My story

My story

I have undergone, this March 18, a second transplant, this time at Rahal Clinic in Ottawa, and for 2700 FUT (strip method).
I already had a first 1100 FUT transplant in January 2012 in another clinic in Montréal.

My choice for Rahal was based partly by the testimony of a young French (Frontal Tool) who received 3500 FUT a few years ago and of which he lengthily told on another forum with several very convincing photographs.

Note that Rahal Clinic offers a plane travel refund for the patients from abroad (not my case because I am from Quebec).

I am well in my 40s. My baldness began at 21 years, it slowed down in my 20s and 30s thanks to the medicamentous shampoos (eucalyptus, tar, germs and sulphur), but it had advanced severely these last years.

I had been thinking about a transplant for at least 15 years.

I had a first transplant (only 1100 FUT, limited results) in Montreal, January 2012, fourteen months before that of Rahal.
Mostly good words about my Montreal doctor but he was much more expensive than Rahal (see below).

I have to say that Rahal’s personnel displays much more precaution in general.

In the previous weeks, members of the personnel provided me much information related to the operation, and they showed a great availability for any question which I could have.

I notice that my Montreal doctor (3000+ transplants, 20 years experience) did ALL himself (except the cutting of the follicules of course), whereas at Rahal technicians (nurses?) were implied.

Moreover, it is not Rahal himself who operated me but Dr. Pires (of portuguese origins but speaks French too) but Dr. Rahal was never very far during the operation.

Also, it is not Dr. Pires who planted my grafts, but a lady (nurse?) whose name I forgot now.

The scar goes almost from one ear to the other while following the curve of the occiput. Thus it looks scary at first, but I have confidence that will be arranged.

No significant pain, nor puffiness.

The scar from Montreal transplant became almost completely invisible after a few months.

In the worst case, for those who would wish, that can be corrected with a permanent or semi-permanent make-up for about 500$.

Two notes:

1. I envisaged to make 2000 FUT (my expectations were not very high), but Dr. Rahal convinced me to make a total 2500 FUT and I accepted.

After the operation, Dr. Rahal explained to me (in English, whereas Dr. Pires speaks French) that they finally put 2775 grafts. In that case, the patient normally has to pay the extra.

The Montreal doctor had explained me that they do not throw away any graft, which explains why often a larger number of grafts are transplanted. I suppose that it is the same at Rahal’s.


The morning of the operation, Dr. Pires explained that he would insist on half of the front of the head because this is what one first sees, of course.

I accepted his plan, but after the operation I had some regret for not putting more on the vertex. This is the one aspect that is annoying me right now.

But I will wait for the grafts to grow (with the assistance of Minoxidil 5% and Propecia) to decide what I will do or not to complete the whole.

Will I add some on the vertex with a 3rd operation or simply camouflage with Toppik and/or a discrete permanent make-up? Or with the right hairdo perhaps everything will be at my satisfaction.

I estimate that I will need some 1500 more FUT on the so that it would be perfect. That’s a lot of money, especially for my small means, and I had to give it much second thought, but it is like a “life project” and I do not regret it, not for the moment at least.

In comparison, Frontal Tool (he was 28 years old) still had much hair on the vertex, therefore his 3700 grafts placed mostly on the front half of the scalp gave a spectacular result.

To complete the vertex, I will have the possibility to choose another cheaper method, the FUE (method of the “punch”) which is more appropriate for this area of the head.

The two operations proceeded very well.

The operation at Rahal lasted 6 hours for 2800 grafts, and naturally I fell asleep on some occasions during that period!
But the nurse told me that it actually was helping them because I was not moving at all.
My Montreal doctor had took almots as much time, 4,5 hours, for only 1100 grafts. So at Rahal they work fast.

I was ready to come back to Montreal the same evening, since my mother was accompanying me and that she could have driven the car, but Dr. Rahal insists to see his patients the next morning, which annoyed me a bit.
The Montreal clinic let me go the same day and everything was fine.

Thus the next morning, the meeting took place and an employee explained me in details the procedures and precautions for the following weeks.

I did not need to take any pain killing drug.

I now have to wait for the hair to grow. The grafts fell after two weeks (which is normal), they will start to grow in June, and we will be able to judge result in November, or better still in Februrary 2014, since you have to wait 2-3 growth-cycles, starting from June and each cycle lasts three months.

In short, I am very satisfied with my experince at Rahal’s clinic which I highly recommend.

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