My Hair Loss Story – Procedure Day!

I’m probably familiar to some of you as Dr Rahal’s forum representative and patient advisor, a position I’ve held for a number of years now. Well, as the title suggests, now I am posting as a patient!

I first discovered Dr Rahal when early onset male pattern baldness propelled me into the online hair loss community. The results he created always looked more natural, higher in density and simply more appealing that those being produced by other doctors.  I had no idea that this sort of work was even possible! After talking with him at length, my decision was made – it would be Dr Rahal who would perform my hair transplant.

Then he asked me to work for him. Why? Well,  I’m never one to jump into a decision, so in the lead up to choosing Dr Rahal I had done a heck of a lot of research and accumulated a fair bit of knowledge. Dr Rahal felt that this knowledge, together with my desire to help people, would make me a good addition to his team.

So if I’m working for Dr Rahal, why didn’t I have my procedure immediately? Personal reasons. Life. Things got in the way. Fast-forward to 2013 and the time was right, a date was set and here I am wearing the blue protective cap.

I underwent an FUE procedure totaling 2502 grafts.

Waiting Days

I arrived in Ottawa a few days before the procedure and this allowed me time to drop into the office and finally meet some of the staff who, until that moment, had existed to me as voices on the phone. A surreal experience, to say the least. Everyone at the office is extremely nice and friendly and it was a pleasure to spend some time in their company.

There was only one place to stay and that was Brookline Guesthouse. As many of you know, this B&B style house is for exclusive use by Dr Rahal’s patients, is very convenient  and we do encourage out-of-town patients to stay here. As expected, I really loved Brookline. It deserves a separate write-up, which is coming soon.

Procedure Day

On the morning of the procedure, I turned up for my pre-op photos and consult with Dr Rahal, during which he drew the hairline position onto my head. A few strokes of the pen and it was done. I’m used to seeing pre-op photos so I could easily picture how the result would look once the pen line becomes a hairline.

After this I donned the surgical gown and Mike (the head technician) shaved my head. Patients always speak very highly of Mike. He’s a very nice guy who is highly skilled and has a sort of calming presence. You’re always glad when he’s in the room.

The procedure itself is broken into three key stages: extractions, incisions and implantation.

For the extractions, I was lying on my front, facing down and then to either side, allowing access to the full width of my donor area. I fell asleep. I drooled.

For the incisions, I was seated at around 45 degrees. Dr Rahal didn’t seem to mind me yapping, which surprised me as I thought talking would cause me to move and I’d be politely told to shut up.

For the planting of the grafts, I was seated at the same angle as the technicians efficiently placed the grafts into the incisions. The movie I chose to watch couldn’t hold my attention and I think I fell asleep a few times.

 

Duration – This was quite a lengthy procedure. The day was undeniably a long one, but I’ve had many ordinary days in my life that were more grueling than this one. The majority of the day was spent in quite a relaxed state as I was immobile, numb to the work being carried out and tired due to lack of a proper nights rest.

Pain and discomfort – as many HT patients before me have mentioned, the most painful part is the numbing injections. How painful will depend on your threshold. However, they’re over quickly and from then on I felt the sensation of scalp contact – prodding and pushing – rather than pain. Later in the evening I had a bit of a headache, but in the days which have followed, the only discomfort is some tenderness in the donor area when scrubbing it clean.

On the second day after the procedure, I no longer had any excuse not to go to work. Some of the other patients coming and going must have wondered why a fellow patient is sat at a computer terminal in the office! The ones who were staying at Brookline knew the answer.

I will be updating frequently over the next 12 months and beyond  and hope you’ll follow with interest. I can tell you that I’m looking forward to finally having a Rahal hairline to call my own! Although it’s still early days and I’m wearing a hat, I actually feel a new sense of confidence just knowing what is beneath the hat and what it will become.

 

Below are my pre-op photos. Those strong overhead lights weren’t lying – I had lost more hair than I realised!

Comments

  1. Hi Matt,
    How are you?
    We’ve seen at Brookline Guest house.
    Hope you will have a good result.

  2. hey Matt.
    Thank you for posting both the pre and post-op pics. I sure will follow your progress so i can make informed decision. Good luck.

  3. Nice write-up Matt. Great to see Dr. Rahal’s employees and forum representatives are also getting work done by Dr. Rahal also! Looking forward to seeing your full results!!

  4. Hi matt,

    I was curious to know, do you use finasteride as well?? thanks

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