Photo & Blog Updates

Dr. Rahal’s Post Op

Now that I have provided a clear history of where I started pre 1st Ht and provided the results up to 9 months post HT1 – its time to delve into the Dr. Rahal experience and results to date!  I will try to remain brief and provide only the most important details that best describes the experience and results. 

I first met with Chad, one of Dr. Rahal’s associates who was excellent in setting up a meeting in my own city in Canada where Dr. Rahal was visiting prospective patients that were considering a HT.  I will say that Chad was and remains an excellent source of information diligently answering all kinds of questions as it relates to doing a HT with Dr. Rahal.  He never got tired in fielding my questions and always got back to me promptly and provided a solid explanation of what was to come.  I later met with Dr. Rahal who very quietly looked at my hair loss and immediately suggested what needed to get done in order to achieve a more youthful result that would blend into my existing native hairs. (Very important point b/c my 1st HT failed to blend appropriately as you could see the HT zones from my native hair- a mistake)  Dr. Rahal is very soft spoken, a man of few words and gets right to the point by addressing what you need and how it will be done!  You can ask him any question and he will provide you with a very straight forward answer and gives you a realistic view of what to expect.   As a side note, he was careful not to comment on what work had been done on my 1st HT  and didn’t really care where or who did it as he was focused on what needed to be done in order to yield the best result- a consummate professional!  After seeing him that day, I booked and got scheduled in a few months later that suited my schedule.

The clinic is modern, clean and well appointed and what I did notice most of all was that there was a heck of alot of staff there supporting him that day- perhaps 8+ people doing various things- all assisting him to complete his task!  As I had said in my 1st post, its important to understand that its a team effort and you need a well oiled machine with appropriate numbers of staff to operate efficiently in allowing him to provide you with volume or what is better appreciated- giving you density!! Remember, he can only provide you with the density if his team is providing him with grafts that need to be transplanted and faster the better as grafts left outside the scalp are always at risk during transplantation.  Each member of his team from the head nurse, Mike who is excellent, keeping you super comfortable to the technicians who are incredibly nice and efficient making the experience pleasant as far as this can be said of a hairtransplant.  The only slight pain I felt was the freezing (needles) and to be honest, going to the dentist is far more traumatic from a pain perspective than getting the proceedure done.  After the proceedure, you are given adequate pain killers which I barely used and I have a low tolerance for pain and felt perfectly fine.  You will likely get swelling around the eyes and forehead but it goes away within the week- no big deal. Plan on taking off a week to 10 days from work.  Stitches come out 14 days later if you are doing FUT … In short, on the transplant process, everyone does whats expected of them with precision timing and professionalism and the results literally speak for themselves. The worst part in getting a HT with Dr. Rahal is waiting for the hairs to grow. 

Attached, I have provided immediate post op pics, 3 weeks,  3, 4 and 5 full months pics.  Notice the immediate post op pics from the Dr. Rahal experience and the 1st HT that was not done by Dr. Rahal- only a blind man couldn’t see the difference in density!  The hairline established by Dr. Rahal was excellent and lowered to give me what I wanted given that at my age- 47, I had experienced minimal hair loss allowing me to get a more youthful hairline given that my donor area was well endowed.  Thus, far, I noticed a vast improvement in hair growth between 3 to 4 month period.  Between 1-3 months you get very modest hair growth or at least that’s what I got and everyone is different.  Between 3 – 4 months, I noticed a marked cosmetic difference.  Now at 5 months, I see that my hair is getting thicker and denser by the week. (everyone is different, some get results early and some get results later) Typically, between 4-8 months is when 70-80% of the cosmetic impact of a HT is realized leaving the last 20-30% to be realized between 8-12 months.  (typical not everyone)

Notice the hair line, undetectable that any work was done at such an early phase as the hairs are NOT fully mature yet.  At only 5 months now, no one has said anything about my hair other than utter praise that the result is looking fantastic for only 5 months.  Its in very important to achieve optimal density especially the hairline b/c if there isnt adequate density it looks unnatural and it looks like one is thinning.  Dr. Rahal is truly an artist !!  More growth, more density and more maturing is ahead of me and I expect the next 3 months to yield the biggest cosmetic impact yet.  The best is yet to come as they say !

As I have said, in my 1st post, we as patients ultimately want great results and this is what I have received thus far!  I remain very happy and continue to look forward to more growth and maturing … As they say, ” I am getting better with age and so is my hair…”  Stay tuned for next month’s results and I would be happy to answer any questions. 

 

 

 

My Hair Transplant Journey

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.