Fut Hair Transplant Results And Review With Dr. Carlos Wesley

Shad

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Dear HairLossTalk,
I had a 2806 graft FUT hair transplant done about 14 months ago (6/2018) by Dr. Carlos Wesley for $15500. I created 1 other thread here about a yr ago where I discussed who and what transplant method to do. The folks here helped me with that. Now that we have results, I wanted to share that. Hopefully it helps others and I'm also curious to hear opinions.

Recovery:
Overall, not the most ideal recovery, but no critical problems. Right from the get-go, I started having a hiccup problem for a week or 2 after surgery. I was told it may be caused from the valium or prednisone. It eventually developed into wheezing. I told the doctor and received a prescription medication to calm that down. Problem solved in a couple days/weeks.

I also noticed blood on my pillow. My scar line was leaking small amount of blood and had a few bumps. Concerned me a bit due to possibility of infections. I came in a couple of times at no cost until it was solved. The nurses and doctor cleaned it and applied tiny amounts of colloidal silver. I can't remember what else was used but after 2 months, problem solved.

Shortly after, I developed eczema on my forehead, back of neck, and some parts of scalp. I've had a flareup once when I was a kid on my elbows for unknown reasons. I'm 33 now. The fact that eczema came back few months after surgery only near the surgery site, I can only guess that it's coincidence, but can't rule out that there may be relation to the surgery. Who knows. I know that's usually not the docs fault as eczema's unpredictable and doesn't happen with most patients. I suffered for about 3 months from it. Poor sleep from itching was the worst. Eventually, it mostly went away after 3 months. I'm not exactly sure what helped.

Followup
14 months in, I saw the Doctor. I expressed that while my head of hair is better than before surgery, I expected to see more. At the very least, I was hoping to not be able to see my scalp. Before surgery, I was shown a picture of great results from another patient. The doctor said my results would be similar to that. So I based my expectation off that. Dr. Wesley felt the results were better than I did. He showed me his own pictures of my hair pre-surgery and now. However, it wasn't a fair comparison which I made him aware of. For the pre-surgery photo, the hair on top of my head was combed to the sides to maximize appearance of baldness. The post surgery photo had my hair on top kept on top.

Anyways, as he felt the results were good enough, he stated he can not add more hairs on top unless he charges his prices to do so, but he was willing to give me a free mini-FUE surgery that takes about 2hrs to cover my scar line from the FUT. While that was nice to offer, I haven't gone in for that yet as I'm not worried about it for now. I care more about the hair on top. Speaking of the scar, I'm not sure how it looks as it's hard to see the back of my head, especially with long hair. Most likely fine.

So I left with telling him I'll try some topicals to get more growth, but only after the minor eczema that remains completely heals (not risking aggravation until it's gone). IF the result from the topicals is not enough, I might do another transplant. I haven't decided if with him or someone else. If anyone recommends someone who does great work at a fair price, let me know. I don't mind traveling out of NY, but hopefully somewhere that isn't too long of a ride. While glad there was an improvement, not sure I would have paid $15.5K to see some improvement with the scalp still showing. I feel I shouldn't even be thinking about topicals and another hair transplant so soon... but I am. Am I wrong or right in how I'm thinking? Dr said that my eczema and loss of sleep would cause high cortisol, which may mean I didn't have the best foundation to recover for hair growth. Even though it's been a yr, he said I should get some growth for another 6 months.

I didnt take the best pre-surgery photos but I wish I did. 1 picture's in low light.
 

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Shad

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12-13 months after surgery. Pictures of dry and damp hair (1 with less light). While more hair growth can be seen, it's also clear that my hair is longer here than pre-surgery photos. So that further gives the appearance of less balding, as the barber kept some long strands of hair from the back to cover the top more.
 

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Shad

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When eczema was at it's worst. 80% better now.
 

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Shad

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Pre-surgery, doctor told me results will be similar to this patient. I based my expectations off of that. Thanks.
 

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kirklandism

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Not sure how much research you did prior to going for a hair transplant but you will never get the kind of density that doesn't reveal your scalp. In other words, the best density you can expect from the best hair transplant surgeon in the world is still going to be thinner than if you had no hair loss at all. If a surgeon tries to replicate the density of a full head of hair (say 80 follicles per cm sq.), they will be compromising the blood vessels in the immediate area and, thus, reducing blood supply. The end result will be shock loss to native hair (that may or may not grow back) and lower graft survival rate than if they had done the standard 40-50 grafts per cm sq. The attempts to replicate this kind of density in the past have been documented and it didn't work out. I recently saw a pic of a clinic in India in which the surgeon micro-packed a great number of grafts in a tiny space as an attempt to replicate natural juvenile density. The pic was immediately post-surgery but I guarantee that the majority of those grafts will not survive. Of course, the clinic that did such a procedure would never show botch jobs when it fails so it will be up to those unfortunate souls who have done this kind of surgery to reveal the outcome.

Your pics show a definite improvement and are on par with the baseline pic that you are referencing. The pic that your hair transplant doctor showed you shows a man with a full head of hair that is slightly thinning. Your 12 month pics show a man with a full head of hair that is slightly thinning. While you may be disappointed with your results, they are the kind of results that any decent hair transplant surgeon will achieve.
 

Shad

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Not sure how much research you did prior to going for a hair transplant but you will never get the kind of density that doesn't reveal your scalp. In other words, the best density you can expect from the best hair transplant surgeon in the world is still going to be thinner than if you had no hair loss at all. If a surgeon tries to replicate the density of a full head of hair (say 80 follicles per cm sq.), they will be compromising the blood vessels in the immediate area and, thus, reducing blood supply. The end result will be shock loss to native hair (that may or may not grow back) and lower graft survival rate than if they had done the standard 40-50 grafts per cm sq. The attempts to replicate this kind of density in the past have been documented and it didn't work out. I recently saw a pic of a clinic in India in which the surgeon micro-packed a great number of grafts in a tiny space as an attempt to replicate natural juvenile density. The pic was immediately post-surgery but I guarantee that the majority of those grafts will not survive. Of course, the clinic that did such a procedure would never show botch jobs when it fails so it will be up to those unfortunate souls who have done this kind of surgery to reveal the outcome.

Your pics show a definite improvement and are on par with the baseline pic that you are referencing. The pic that your hair transplant doctor showed you shows a man with a full head of hair that is slightly thinning. Your 12 month pics show a man with a full head of hair that is slightly thinning. While you may be disappointed with your results, they are the kind of results that any decent hair transplant surgeon will achieve.

kirklandism, while I did research for couple of hrs, I didn't get very knowledgeable on the subject. Thank you for sharing that knowledge.

I disagree that the pic my Doctor showed me of the man above is comparable to mines. The other man's hair looks much better. However, looking at the man's picture closely, I'm just realizing the mans hair after surgery is in a different light (or at least lower light on the hair than in the before surgery pic). If compensating for the low light, then it's possible the man's hair might be comparable to my hair. With that said, I don't think the average person would realize the lighting issue, so they won't compensate for it and would feel as I do.

Didnt like the uneven patchy balding look before surgery which brought me in. While somewhat better, I still feel like I have too much of the patchy balding look. At least enough that I think shaving it all off looks better. If things don't get better by summer, I'll decide to either go for the bald look, or give hair transplant another shot.
 
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Scoobysnack

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to confirm, the results are showing at 12, 13, 14 months are mostly without the usual hairloss treatments, correct? Meaning no oral Finasteride, no oral minoxidil... no topical minoxidil?
 
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