• 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.

My FUT and FUE Hair Transplant Story - Dr Ron Shapiro

F

fortune11

Valued member
Likes
0
#1
Hi All --

New to this forum , although some of you may have seen me post under the same handle on hairrestorationnetwork.com. I have been though 2 FUTs in the past - first with Dr Ron Shapiro (~1,600 FUT , 2004) and then with Dr Ziering (~2,200 FUT, 2011). This was HT #3 two days ago. Made the trip from Southern California to Minneapolis, mother nature was kind enough to me this time around wrt weather and everything went smooth travel wise.

I am a diffuse thinner NW5+ to an eventual 6 type . While the first two HTs were focused on the frontal tuft and the frontal third which gave me a decent optical frame from the front and sides , I thought it was time to add some bulk to the mid scalp area. I am leaving my crown alone for now (I figure it is age-appropriate for me and does not detract from the frontal view anyways).

The biggest issues I faced were -- 1) limited donor supply (I was told 1500-2000 max by a number of doctors) 2) lack of decent scalp laxity.

Why FUT over FUE --- I did debate this for a while , but in the end decided that given 1) my comfort level with FUT was already very high and I already have a scar anyways 2) I don't intend to shave my head down ever as it is not a good look for me given my facial built 3) needing to take as little time off work as possible and not wanting to shave the back of my head for an FUE . FUE remains the last / future option if I need some touch up work down the road and have the luxury of taking more than a few days off work.

Dr Ron Shapiro spent a good deal of time with me the morning of the surgery discussing strategy. One suggestion I liked of his was trying to comb my hair back instead of forward and down like I used to (caesar style) . Combing back adds bulk to the mid scalp area especially as the transplanted hair have more thickness and shine compared to my native hair. I was also concerned about the tendency of my scar to stretch on the right side and he planned on taking that into account as well.

I won't go into the details of the surgery itself as people already know how well run and immaculate this setup at Shapiro Medical Group is. One improvement that I liked over my prior experience here in 2004 is that when they inject your scalp with numbing meds, they also use a vibrating instrument that "confuses" the nerves and reduces the pain significantly. Dr Ron also used Vitrase solution during excision of the donor area.

Given the tight scalp, the strip width was no more than 1.1 cm . However , Dr Ron did manage to take the scar high on either side to get a total of 29+ cm of length. Final # of grafts were -- 1921 FUs comprised of --- 1's- 781, 2's - 845, 3's - 289 and a few 4's = 3,362 total hairs . This was certainly towards the high end of my expectations.

Upon my request, Dr Ron used sutures but also added a few staples for good measure overnight. The next morning , he removed the staples , leaving a few on the right side where the scar has been prone to stretching historically (during FUTs #1 and #2) . I will get the sutures and the remaining staples removed in a couple of weeks.

Overall, Dr Ron , Janna and the entire surgical staff made the experience as easy on the mind and body as is humanely possible (no surgery is ever "pleasant" obviously) and my day went by quickly despite being in the surgical chair for a good 8+ hours. I will keep you posted on the progress. Here are a few pictures posted below.

Today is Day #3 post op and the healing process is going on faster than what I expected during HT#1 and #2 in the past , maybe I am just more used to it by now !

Happy to take any questions if anyone has queries.











 

Attachments

SADbutTRUE

SADbutTRUE

Valued member
Likes
0
#3
welcome to the forums, congrats on your recent surgery, heres to great growth.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
Likes
24
#4
Congrats Fortune and welcome to the forum...it's awesome you posting your experiences on here, From the placement picture it looks like you are going to have very nice coverage dude......I hope you heal well and continue to update us with your progress.;)
Take it easy dude BN
 
F

fortune11

Valued member
Likes
0
#5
Thanks guys. For reference , I am also attaching an "after" picture from my HT with Dr Ron from back in 2004. As you can see , my hair loss has only progressed since ( I am on rogaine but no meds) but the initial HT was so well placed that the first transplant has withstood the test of time.
This is precisely what makes hair transplantation an "art " -- regardless of fancy-named robots , or whatever new scientific techniques come up for hair extraction tomorrow.
As ultimately long term satisfaction depends on how well the transplanted hair can be styled and withstand the test of time and further hair loss.
Seeing my own case over the last 11 years, Dr Ron truly distinguishes himself as a visionary in that regard, at least from my perspective.




 

Attachments

Last edited:
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
19
#6
Hi and welcome to the forum. It's great to hear you're happy how the doctor has planned for possible future loss, it's a little tricky with diffuse thinning. Your work looks good and it'll be great to follow your progress.Thanks for sharing your experience.All the best.
Bm.
 
