'm still fairly young, so I wanted to consider having a mature hairline moving forward), and the rest of my grafts I wanted to use to increase density & to prolong my current aesthetics.

I've documented my progression, which I'll use the next couple posts to bring this up-to-speed with where I stand today. Please let me know your thoughts on how things appear to be going.

My absolute biggest concern right now is in regards to shock loss -- I've been trying to do some reading on it (without scaring myself too much), but I haven't come across an answer of a.) how often extreme shock loss occurs? b.) at what point shock loss starts at, c.) what (if anything) I can do to prevent it? ...I'm concerned mostly because I have existing hair in the transplanted region today, and because I've been off propecia for roughly 9 months now, so I may be susceptible to loss as it is. Just yesterday, I began noticing shedding starting to occur when running my hand through my hair in the bathroom...can I owe this to the fact that I've been off of my rogaine/s5/nizoral for 10 days now, or is this potentially shock loss starting already?

Another FYI: I've been taking biotin 5000mcg 2x's daily as well as MSM 1000mg 2x's daily to help increase the donor region hair growth. I also plan to start using rogaine in that area starting next week (once my scabs have fully healed). Let me know if this is advised/ill-advised. Thanks!

One last note: I was in heavy contact with Matt Zupan this past year and a half and if you've had the opportunity to speak with him, then you'll know that he's super easy to talk to and I couldn't be happier with my communications. Likewise, Janna Shafer has been very helpful post-op, taking my texts/calls in the evening & weekend hours -- if either of you two happen to read this, then I thank you very much for your hard work.
 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
pre/post-op photos, taken at SMG. The surgery itself took place over the course of 2 days. 1022/2271 on day 1, and 1531/3291 on day 2. Dr. Josephitis led the extraction, and Dr. Paul led the transplantation. I was told that .7-.9mm punches were used.



pre-op photos:



































Immediate post op


































 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
additional information:

1s - 519/519
1.5s - 4/6
2s - 1078/2156
2.5s - 4/10
3s - 918/2754
3.5s - 5/17
4s - 25/100

saggital incisions

estimated future donor hairs; 4000
 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
last couple bits of info i can think to add right now:

- i just yesterday got a haircut to blend in the existing hairs
- still a little bit of redness in a couple areas of the donor area
- i didn't experience any true "scabbing" in the recipient area..I'm unsure why this is, but at most, i only experienced some small flaking in those regions. i believe this to be mostly done at this point.
- i'll continue to update this thread with my progress, starting with my 2-week photos in a couple days.
 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
Hi DonnyJ,
Thanks for posting about your experience and keeping your progress updates on the forums. Your healing is looking right on schedule. You mention that you didn't see much scabbing at 10 days post op but to me There seems to be tiny scabs still remaining. The scabs will come off in the next few days with daily massaging during shampoos. It's looking great.
Thanks again for posting and fingers crossed that you don't experience any noticeable shock loss!
 
R

Remzi

Valued member
Hey DonnyJ.
I'm busy researching Fue options that are available in today's market place, there are lots of variables to consider which I'm slowly learning about.The work SMG have done looks really good. Do you know if they used a dull or sharp punch ? Your donor area looks exceptionally clean, I see some that are covered in blood and tissue that puts me off a little.
I've researched shock loss to some extent, it would seem it's unpredictable in patient to patient but stopping Rogaine is a possible reaction that may cause it to happen. You can only wait to see if it happens to you.
 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
Remzi wrote:
Hey DonnyJ.
I'm busy researching Fue options that are available in today's market place, there are lots of variables to consider which I'm slowly learning about.The work SMG have done looks really good. Do you know if they used a dull or sharp punch ? Your donor area looks exceptionally clean, I see some that are covered in blood and tissue that puts me off a little.
I've researched shock loss to some extent, it would seem it's unpredictable in patient to patient but stopping Rogaine is a possible reaction that may cause it to happen. You can only wait to see if it happens to you.
Hi Remzi. Unfortunately, I do not know whether they ended up using a dull or sharp punch. I was provided some additional information during the couple days of my procedure (it was a full 2 days), but I don't recall all the specifics. From the notes I took & what I was given, I know that they used .7-.9mm punches and I think that they used a tool called Aseptico (I would need to verify this) for the extractions. The incisions and the transplantations were also handled manually -- Dr. Paul made all of his incisions and then there was a team of 3 working to place the follicles into the incision marks...it was all very involved and was actually quite impressive with how efficiently the process was ran.

And so that expectations are correct, you should be aware that there will be some blood, etc. visible immediately following the procedure. The team did a great job of cleaning everything up prior to completing the job (and therefore, prior to the photos being taken). I didn't experience much of any bleeding after that point, but I want you to know that there's likely no way to avoid at least some temporary bleeding during the procedure itself.
 
