Profile Pic: Dr. Rahal Result post 4 months HT w/ 2650 grafts FUT: work done to repair and enhance 1st HT which wasn’t done by Dr. Rahal. The area of the transplant was soley in reconstructing a new hair line: both left and right temples and reinforcing/adding to the forelock region. I was considered a solid Norwood 2 before the Rahal transplant BUT was lacking density after the 1st HT and therefore I would argue I was still a Norwood 2 even after the 1st HT !! Hence, prior to any transplants I was considered a Norwood 2,5+ trending toward a 3 and after the 1st HT I would say I was closer to a Norwood 2 BUT lacked density. (see pics)
Background: A 47 yr old male with a Norwood 2,5 hair loss pattern but trending toward a Norwood 3 at the age of 46 when I underwent my first hair transplant with a local doctor (Not Dr. Rahal) and recieved 1600 grafts with a strip proceedure but really needed 3,000+ to achieve the intended result. I have attached pics showing pre-op HT 1 so you can see where I started, immediately after HT 1, 2 months post, 6 months and 9 months post HT 1. The results post 9 months HT 1 didnt really improve leading up to the 1 yr mark. As you can see from the results, the transplanted area appears sparse even after the surgery and is confirmed in later months thereafter lacking density and the end result appearing both unnatural and thin. Sure there was some improvement BUT the proceedure was half baked in my mind not to mention that I continued to have a “mature” appearance even after the 1st HT and for someone who was only a Norwood 2,5 + on the scale the results could have been near perfect bringing me back to a much more youthful appearance. (It is one thing to be a Norwood 4 or 5 and demand being brought back to a Norwood 1 than someone who is less than a Norwood 3 and demand that !) As I see it, the first HT was simply a teaser and frankly a waste of valuable time and money and I wish I could say something more positive but the results speak for themselves)
In summary, the progression and findings of my HT 1 that was NOT done by Dr. Rahal yielded the following:
1. Inadequate density in both left and right side temple regions producing an unnatural hairline result and an appearance of thinning.
2. A result that perhaps could be argued as being age appropriate but certainly not necessarily youthful. Being a Norwood 2,5 + approx pre- HT 1 it was not a stretch moving to a youthful Norwood 1 given that I had/have the donor area to address this especially at age 46 when it was first done. Its a different story if you are 25 and are asking for a Norwood 1 as opposed to being 46 and being a Norwood 2-3 your probabilities in going to a Norwood 4-5 are unlikely given the age and hairloss to date. Hence, I could have gotten what I wanted in one session and it would have been a reasonable request given my history, age, and hairloss to date. Remember folks- this is cosmetic surgery, its an elective surgery and you are NOT paying an insignificant amount. Thus, as a patient, you should demand and expect to get results that meet a certain standard! This point separates the poor, average, good and great surgeons out there ….they are not all equal by any stretch.
3. I would consider the result – satisfactory to poor. The linear scar result was excellent ! I will give credit where it is due- unremarkable !
4. Overall, the 1st HT failed to produce density, a natural hair line and consistency …not to mention time lost and the expense associated with this proeedure.
Key observations and findings: Going through the process I may say that it is important to feel confident in your surgeon- making you feel comfortable pre and post surgery but also being able to meet and exceed one’s expectations especially if your hair loss is minimal or not acute like a Norwood 4,5 and beyond. REMEMBER YOU ARE PAYING FOR RESULTS IN THE END !!! Equally important, the doctors infrastructure/staff must be adequately equipped in order to produce good results. What do I mean by this? You cant have 2 technicians dissecting grafts and expect that the surgeon is going to give you a mega – dense session in one sitting! Its not possible, the surgeon is only as fast as the production who is supporting him. I found this to be lacking in my 1st HT and when I got to see Rahal’s setup – there was no contest- he had a well oiled machine of a team of 8 + people, I counted that day, in order to achieve a 2650 graft result. (thats a heck of alot of staff compared to the 3 to 4 present during my 1st HT) Finally, a surgeon’s artistry is critical because this is nothing short of artistry !! HT 1 could have been better had it had more density BUT the artistry in positioning the grafts was lacking – some hairs grew vertical like trees and the spacing was too far apart to produce a sense of density and looking natural (undetectable) You will notice that through the progression of pics right from the beginning post op pics days later it was evident that there was going to be a problem with density given the space between each graft implant and this issue progressed right through my 9 month results only exacberating the issue at a later date and making my decision to seek out another transplant easy because I was dissatisfied with the results from the first HT.
My biggest regret in my decision-making process in not going with Dr. Rahal to begin with had everything to do with travel and nothing else. I was 4 hrs away by car and elected to stay close to home which was the dumbest reason and I regret that every day I think about this journey. I fully knew, after having done my research that Dr. Rahal was top tier along side a few others you can count in one hand or less so dont allow travel to even enter into the equation. In the end, you are paying for results and nothing else! We arent here to make friends with the doctors or their staff, we ought to make rational decisions based on results plain and simple. My profile pic taken 4 months post HT 2 with Dr. Rahal speaks volumes – outstanding! I say no more, you be the judge …. Now that I have accounted my history, stay tuned for the complete Rahal experience.