View Full Version : My 2,569 FUE with Dr. Feriduni - Aug 21 2014 [Pics included

09-03-2014, 02:56 AM
Hey all,

Here's my story as promised. These forums have been such an amazing support for me in my own HT journey that I want to share my story with others. I was planning to create a blog with all the details of my HT during my healing downtime but then I discovered The Good Wife and House of Cards on Netflix, and well, the blog went out the window! :cool: (<--- such good TV shows fyi). Anyhow below is a run down of my entire hair loss journey to date.

First sign of hair loss

I first noticed my hair loss in a photograph that was taken of me on a night out. I was about 24 at the time and I had always had a perfectly straight hairline with a fringe I used to spike up. Then suddenly I noticed the temples of my hairline had begun to creep back to the point they were quite noticeable - and so began my obsessing over hair loss. For about 18 months I didn't that any action hoping it would eventually stop but the hair loss continued - mainly with density loss but also with the hairline receding further. At the age of 26 I began researching hair loss prevention methods online which led me to these forums.


When I began my research I quickly deciphered that I had 3 main treatment options - Minox, Propecia (Fin) or a full hair transplant. I decided very early on that I wanted a HT at some stage but it really came down to a variety of factors coming together: funding, timing and confidence.

I began using Regaine 5% just over 2 years ago. It's really hard to say if it has any major impact on my hair loss. When I first start using it I think that it did not give my any more hair in terms of quantity, but that it helped maintain and slightly improve the quality of the hair that I do have. I'm continuing with Regaine for the foreseeable future.

For Propecia, I had done a lot of research on this and was terrified to try it given the side effects people have mentioned online. However when I finally booked my HT I know that I had to try taking this as a way to ensure my hair loss would be curbed long term so the HT could be a success. I began taking Propecia (full brand name) over 7 months ago. During the first 1 - 2 weeks I did have some sides - pains / aches in groin area, drop in libido, not feeling fully erect etc but I can thankfully say that by week 3 the sides were 100% gone and it was right back to business as usual in all areas. Now I take it daily with no problems at all. I can't comment on results yet as I think it has been to early, but I'll continue with Propecia for the foreseeable future.

Beyond Minox and Propeica I also take a variety of general vitamin supplements along with 500mg of Biotin. I use Nizoral about once a week (don't like it) and also use that Alpecin caffeine shampoo (pretty sure that's a gimmick but I do like the smell!).

The Hair Transplant

I began researching in depth HTs about 3 years ago. I did a lot, and I mean A LOT of research combing the forums and websites trying to get as much information as possible. The first Dr I contacted was Dr. Rahal back in late 2012. We had an online consultation and I was pleased that I was a good candidate for FUE. I then decided against Rahal as I was based in Ireland at the time and did not fancy the trip to Canada, which turned my focus to Europe based surgeons. I quickly decided that Dr. Feriduni was going to be the surgeon for me. I had an initial online consultation back in early 2013 and everything was similar to what Rahal had proposed. However at that time I ended up moving from Ireland to the UK for a new job opp so any chance of taking time off for a HT went out the window. I then came back to Dr. Feriduni's team in Jan 2014 and we agreed that I'd go for it this August. (Dr. Feriduni is in serious demand which is in it's own way a testament to his stellar work).

09-03-2014, 03:59 AM

Leading up to the HT

The lead up to the HT was a nervous time for me. I was 50% super exctied, 50% nervous as hell. Sadly one of the biggest worries on my mind was 'what would people think of me?' or 'how can I go back to work after this?'. I booked my date in Jan and had to wait until August. There were weeks where I was going to cancel my date but then there were weeks I would have done it there and then if Dr. Feriduni had called me. All in all it's not a light decision, it's a surgery at the end of the day so I think any pre-op nerves are normal. I used other people's success stories (shout out to Chrisis on here) as a major source of motivation to keep with it.

The logistics

Dr. Feriduni is based in Hasselt in Belgium and I'm based in London. Getting to and from the clinic was super easy. I booked the Eurostar for me and my partner (who thankfully came for the op) a few months in advance and cost me about 180 return for both of us. The Eurostar took us to Brussels where we just changed to a train directly to Hasselt. Entire journey door-to-hotel took about 4 hours.

I stayed at the Hassotel which has an arrangement with the clinic. For me the clinic was able to cover one night's stay meaning I only needed to pay for one night myself - approx €100. The hotel is fantastic, very comfortable and because they have Dr. Feuiduni's patients stay all the time (there were at least 2 others there with me - post and pre op) they know the whole routine and don't even bat an eyelid when they see you after your operation. For the day of the operation they booked me and my partner a taxi to the clinic for 7am.