F

fortune11

Valued member
Likes
0
#7
Post Op Day 6 Update ---

Here are a few pictures , apologize for the poor lighting but hope it gives a general sense. The first one has the best view of where most of the the grafts were placed (mid scalp area) .

I am not using any concealers here when taking these pics. However, when I go back to work (post op day 7, after a one week down time),I plan to use the "in-fill" powder around the left scar area which you can see is slightly more noticeable.
 

Attachments

Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
19
#9
Hi Fortune, it looks to be healing nicely. Your donor scar area looks similar to what mine was post op, I applied some DermMatch which worked great. If you apply fibres to that area you will need to use a locking spray or hairspray to hold it in place and try not to touch the area after its applied.
 
C

Crudance2006

Member
Likes
0
#10
Congratulations on your surgery with Dr. Paul. I echo your thoughts on Smg, totally awesome experience.
 
bullitnut

bullitnut

4 awesome repairs with SMG
Likes
24
#12
Hows the healing coming along dude and how did it go with the concealer at work?
 
F

fortune11

Valued member
Likes
0
#13
bullitnut - thanks for asking.
I got my sutures removed yesterday at Dr Craig Ziering's clinic (he is a good friend of Dr Ron, and he also did my prior HT , #2 ) . This was day 13 post op.
There was some mild inflammation in one small section of the donor area and I was prescribed anti biotics and told to apply Bacitricin ointment on the scar . Dr Ziering and his surgical staff were extremely gracious and took great interest in me , it was as if I had undergone surgery there itself.
Regarding concealment from co workers -- everything has worked out well so far in terms of people not commenting (and like I said before it is a tough crowd) although I am pretty sure anyone who went through a strip procedure themselves can figure it out if they look hard enough.
. I do think I will need to buzz my hair down to a more uniform cut to avoid the "bowl haircut " look on the back and sides. The "fill-in" powder has helped with concealment,
But given the sutures are out and the area is still somewhat tender and reddish , I am giving the concealer a break and will take a chance without it tomorrow . See how that goes.

The recipient site is generally fine but there are the occasional pimples here and there.

I will say this though -- healing for this HT#3 is not as fast as what I experienced for #1 (2004) and #2 (2011) . Maybe it is the fact that I am older now (touching 40),maybe the scalp is too tight after 2 HTs . Dr Ron Shapiro was able to extract a decent number of grafts from a very thin (but long) strip so I am hopeful that it will turn out well. In any case, I cannot go through any more strip procedures so the next (and hopefully last) stop will be an FUE touch up.
I will try to post some pictures in a few days.

 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
19
#14
Always feels good getting those sutures removed. Will look forward to seeing your pictures.
 
F

fortune11

Valued member
Likes
0
#15
Here are some pictures Day 20 post op . The donor scar is healing alright, width about 2mm right now. I had a follow up appointment at the local Dr Ziering clinic to check on the donor scar and the issues I had mentioned in my prior posts have been remedied .

Grafted hair has started shedding - if I had to guess, would say 1/3 of them are gone. But some have continued to grow in length . This part is very similar to what I went through during HT#1 and HT#2 .

I guess now all one can do now is wait ... and wait ... this should turn out well going by what has happened so far and my prior HT experiences. But fingers crossed , as always .


PS - and thanks to BigMac who showed me how to post multiple pics. couldn't have been easier !






 
janna

janna

Invaluable Member
Likes
5
#16
It's good to see the recipient area has healed up well. It's taking the donor a bit longer but it seems to be moving in the right direction at least.
 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
19
#17
Glad you found the pictures easy.
You look to have healed up nicely and right on track. Now just the old waiting game.
Looking forward to following your progress.
All the best.
Bm.
 
F

fortune11

Valued member
Likes
0
#19
Week 6 Post op Update -----

Here are a few pictures after getting my hair cut (scissors only, but equivalent to #4 to #5 ) . The scar area is somewhat visible without concealers as you can see in the pics below (all pics taken without concealers) , but i use fill-in powder to cover up the left side where it seems more prominent .

As expected, most of the grafts have shed by now . I have also started taking propecia for the last 2 weeks now and hoping that the little bit of shock loss that has happened near the donor region and the mid scalp area can reverse itself in a few months .

The donor has taken longer to heal this time around (FUT #3) as I mentioned before . Dr Ron and Janna have been extremely helpful in terms of post op monitoring and follow up . If my previous two surgeries are any guide, I am hoping the scar follows a similar path and becomes less prominent in the months to come. Also, once the transplanted hair starts growing , I will have more styling options that will enable me to grow my hair longer for better concealment.














 
Bigmac

Bigmac

Administrator
Staff member
Likes
19
#20
Looks like you have some shockloss around the scar which should grow back in the coming months. Hopefully you respond well to the Propecia. The rest looks on track.
Thanks for the update.