Day Of My Procedure- 11/16/2012– THRU 2 DAYS POSTOP!

Hi everyone!!  Well, my surgery day came and went in the blink of an eye.  I must say…..it all happened SO fast.  I am currently just over 45 hours post-op, sitting in a comfortable recliner in the Brookline guesthouse (will post a separate review on Brookline), watching Sunday Football with the guys here, and generally feeling okay!!  In the end, Dr. Rahal was able to get a total of 4737 grafts and filled in my temples, my mid-scalp, and some crown work as well.  From the sounds of it, he decided on a fairly conservative approach, as he believes I will have to address some loss in the future.  I was okay with whatever he recommended, as Dr. Rahal  knows best, but was hoping deep down to get closer to 5500 grafts.

*Update:  I received my graft breakdown today from Rahal and team.  I had 677 single grafts, 2729 doubles, 1296 triples and 35 quads….for a total of 10163 hairs.  Hoping this gives me some pretty decent coverage overall…..but have the hard part now of waiting a year to see what I’m certain will be another amazing Rahal result!*

My adventure began at 8:30 AM on Friday, November 16th, 2012, after a HORRIBLE travel day the day before.  United Airlines had a system-wide computer crash, which made me miss all my connecting flights and resulted in my luggage (and all my clothes for the week) being lost as well.  Nothing like getting in late and being stressed out the night before your big day!!   I got very little sleep the night before, but arrived on time for my scheduled procedure at the Rahal clinic around 8:10 to start filling out some extra paperwork and to sign all of the final consent forms.  I selected what I wanted to eat for lunch, turned my forms over to the receptionist, and was escorted back to the photo room for some pre-op photos with Shane.

After some pre-op photos, Dr. Rahal came to get me and take me to his office to look at my scalp and determine his plan of attack.  He drew in a hairline he thought would look good for my face, and showed me in the mirror.  Again, given my state of loss, I knew I couldn’t have anything too aggressive…..so even though I wanted to lower my hairline some, I knew the design that was created was not only mature and appropriate for my age, but also would be best suited for the amount of grafts he was going to be able to get on the first pass.  So I agreed and went back for photos with the new markings before finally entering the chair for my surgery.

I will say, on a scale of 1-10, the procedure was only about a 3 and at some parts a 4 on the discomfort chart at any given point!  The freezing was relatively easy (a little pain initially), and the two or three original shots in the forehead were the most painful part for me.  There was also a point where my scalp was being cut where I wasn’t completely numb, and felt the scalpel a bit…..but all in all it was numb enough that this was just mildly discomforting for only a brief second, and I was numbed further before they proceeded.  I must say, the whole experience was VERY easy, and Dr. Rahal and his staff put me at ease throughout.  In the beginning, I thought to myself that the interaction of the staff  and Dr. Rahal with myself was minimal, and I originally misperceived it as them not being overly friendly.  In fact, what was happening, was they were paying their attention to making sure that they were getting their business done optimally and to ensure the best result for me…..and once it all got underway, it was a VERY well-oiled machine.  The team all played their respective roles, and everything moved along extremely efficiently. After the crucial parts were over with the cutting, punching and graft dissecting, the interaction picked up between the staff and myself.  Dr. Rahal asked me a bunch of questions to get to know me better  and made every effort to make sure I was completely comfortable throughout the process.  His staff did the same, and made sure that everything I needed was covered.  They checked on me several times throughout to make sure my time there was great.  I appreciate the professionalism and the overall experience. Thanks Dr. Rahal and Team!!!!

I’d also like to make a really special mention of Chad.  Although I didn’t get to personally meet him…..he was FANTASTIC with me…..and is an extremely valuable asset to the Rahal team.  In all honesty, I was booked to have my procedure with another top surgeon, and it was Chad who really made me feel comfortable with proceeding with Dr. Rahal. Other special mentions include Mike…..Dr. Rahal’s head nurse.  What else can be said about him that other write-ups haven’t already mentioned??!  Great guy who definitely cares about you and your concerns/progress.  Lastly, special thanks to Jessica in Patient Care.  She is a sweetheart, and is no doubt a valuable asset to the Rahal team as well.  I’m definitely confident that I chose this clinic for my hair restoration, as again…..the whole experience is truly TOP NOTCH!

I would like to conclude this particular post by mentioning the recovery, as it is an unfortunate part of the process.  The first night was really tough for me….and on a scale of 1-10, I experienced about a 9 for pain/discomfort.  Man, what a gnarly headache.  The Tylenol 3’s were NOT cutting it at all….so I ended up taking a Percocet around midnight just to be able to tolerate it.  Even then, the sleep was not very good, as getting comfortable isn’t easy considering.  Night 2 (last night) was much better……the headache was gone, but because of the swelling that is slowly working it’s way down my face, it was extremely difficult finding a spot on my incision that isn’t super tender to sleep on.  Therefore, although the pain level went from a 9 to a 2, I generally had a more uncomfortable and restless night than the first.  Tonight is my final night in the Brookline Guesthouse, before I fly out tomorrow afternoon.  I will have one final cleaning  and first post-op check-up  with Dr. Rahal tomorrow at the clinic before I leave.  I will keep you posted as to what the verdict was on my results and how the Dr. thinks everything is looking so far for the third day.  I will also gather pictures of the last 3 days so you can see how the healing progressed with me.  I drank a TON of water and liquids and kept up with all my pills and vitamins, so I feel that I am definitely being very anal in making sure I am following all post-op instructions to full compliance!!

 

I am providing two links below to my pre-op photos and my one day post-op photos.  The images taken at the Rahal clinic were too large to upload here, and I had a difficult time re-formatting the image to a smaller size.  Sorry to make it complicated!  =)

 

Pre-op photos at the Rahal Clinic

One-day post-Op

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. That sucks that United Airlines stressed you out. But I’m really glad you liked the Rahal team and your treatment by them at the clinic. I’m sure Chad will appreciate the kind words too. 🙂

  2. Hi Mike! Just had my procedure done last Friday at some other clinic, and given the breakdown in graft info (1s, 2s, 3s, and 4s) you provided and your 1 day post-op pics, I now wished I that I had asked a lot more questions before deciding on my choice of clinic (cost being an issue). Let’s just say that yours look a little more natural and I may have to get some (adjustments) done later by a more seasoned professional in the future depending on my result.
    Thanks for your input.

  3. Hi Buddy,

    I saw your progress. It looks fantastic.
    I wanted to discuss a few things with you regarding hair transplant and the use of propecia and rogaine.
    Your results are fabulous.

    Is it possible to connect with you.
    I see from your name that you are from Tahoe, and I am from California, bay area.

    Thanks
    ~J

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