They say that like money, you can never have enough hair. And who on this forum would ever object to more hair on top of their head?
Call me greedy, but last week I went in and got 1,631 grafts (3,907 hairs) added to the top of my head. Yes, while others limp by with no hair transplant at all I had the nerve to ask and get even more with the masterful Dr. Ron Shapiro and his staff (Click to learn more about Dr. Ron Shapiro). So now I’m back in the post op mode with a numb head and a long wait ahead for sprouts.
Graft and Hair Breakdown of my Hair Transplant Surgery:
257 one hair grafts – 257 hairs
764 two hair grafts – 1,528 hairs
424 three hair grafts – 1,272 hairs
85 four hair grafts – 340 hairs
101 DFU grafts – 505 hairs
(Double Follicular Units with 4 to 5 hairs per graft)
Total of 1,631 grafts (3,907 hairs)
To see photo highlights visit my post on our hair restoration forum.
Dr. Shapiro played it safe to avoid any unnecessary tension on the donor suture by not going more than 1 cm wide. He varied the width, which averaged about 8 cm wide across a combined length of 28.5 cms. Thus he removed about 22.8 cm2 of donor tissue from the sides and back of my head. He also used three internal sutures to reduce tension on the skin level sutures, which were staples. He also did a trichophytic closure to minimize any cosmetically visible scarring.
Going into this most recent hair transplant I was very happy with my current donor scar, which was hard to find even under close examination. I did donor stretching/massaging exercises two or three times a day for two to three weeks prior to surgery. I started to notice my donor laxity really improving toward the second week. I only wish I had started earlier. Both Dr. Shapiro and I think these exercises increased my scalp laxity considerably.
I highly recommend that any potential patient do these scalp exercises to optimize the amount of donor tissue that can be safely removed in any one session. To see an excellent video presentation on how to do these useful exercises visit our the Scalp Exercises post by Joe Tilman of Hasson and Wong (thanks Joe).
I expect this most recent session to heal up well, especially given the limited width of the donor removed. It has also been easy to conceal my post recipient grafts since they were placed in and around my existing hair transplants. In fact, two days after surgery I went out dining and drinking with no cap – just some limited amount of Prothik spray.
My first hair transplant was in September of 1996, followed only 6 months later with a second session and then a third session less than a year after that one. It was heady times to go from a balding thirty something to a thickening man.
But years later, despite the use of Propecia, my midscalp and crown areas gave up hair. As they say “hair loss is progressive”. So a couple of years ago I added about 1,000 grafts in my crown area. This surgery was performed in Florida by Dr. Rose. This small hair transplant surgery healed up great, especially in my donor area. Although this was a small session it did add enough fullness in my crown so that with some limited use of Prothik or Toppik my crown actually looks fairly full.
More recently I found that my hair stylist was thinning my hair on the side a bit to balance with the top. So I decided a more permanent solution would be to have Dr. Ron Shapiro remove some of my donor hair from the sides and transplant it to the top where it was needed.
After looking my photos from a top view with my hair was parted it was apparent that I could benefit from more hair in this central area. I also wanted to thicken up my hairline a bit in the corners and central area. Dr. Shapiro was also able to add some hair to the top of my crown area.
Next week I will get my staples out. That should be interesting. In the past all my donor closures were done with running nylon sutures. This is my first experience with staples.
Over the past week my scalp in the donor area was simply to numb to feel much of any thing. But I expect that as healing accelerates in my donor area in the coming week, and feeling returns, I will find the staples to be irritating. So far I’ve had no need or interest in taking the Vicodan pain pills. Perhaps I will put them to recreational use at a future date 🙂
I don’t expect to experience any shock loss since all my new grafts were added in and around hearty transplanted hairs. Now comes the long wait for spring and all the new sprouts.
Best wishes to all for happy hair growth.
P.S. My hair restoration recovery story and photos are also available on my Hair Loss Weblog.