View Full Version : My FUE Procedure With Dr Rahal (mattj)

02-14-2013, 03:19 PM
Hey guys,

Iím probably familiar to many of you as Dr Rahalís forum representative and patient advisor, a position Iíve 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, Iím 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 Iím working for Dr Rahal, why didnít 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 days 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 Rahalís patients, is very convenient and we do encourage out-of-town patients to stay here. As expected, I really loved Brookline and was glad to see some familiar faces belonging to patients who had consulted with me. 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. Iím 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. Heís a very nice guy who is highly skilled and has a sort of calming presence. Youíre always glad when heís in the room.


The extractions begin! I'm under there somewhere.

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 didnít seem to mind me yapping, which surprised me as I thought talking would cause me to move and Iíd be politely told to shut up.

Incisions being made

This is going on in another room. So many people involved!

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 couldnít 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 Iíve 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 Ė as many HT patients before me have mentioned, the most painful part is the numbing injections. How painful will depend on your threshold. However, theyíre over quickly and from then on I felt only the sensation of scalp contact Ė prodding and pushing Ė rather than pain. Later in the evening I had a bit of a headache, but in the days which followed, the only discomfort was 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 youíll follow with interest. I can tell you that Iím looking forward to finally having a Rahal hairline to call my own! Although itís still early days and Iím wearing a hat, I actually feel a new sense of confidence just knowing what is beneath the hat and what it will become.

Mike removes the bandages

02-14-2013, 05:21 PM
Congrats on your procedure Matt. It's funny that mine is so soon after, just over a week now :eek:

Can I ask what hairline you went with and what led you to that choice? This is still something that's troubling me.

I look forward to seeing your photos and hearing about your progress. Looks like we'll be updating almost simultaneously, which will be very interesting as Dr Feriduni and Dr Rahal are two of the very best! :cool:

02-15-2013, 12:12 AM
Congrats mate - welcome the the HT club:cool:

You are a great asset to Dr Rahal and his team and his patients are fortunate to have you as his representative. You are now his patient and this will only even increase you existing credibility even further, so well done!

You are a gentleman and and a well deserved recipient of what will undoubtedly be a remarkable HT. You know my thoughts on Dr Rahal. One of the very best!

I very much look forward to seeing your pictures and watching your transformation occur over time.


02-15-2013, 03:43 AM
Congratulations Mattj.

Look forward to seeing you progress and no doubt you will keep us updated.

02-15-2013, 05:47 AM
Congrats Mattj,
You are lucky and surely in good hands as you know, we can't wait to see the results.

02-19-2013, 01:23 PM
Congratulations on your procedure Matt, look forward to seeing the photos and following your progress.

02-19-2013, 03:01 PM
Hi Mattj

Welcome to the other side and as said it will really help with your work when you can speak in the first person and say "When I was in the chair" and even though I am sure you have great knowledge it will only add to the package when you've been through it firsthand.

All the best for your healing and growth and look forward to the updates.

02-19-2013, 03:29 PM
Very clear explanation of the day of the procedure. Congratulations. Looking forward to more details on your progress.

02-21-2013, 07:43 AM
Thanks guys. Time to get past the shyness and ante up with the photos.

Here are the pre-ops, taken the morning of my procedure. I never saw myself from above so it was a shock to see how deep the temporal recession was. Taken very early in the morning - much earlier than 'normal' patients need to arrive.


02-21-2013, 07:47 AM
And here I am the next day. Another surprise was how much I liked the buzz cut.


02-21-2013, 07:50 AM
Here I am on day 4 (3 days after the procedure). I had some mild swelling between my eyes on this day. Gone by the next. Note that the extraction site has calmed down a lot.


02-21-2013, 07:51 AM
I'll be updating here, but more photos are available on my blog at the website. http://www.rahalhairtransplant.com/mattj/

02-21-2013, 03:26 PM
Loving the pictures Mattj.

Ever so clear and what I like to see.

Look forward to your progress.

02-21-2013, 03:29 PM
Thanks chrisdav!

