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Going for repair at Shapiro Medical Group.

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thincity

Valued member
After years of waiting, logging hundreds hours on hairloss forums/websites, and in-person consults, I'm scheduled for surgery with Dr. Ron Shapiro at Shapiro Medical. I know many like to look and pictures, and I had quite a few. My hard drive crashed and I lost all my pictures, however SMG has some. I sent Matt Zupan pics in January 2010, some of my shaved head (horrible choice on my part) in September of 2010, and finally my in-person consult at SMG in May of this year.

I will allow SMG to post these pictures, if they are intrested. My surgery is scheduled in February, which worked best for me, and also gives me time to complete scalp exercises! I intend on posting my experience on this site, although I have read and posted on others on occasion, I find this site and HLH to be the most free of "drama" and are both well moderated. It is beyond me, why people come to these sites and attack each other, when we all are facing a common enemy...hairloss.

I will give a brief history on myself, I'm 49, a diffuse NW 5-6 with "salt and pepper" hair. I had four "mini-graft" surgeries in 1990/1992, all in the crown perhaps 400-500 total. This was done in Michigan by the "Chambers Hair Insitute". The grafts are too large, at least half at poor angles , and are now an island in a area that is thin and diffused. I attempted one repair with a surgeon in Toronto, who FUE'd out approximately 200 plugs, however the hair that was extracted did not grow..zero regrowth and a minimal if any cosmetic improvement.

Since then I have researched, and sent photo's and gone to in-person consults. I will not comment on those with the exception of one, Dr. Brad Wolf, I met him and found him to very open, honest and sincere. At that time, he had recomended approximately 1800 FUE and possibly a small strip. If I was not a repair patient, I would have considered him.

In May, I had an in-person consult with Dr Ron Shapiro and Matt Zupan, Dr. Ron reminded me of Dr. Wolf, I felt comfortable with him and I liked his plan. I also need to highly commend Matt Zupan, for the absolute patience in dealing with me. Since contacting them (almost two years) he has been fantastic. I think the choice to have a hair transplant is a SERIOUS choice, and I made poor ones (although with help from the industry). Choosing a Doctor for repair is an even more serious choice, as repair patient's often have one last chance to "look nomal" if you will.

After having my first four surgeries, I was diagnosed with leukemia in 1995, and had a two year battle, which thankfully ended well. The high dose chemotherapy did damage my hair, in that it returned thinner and diffuse. I also have patches of hair that are pure white, a result of graft vs host post bone marrow transplant. These will be highly visible in my pictures.

I currently am taking 5mg proscar daily and Rogaine Foam once a day (mornings) I tried twice but did not keep up twice a day. I feel the proscar has slowed my loss and some regrowth at the back of the head. The Rogaine foam works well as a styling aid, as it helps thicken the hairs, and for me, makes it (with gel) easier to somewhat camoflage my plugs. I cannot see any cosmetic improvement from the foam, however it could also be helping me maintain.

The repair plan is to complete a strip of hopefully 2400 grafts, and punchout half of the plugs and break them up and redistribute them. Dr. Ron stated that I would probably need another pass one year post op to punch-out and break up the remaining offenders. I had hoped for a one and done surgery, however will follow his recommedation. I have a tight scalp, but Dr. Ron thought 2400 grafts possible, and with scalp exercises and the use of vitrase I hope this is the case.

For anyone that has had poor work done, they would agree its FAR worse than being bald. I cannot tell you how many looks my poor result has drawn, it cuts very deep into your self-confidence and self-esteem. I have always thought I had a fairly tough shell, until my continued hair loss exposed my "plugs". I feel that this has not only effected me, but my family. Sorry for getting away from the intent of this post. I know I will not have a "wow" result, the numbers are against it, but I do hope to look "normal" again, and maybe help someone else who is in the same boat.

Thanks for reading.







 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
Here are Thincity's photos, which he has requested for us to post on his behalf:






















 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
Hi Thincity,

I know your main goal is to "look normal" again and that you don't expect a wow result. However, after the first repair, you'll be wow'd at the difference one repair can make. I think others in similar situation as you will be able to see how much of a difference 2400 grafts can make so really great of you to document your progress. The second repair will help a great deal as well. It's tough to get all the plugs out with one procedure. I think it's wise to do it in smaller steps than try to repair all in one session.

We look forward to working with you in achieving your goal. I'm quite confident we'll be able to have you feeling normal about your head of hair again. ;);)


 
sl

sl

BHR Clinic Patient Advisor
Best wishes for your procedure Thincity, you'll be in good hands helping you reach your goals.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Thincity.

Welcome to the forum, thanks for allowing SMG to post your pictures and sharing your story with us.I`m sure you will be able to achieve a natural look with your upcoming surgery.

I`ll look forward to following your progress and seeing the surgery pictures.

All the best Bm.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
Hi Thin City i too would like to welcome you to the forum, you have chosen a great clinic for your repair and i can't wait to follow your journey on here.

On a side note my apologies for not answering your reply to my thread on another forum i only noticed it this morning dude;)
 
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thincity

Valued member
Thanks Janna, SL and Bigmac, I admit I'm very nervous but also know I made the right choice! Bullitnut, I have followed your story since day one, you should be very pleased with your results! I may pick your brain on a few things after the holidays. I am also staying at LaQuinta and found your write up VERY helpfull! I will be purchasing a neck pillow for my surgery/trip..a great idea! Happy Holidays to everyone!
 
