View Full Version : Considering a 2nd Procedure w/ Bosley

Matt L.
07-24-2009, 11:24 PM
In April of 2001, I had my first hair transplant at the age of 26 at Bosley Medical in New York City. I had 1290 grafts from a strip excision. The hair was transplanted to the top and front of my scalp and established a hairline.

At the time, I had a great deal of existing hair. This existing hair hid the grafts and the donor region.

I remember recovering fairly quickly. I had my sutures out at 7 days, and the scabs washed out soon thereafter. I was enjoying physical activity two weeks later. Some hairs did not fall out, and continued to grow as transplanted. I remember only one or two grafts falling out.

The Bosley doctor told me that I would eventually go almost completely bald, but I dismissed him as using sales tactics. I simply wanted to increase the density in front. I am aware of Bosley's mixed reputation regarding sales, but in this aspect, Bosley was correct. I did go almost completely bald (Stage VI).

I was reasonably happy with my result. The coverage, while sparse, did provide something other than bare scalp. Most of the grafts were 3 follicle units, with single follicle units up front. When I have hair, no person has ever commented.

Realizing that the Bosley doctor was correct and observing all non-grafted hair on the top, crown, and back fall out, I experimented with shaving starting in 2004.

The strip excision scar is visible. While I can wish all I want that the scar was not there, I did voluntarily have this procedure. I was told the scar would be "pencil thin". It was and it wasn't.

People do comment on the scar when I am bald, and I have always dismissed them with the lie of "brain surgery".

I did go through a phase where I was upset over the scar. But I am reluctant to blame Bosley. I made my decision to have hair transplant surgery and in exchange for not being completely bald, I have a strip excision scar that is not visible as long as my hair is longer than 3/8 to 1/2 an inch. Interestingly, over the 8 years, the scar has continued to heal, and hair is even starting to grow within.

Growing older, I decided to stop shaving this summer, and seeing much less hair in the crown and back then when I started shaving 5 years ago, I have decided to have a second procedure.

I am now considering a second transplant of 1200 grafts to create the same coverage in the crown and back of my head as I do on top. I have no lofty expectations of ever recreating the coverage of full hair, but I do believe that something is better than nothing. I have considered putting an additional 600 grafts on top to increase the coverage.

The doctor is James S. Calder, MD. We have discussed the procedure, and he is going to take the strip excision from the same area as the first, excising the first scar and replacing it with a second. I have discussed with him the side effect of the first procedure where I experienced lasting numbness on the right above the scar that has since gone away as the nerves healed.

Bosley is offering me $4.50 a graft.

I realize that Bosley is a business. I always knew this, even back in 2001. But I have nothing to complain about the first procedure. Still, I am nervous, as this is another doctor and another office.

Does anyone have any thoughts?


07-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Interesting post; thanks for sharing your story.

I had a hair transplant of 800 grafts with Bosley in year 2000, in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for me, I did not have an acceptably good procedure, as you seemed to have had. As I have learned more and more about hair loss and hair loss treatments over the past year and a half, I look back at what I did in year 2000 with Bosley, and feel absolutely confident that I would NOT ever consider going to them again. Looking back, it is painfully clear how much of a sales pitch they threw at me, capitalizing on my naive stature and vulnerability. Even though it was my decision to have a transplant with them, their marketing-machine tactics for me, now, are a HUGE turnoff, because it seems as though they place more emphasis on marketing than they do on patient results and a high standard of ethics. I actually revisited them for a 2nd procedure, and they wanted to pawn me off to another doctor, also, claiming that my original doctor changed offices. That night, after my visit with them, I did a little poking around on the Internet, and learned that my original doctor actually quit, and sued Bosley. Check out www.bosleymedicalviolations.com. They reference it on the homepage. The whole thing really freaked me out.

One thing I continue to hear about Bosley is that they lack the production of consistent good results, even though they may be using some of the latest hair transplant techniques and technologies. Some of their results are good, some are a nightmare. So, one might say to you: why take the risk at Bosley? I didn't, myself. Instead I decided to see a doctor (Doctor Paul McAndrews) of the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons. He corrected me well, and now I'm lovin' it.

If you are set on a 2nd hair transplant, consider researching the doctors of the International Alliance of Hair Restoration Surgeons (IAHRS), www.iahrs.org. While they are also businesses, they are an assemblance of doctors that are screened for high ethical standards, patient advocacy, and a much more consistent production of high quality results.

Hey, these are just my random thoughts. If you feel comfortable with your doctor and Bosley, then by all means, it's your decision. I just thought I'd add some color commentary.

Best of luck brother,


Matt L.
07-25-2009, 03:23 PM
Thank you for your reply.

That's just my problem: everyone is a business, and it is very difficult to know who to trust.

Some places seem to get positive reviews that I have a hard time invalidating:

Dr. True and Dorin, who do have an office in Massachusetts
Dr. Hasson and Wong, who would require a trip to Vancouver, but whom I would consider worth it if they are the best.

In the mean time, I am going to ask Bosley for photos of work done recently by my doctor and the team that will be working on me, including not just the placement of the grafts but of the sutures as well.


Harry West
07-26-2009, 09:37 PM

Yes, all HT doctors in the end are a business and are looking to make money like just about every other service in this world. But, that doesn't mean that is the ONLY motivation behind their service. Also, a wise business person (HT doctor in this case) would see the much greater benefit in providing honest information instead of conning somebody into a one-time sale. I'm sure they'd be much more interested in possible repeat business from you, referrals from you, and good word-of-mouth advertising from you instead of the negative consequences a "scam" or "con" would bring about. So, while you have to have a certain comfort level of course, not everybody is out to get you. Talk to other patients the doctor has performed procedures on. If the doctor is reputable, he/she will probably WANT you to talk to other patients so it makes them look better.

I'd suggest visiting some IAHRS as TeeJay also suggested, and listen to your gut after the consultations.

Those are my thoughts for what they're worth.

Good luck!

Jeffrey Epstein, MD
07-27-2009, 06:36 AM
Matt- Those of us on the IAHRS are, it is true, selected out as being amongst the finest docs, and I believe that Spencer has done the most honest job in the industry in accomplishing this, so kudos to him.
That is not to say that every non-IAHRS doc is doing subpar work, so in fact, I would tell you that, while you should perhaps visit one or two other doctors for additional opinions, you should not immediately eliminate a surgeon just because he works for Bosley.
I would however use the very same standards for deciding upon this doctor as with any other- look at HIS/HER before and after photos, and speak with a few of the patients who have had surgery. Heck, you live in NYC, so there should be no shortage of patients with whom you can easily speak. Personally, even though I practice in NYC the minority of my time, I have patients throughout the city who are happy to provide face-to-face time with prospective patients.

Good luck, and make sure that money is not your primary factor in deciding upon a surgeon. Second procedures are, for the most part, more challenging than first time procedures.

Jeff Epstein, MD, FACS
Miami and NYC
Foundation for Hair Restoration