02-21-2013, 04:55 PM
Great photos, very clear! I will not suit a buzz cut...... :(

02-22-2013, 04:06 AM
Chris: you never know. You could be surprised. I missed your question about the hairline.

Basically, Dr Rahal drew it and I gave the nod without hesitation. Partly because I felt experienced enough to picture the finished result and partly because I trusted his experience in designing hairlines. I wanted density more than I wanted a very low hairline, so I felt that the position was perfect. Now I see it as hair rather than as pen lines, I'm very pleased with my decision.

02-22-2013, 04:13 AM
I agree with you Matty about density over a lower hairline- I think the same.

02-23-2013, 08:04 AM
This looks like the typically amazing work Rahal is doing, the hairline looks absolutely perfect (in a realistic hairline for your age sense).

You don't appear to have any thinning or crown loss, so in 8 months or so you're going to look great, I'm so envious right now! :D

Looks like it's healing great too, after only a week!

Congrats man, I love seeing a-class work like this.

02-25-2013, 02:31 PM
Thanks guys. Here are a few from day 14. I cautiously massaged away the scabs and they came away easily. I like reaching up and feeling hair where for so long there had been none.


02-26-2013, 08:36 AM
Hi Matt

Looks great so far, very neat, clear work.

Just wanted to ask u a quick question.

It looks like I have a similar hair loss pattern to yourself - NW3ish with badly receded temples but not too bad diffuse thinning on top. I see where the transplanted hairs have filled in your temples, but the Dr has stopped at the native hairs.

Is it generally an option to continue transplanting between the existing hair so that the semi circle has been closed? Or is the risk of shock loss too great?

My issue is that I am not on Fin so my temples will contine to recede so in an ideal world I would need hairs transplanted between the native hairs so at least I have something to play with a few years down the line.

Are u on Fin yourself?

Thanks a lot Matt


02-26-2013, 03:24 PM
Thanks Jarius.

Although it may be hard to tell, Dr Rahal did need to plant grafts in areas where native hair was growing.

Here is a closer crop of the hairline, showing the areas being treated. Note that temple placement goes back behind the second line.


Many patients have diffuse loss and here's an example of an FUE result where grafts were placed entirely within areas of native hair.


02-26-2013, 04:14 PM
Hi Matt

Ah I see it now. I also see that your hair is quite thick in the forelock area so I guess you didnt need to go back any further into the native hairs. If the forelock was thin would transplanting hairs between the native be possible?

Thanks again, looks like you will have a fantastic result

02-26-2013, 04:18 PM
Yes, if it was necessary then hairs would've been placed further back. That case I linked to above shows a good example of this.

02-26-2013, 04:30 PM
You are a good looking guy matt. You look good buzzed and with hair.

Very nice features, no homo.

I think this goes to show that hair is not everything if your features are good.

02-26-2013, 05:12 PM
You're much too kind. :o

02-28-2013, 06:39 AM
Looking great Matt, right on par :cool:

02-28-2013, 05:05 PM
Par for the course!

03-10-2013, 03:32 PM
Here are some photos from week 4. There's really very little to report... there has been shedding of grafts but not as much as I expected. I'm toying with having the back and sides trimmed a bit to make it totally even.






03-10-2013, 03:38 PM
Matt, I'd definitely get a guard 1 on the back and sides to even it up - looks a bit patchy otherwise.

When you say you shed grafts, you mean entire lost grafts, root and all? Or just the dead hairs falling out?

03-10-2013, 03:48 PM
That's an important distinction! Just the hairs. No lost grafts!

03-10-2013, 03:57 PM
That's an important distinction! Just the hairs. No lost grafts!

You had me concerned! It's good to have an idea where my hair is headed when yours is two weeks ahead.

03-11-2013, 04:47 AM
You now have the ugly duckling stage to look forward to MattJ :)

Joe Diego
03-11-2013, 05:49 AM
Awesome, clear pics. Subscribed... You're fortunate your loss isn't that bad and you have great facial bone structure(no homo)

03-20-2013, 03:55 PM
Nothing noteworthy to report except that I feel some stubble coming through in my donor area. This should lead to a thicker donor area once they all pop through, assuming more are coming.

