I'm 28 years old and my story goes something like this: I began to notice my hairline was receding at roughly 21. I say "roughly" because I had always had a high hairline and so I'm not 100% sure at what point denial gave way to reality...having a vast expanse of forehead to begin with allows one to be *ahem* generous in appraising the situation for a while. However, over the next few years, it became increasingly obvious that I was thinning down the middle of my head and when photos revealed a similarly sparse crown, I knew I couldn't just bury my head in the sand (although that's literally what I felt like doing).
This is where I need to point out, as many others have done before me, that this website was an absolute godsend as both a research tool and a source of motivation to accomplish my goals. I have friends who have full heads of hair and friends who have shaved heads. Thats it. I know literally nobody (in and around my age group) who is simply thinning, so conversations about hair loss were non-existant. That's what made this site so great, it assured me of the fact that there were huge numbers of men out there actively fighting their hair loss and that it was possible.
Also, as I mentioned, this forum is a great research tool. After careful consideration of the many names and options that crop up on here on a regular basis, the stand out candidate, for me, was Hasson & Wong. Reviews were consistently excellent and any results I had seen, either on their website or via peoples personal stories, were extremely impressive.
Having swapped the email equivalents of war & peace with Christina and Daria, I was booked in for July 18th with Dr Wong and made the long trek from Ireland to Vancouver last week.
On the day of my surgery, I met Dr Wong and we went through the plan of action. Prior to this he had told me that he felt that 4000 grafts were neccessary, but this was slightly above my budget and we agreed on a smaller number of grafts. I was perfectly happy with this situation. I thought I'd get my hairline taken care of and add some density to other areas. If it wasn't enough for total coverage, I could live with it. However on the day, Dr Wong told me that after coming all that way, he was going to give me what I needed, but at the price arranged. Within two minutes of meeting him, I'd already been completely confident in my choice of clinic, but this was the icing on the cake.It was an extremely generous gesture on his part and I'm eternally grateful.
Dr Wong numbed me up and the fun began. There was a Dr visiting from Spain and it was a really interesting experience for me to listen to them talking shop and comparing techniques while Dr Wong took the strip.
In the end, he got 4,571 grafts....4,571! To say I was ecstatic would be an understatement, but there was no time for back slapping, now it was slit time.
Dr Wong made the incisions (completely pain free) and then the techs got going. These girls are great and were always aware of the fact that it's a long and sometimes uncomfortable experience. They made sure I got a break whenever I needed it and always made sure that I knew I could get up and stretch or take a bathroom break at any time. For the most part though, I spent my afternoon watching movies and taking naps. All in all, the whole process took about ten hours.
After a surprisingly good nights sleep, I went back to the clinic the next day to have my hair washed (which feels really, really good after a long day of cutting and planting) and also got a snazzy new hair cut from Carmen, which gave me less of a kevin from "The Office" look. I also got everything I'd need post-op (antibiotics, shampoo etc.) and had a chat with Joe.
Then it was back to Dublin and I have to say, I forgot this piece of advice from spex: Bring one of those horseshoe travel pillows! It would have made my trip a lot more tolerable.
So now I'm exactly seven days on from my HT. I had some swelling around my forehead and the bridge of my nose from days 3-5, which has now completely gone. I'm getting occasional bouts of intense itchiness, but nothing unmanageable and I'm finding it's easiest to sleep when propped up on 2/3 pillows. Other than that, everything is good so far, the redness has calmed down and I've had no pain whatsoever since the surgery.
The whole process was made made very comfortable by Dr Wong and all his staff, I really can't thank them enough for the care they showed and the interest they took in me as an individual rather than "another patient". It's a long flight, a big expense and the culmination of many years of stress to arrive at Dr Wong's doorstep and I think he and everyone there really understand that and do their level best to make sure you go home feeling positive about your experience with them.
As I said, this website has been invaluable to me and rather than just take what I need and run, I'm hoping that my story can be of use to someone else in the future. I'll be posting pictures after I take my staples out and then every month, but for now here's a few before and afters, thanks for reading (and helping along the way!)