Last edited:
A

AustinM

Member
Just like to say your hair transplant should turn out a good result for you. I'd also like to ask what were Dr Shapiro thoughts on you stopping propecia ? I'm thinking of starting Finasteride although somewhat worried it could be a life time commitment.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi and welcome to the forum. You seem to have done enough research before undertaking a HT, the work looks good and planned well. Shane you suffered sides from Propecia but hopefully you can maintain your hair with your regime.
Thanks for sharing your story here, I'll look forward to following your progress.
All the best,
Bm.
 
R

Remzi

Valued member
Thanks Donny. It's great hearing first hand experiences of the surgery.
 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
AustinM wrote:
Just like to say your hair transplant should turn out a good result for you. I'd also like to ask what were Dr Shapiro thoughts on you stopping propecia ? I'm thinking of starting Finasteride although somewhat worried it could be a life time commitment.
Thanks Austin. Dr. Shapiro didn't necessarily direct me one way or the other when it came to the propecia. by the time I was in close discussions with him, my mind was very clearly made up that propecia was unfortunately just not for me. he understood that and agreed that I shouldn't be on the drug any longer...I wasn't pushed to continue use. for me, i think it was pretty obvious that i couldn't take it.
I think that most physicians in the field would recommend that people give propecia a try prior to undergoing surgery. for many people, it has great results and no side effects. I wasn't so lucky.
Propecia, as with most hair loss solutions, typically is a lifetime commitment. the best advice i can give you is that if you notice ongoing side effects after a couple months or so of taking the drug, then don't push forward taking it. you should probably start with a lower dose (.5mg, every other day) and see how that suits you.
 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
apologies, as i failed to post my 14-day post-op photos very timely. i did, however, take the photos on time, so i'm just posting them now. i included a few shots with flash this time a well to give a different perspective:

































































 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Looks like it's healing nicely, not much redness left. Is the donor area sore at all or does it feel normal again.
 
F

FourthStar

Valued member
Interesting. I'm getting a HT from the same place pretty soon, possibly with the same amount of grafts.
I'll be following this post as you update your results.
 
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
Bigmac wrote:
Looks like it's healing nicely, not much redness left. Is the donor area sore at all or does it feel normal again.
My experience with soreness/healing has been the following thus far:

donor:
after 2 days, any slight bleeding had stopped

after 7 days, scabs were already starting to wear away

after 10 days, under normal light, there was very minimal that could be noticed. brighter/direct light, you could still see some redness. tenderness in some very specific areas (in the hair region located just behind my ears) remained

after 14 days, i really couldn't notice anything at all. if there was any remaining redness, then it was masked by the hair that had grown back by then. tenderness was about gone at this point.

starting just after 14 days, i began to experience a pretty strong itchy sensation throughout the donor area. i followed-up with Janna, and it sounds like this is normal.

after 21 days, most of the itchiness subsided.

now at 26 days, i feel pretty damn good. some very occasional itchiness, but it's much rarer and i expect this to completely be gone in the next couple days. donor length is at 3/8".


recipient:
recipient really didn't bother me much at all -- there was no sensitivity or soreness in the least bit. as you can tell from the photos, there was some redness throughout, but it's really helped to have my previous native hair there to help mask it. the "scabbing" that i experienced here, i wouldn't describe as being typical scabs -- it was really just some light flaking and i would moreso compare it to if you had some poor dry skin which was flaking off. after ~21 days, i couldn't notice any redness at all, even under strong/flash lighting.
as is normal, i experienced some numbness throughout the recipient area immediately following the surgery. feeling 100% returned for me within the first couple weeks. I think this may be slightly better than what's "typical".


it's difficult to judge, but at 26 days out, a decent amount of my transplanted hairs have shed (normal), but there's still quite a bit still in place... if i had to guess, i'd say maybe 50% have shed at this point.
 
Last edited:
D

DonnyJ

Valued member
FourthStar wrote:
Interesting. I'm getting a HT from the same place pretty soon, possibly with the same amount of grafts.
I'll be following this post as you update your results.
absolutely -- best of luck to you. i'll be sure to keep updating here...i plan to post 1-month photos in a few days. let me know if you have any questions heading into it. i'm obviously still going through the earlier stages, so i can't speak to growth results, but i can say that everyone at SMG was great at making the procedure really comfortable, and Janna has been pretty amazing post-op, answering any questions i had (she actually responded while on vacation at one point).
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
Welcome to the forum Donny, you look to have healed very nicely, great job with your documentation dude, should really help others interested in FUE.

Best wishes BN
 
Top