04-27-2013, 06:25 AM
Matt, thanks for all these pics and the progress of your transplant. Do you have any new updates? :)

04-27-2013, 01:17 PM
Yeah let's see an update Matt! Must be at week 10 roughly?

Are you using any hair fibres by the way? I'm finding it really useful at this stage to make my hair look thicker in the recipient. Give it a go!

05-13-2013, 04:21 AM
Thanks for checking in with me, guys! I know a lot of people want to see my update and I was waiting to hit the 3 month milestone. Well, I have, and (after some trouble getting a hold of my photographer) here is that update.

I would say I'm right on track and I feel that it's getting better and better very quickly. I really think it looks better to the eye than it does in the photos.

I have been wearing a hat most of the time because, since the procedure, I've been in a state of mind that I no longer want to display that I have hair loss, and the front is still thin as you'd expect at month 3. However, I've never kept my procedure a secret from anyone and lots of people are getting a look. The feedback is all good, including from those of a younger age group. I'll explain that:

A girl I've noticed around town for a while now gave me her number and we've seen a lot of each other over the past 12 days. I knew she was young and it turns out she just turned 20 (I'm 32). She told me my hair looks great and I should just ditch the hat. What more does a guy need to hear? (I'm still self-conscious of her seeing my crazy 'bed head', though!) She must've told her friends as one of them said "so you're hair transplant guy!" upon being introduced. I think I can live with this being my defining feature for the time being!

So here are the photos:

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_01.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_01.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_01c.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_01c.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_02c.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_02c.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_03.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_03.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_04c.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_04c.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_05c.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_05c.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_06.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_06.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_07.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_07.jpg.html)

http://i1021.photobucket.com/albums/af339/mattjh80/Me/month3_08.jpg (http://s1021.photobucket.com/user/mattjh80/media/Me/month3_08.jpg.html)

05-13-2013, 06:02 AM
Haha yeah, it can get crazy back there between cuts.

I've had one haircut since the procedure, and that was about a week ago and only for back and sides. I just wanted to let eveything grow out to hide the recipient area as much as possible before growth happened.

I'm excited to think what the next month is going to bring.

05-13-2013, 11:22 AM
Good stuff Matt, looks very good for this early stage.

Just wondering if u are on Fin as your crown looks very solid ha ha

05-14-2013, 03:19 AM
Really nice!!! How much could this procedure cost?

05-14-2013, 07:28 AM
Hi Granastatis,

If you'd like to contact me via my email address we can discuss your hair loss and what can be achieved for you with a hair transplant. Cost will depend on graft recommendation which will depend on the size of the area, hair characteristics, etc.

05-14-2013, 07:29 AM
Hi Jairus,


I am on Fin but couldn't say whether it's responsible for keeping my crown. Whether it's the Fin or the genes, I'm pleased with the current status of that zone!

El Nino
05-14-2013, 11:40 AM
You are out of the doldrums now matt, just have patience the growth will start soon.

I know waiting is harder said than done though.

05-14-2013, 05:41 PM
Looks good man! Honestly you pull off a shaved head really well! I'd be curious to see how it would on you in a few months as a buzz cut (obviously shaved head NW1-2 still looks much nicer than shaved head NW3+ :D)

05-28-2013, 01:29 AM
Looks right on par Matt. Be patient as all the waiting is soon to be over.
Grow well.

06-01-2013, 11:44 AM
Matt, In my opinion, you are a perfect candidate for a HT. Age, hairloss, location of hairloss, density.... And of course, a perfect candidate for FUE. My problem as is many others was we looked like that at age 22 and were rapidly on our way to a norwood 5,6 or 7 with nothing to stop it. Your results will no doubt look perfect for years to come. Keep us posted.

.... shave down to a 1-2 guard till the new growth catches up. Still looks great and limits the awkward growth stage.

what size punches did Dr Rahal use?