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Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
You`ll be fine thincity, once you`re at SMG all the nerves will go.

Cheers Bm.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
thincity wrote:
I may pick your brain on a few things after the holidays. I am also staying at LaQuinta and found your write up VERY helpfull!

Not a problem my friend....happy to help, you can pm me on here anytime or email me at [email protected] and i will be happy to answer any questions if i can dude;)

All the best for your procedure...your in safe hands bud.

BN
 
Masher

Masher

Member
Good luck with your repair Thincity and welcome to the boards..IMHO youi are in the best hands in the business and I have no doubt at all that the end result will be awesome ;-)

Mash
 
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thincity

Valued member
Thanks Bullitnut and Masher, I've been doing my scalp excercises and preparing to tell my very closest friends and my daughters (wife knows of course) of what is to come. I'd rather not tell anyone, but I'm sure I'll be wearing a ball cap for at least a month or two post-op. Intresting that all you guys are in UK. My closest friends and I are homebrewers, and in 3-4 years all of us will be doing a Euro-tour to hit UK, Germany, Belgium, etc, and sample beers direct in all these great countries.
 
A

aaron1234

Valued member
Thincity you are in the best of hands. Your old work looks so much better grown out than shaved. But after Dr. Ron works his magic on you it'll be night and day. 2400 grafts will make a substantial difference for you! Good luck - not that you need it. ;)
 
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thincity

Valued member
Hi Aaron, The old work looks much worse in person. By growing my hair out, using Rogaine Foam and hair gel, I can usually hide them somewhat. In all of the pics I have no product in at all. I have followed your case as well, looks great. My brother is 47, has the same hair color as you, and little, if any hairloss.
 
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StaggerLee

Valued member
Thincity I wish you the best of luck and as a fellow "repair needed" patient I will be watching your progress very carefully. First of all I want to say congrats on your leukemia outcome, I'm sure that experience put a few things into perspective for you and once you get repaired at SMG I'm sure it will be quite a relief to say the least.

Your hair doesn't look that bad to me, I think we tend to be harder on ourselves then we have to be. I posted pics of myself and people said the same thing to me. We are our own biggest critics in many ways. To me you just look like a normal guy with thinned out hair. It is not until you see somebody with a truly butchered head that you feel fortunate that your own case is not worse!!

I had two previous procedures done in the late 90's and early 2000's. I know what it feels like to be self conscious about bad work, it is horrible! I know the feeling of talking to people and notice their eyes drifting up to your hairline. UGH!!! It really makes you want to crawl under a rock and saps your ability to be "just you."

My hope for you, as it is for myself also, is at the end of this you can just get back to living your life without the added stress and worry of thinking your hair looks bad and makes you stand out for all the wrong reasons.

As I live in Chicago and Minnesota is not that far of a drive for me, SMG is on my short list for my repair as well. I really am impressed with how Janna represents Dr. Paul and Dr. Ron, she always is very positive and seems to respond to everybody. (Don't get a swelled head now Janna! ;) )

Anyway best of luck Thincity, I really hope things turn out well for you. You are in very capable hands with Ron Shapiro. Sending good vibes your way!
 
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thincity

Valued member
StaggerLee, Thanks for your well wishes! I was very, very fortunate in my outcome with leukemia. I had my first chemos at a local hospital and my bone marrow transplant at University of Michigan. I made friends with many of the RN's who took care of me, and many of them called me to talk to newly diagnosed leukemia patients. I always went, and tried to give them hope, as I was living proof. I also hope to achieve this for repair patients in my shoes.
You are correct, we are the hardest critics of ourselves, that being said, the "plugs" do look much worse in person. There is nothing more demoralising than talking to someone and watching their eyes wander to your your hair. I had co-worker that did it everytime I spoke to him.
I drove to SMG from Metro-Detroit for my consult, so you are much closer. Thanks again!
 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
Thanks Staggerlee. I would have replied sooner but my head swelled too big to move real fast. If you haven't consulted with us yet, feel free to contact Matt or I to get our doctor's evaluation of you. You mentioned you posted pics? Do we have access to those pics or can you post them here on a new thread?

I know what Thincity means by the hair looking worse in person than in pics. We did a repair on a patient who had tons of really big plugs. It barely looked like plugs in pictures so he definately looked much worse in person. He is one of the patients I refer to who had a drastic change even after just one repair procedure. We now use Vitrase and ACell wound sheets and fine particles that seems to help our recent repair patients. We're looking forward to seeing you soon Thincity. Glad the scalp exercises are helping.
 
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StaggerLee

Valued member
@thincity good luck again!!

@Janna I will be in touch soon thanks.
 
O

ORLHAIR

Member
Thincity, you are in great hands! You made a great choice with SMG and you will be happy with the experience and the result. Wishing you the best!
 
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thincity

Valued member
Orlhair,
Thanks! I looked at your photo's and case and see you used the Acell wound strips as well as particles. I haven't really budgeted for it, but if Dr. Ron thinks one or both of these will be really benefical, I will probably use them as well. Your results are great, you should be pleased!
 
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ORLHAIR

Member
Thanks Thincity.....I am very pleased. The Acell was an option for me and I opted to use it, but it was not really pushed for my procedure. I think that it is recommended at SMG for FUE cases. I really don't know what effect it had on my scar or result. Best of luck to you and I look forward to seeing your progress.
 
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