The HT Process

The day finally arrived and I was very excited / nervous when I woke up that morning. I hadn't slept too well the night before, just some last minute jitters running through my mind. The taxi picked us up and brought us to the surgery for 7.30 where we were greeted by the lovely receptionist. She took some of my details and then brought my to my own personal waiting room where everything was ready for me. She left me to slip in to my gown and told me the Dr would be with me shortly. I changed in to my gown and sure enough Dr. Feriduni came by to say hi. Dr. Feriduni is very personable and made me feel at ease immediately. He spoke for a few moment with me and my partner and briefly outlines the schedule for the day. He told me to rest for a bit, complete my forms and then we'd have our full consultation in his office.

The consultation

I went to Dr. F's office and we began chatting about my back story - when I noticed my hair loss, did I have a history of hair loss in my family etc. We then began discussing motivations and expectations for the procedure. As I had done a tonne of research I knew what were realistic expectations so the Dr was happy to hear I didn't want a 'turkish hairline' as it was described (one that goes dead straight across your forehead).
We decided for a nice mature hairline, one that filled in my receding temples but still left a nice dense, but mature hairline. He drew out the proposed hairline and we went back and forth a bit on what looked best.

Once we agreed the nurse took me in to shave my hair which was a rather scary part for me as I had never had a shaved head before!! It was over in a flash and that's when I really knew - sh!t, there's no going back from here!! :p

We then had one last discussion on the hairline and the Dr took pics of all angles of my head for the before shots.

The procedure

Here's the procedure step by step

- the nurse washed my head with antiseptic wash to prepare of the op
- the Dr came in to tell me in details the steps we would go through
- the nurse gave me and IV drip to keep me hydrated and took my blood pressure
- the Dr then gave my my anaesthetic injections in to the scalp - two at the back - two on the sides and two at the front. I won't sugar coat it - these mo fo's hurt, but you just grin and bare it for the 2 minutes it takes and then it's all over

- once the anaesthetic kicked in it was time to do the extractions. The Dr outlined the extraction zone and the nurses got to work extracting the follicles. You're lying face down for this in a back-massage like position and I did actually fall asleep during it. I think it took 2 - 2.5 hours of which I slept for about 90 minutes. There is hardly any pain at all during this, it's more just a weird sensation of something pressing on your head.

- once the extractions are over the Dr came in to check all was ok. They gave me a small break here and it was time to flip over on to your back. The Dr offered to show me all my grafts which was cool - he went through them and showed me how they calculate them by arranging in 10x10 rows.

- I was given some chocolate to eat to keep my energy up, had a chance to use the loo and pick the movie I wanted to watch. I chose The Hangover II!

- The Dr then begins to make the incisions that will eventually receive the grafts. This is the important part as it will define the end results to the Dr takes his time to make sure the quantity, location and angle of the incisions work for long term success. This took approx 40 min - 1 hour. This is where Dr. Feriduni is the real artist !!

- Now the nurses get to work placing the grafts one by one in to your recipient area. For me this was the toughest part as you're about 4 hours in and have another 2-3 to go. I was slightly agitated and wanted to move but you have to stay very still. The drip also made me want to pee all the time so I had to ask them to stop 2 - 3 times so I could use the loo. Of course they let me but I definitely got the feeling I was breaking their stride every time I asked :o

- All in all the placement took about 2.5 hours. The Dr comes in regularly to check on progress and he made the call that I needed an extra 200 grafts for certain areas so one nurse went back to extracting from the side of my head while the others continued with the placements. It all runs with incredible efficiency and precision.

- Once done they then gave my head a quick spray and pat down of some antiseptic liquid and that was it - all over!

- They brought me back to my waiting room where my partner was waiting for get the shock of seeing my head shaved lol. They then gave me some lunch (which was yum) and let me relax for some time.

- The Dr came in for one final review and chat, followed by the nurse who took me through the entire aftercare process and provided me with everything I needed.

Post Op Recovery

Night One

The first night after the op was not easy. It's a sensation like you've never had before trying to sleep after 5,000 holes have been punched in to your head. However I managed to get about 4 hours sleep which was better than nothing. The clinic provides you with a neck pillow to help and aid you in sleeping upright. They also give you a protective sheet to cover the hotel bed / pillow which is good because my head bled quite a lot it seems. The Dr told me that it's not so much bleeding but rather than fluid coming out the scalp, combined with sweat and dried blood coming loose. Eww.

Day Two

The next day I went back to the clinic for my final check up before heading back to the UK. I met with the Dr who took plenty of pictures and sat me down to go through the do's and the don'ts of post care. Everything is made crystal clear and the after care pack they give you is dummy proof. Every single step is laid out in black and white. Follow this and you can't go wrong!

The nurses washed my head one last time with some antiseptic wash and then I was ready to head home. The after care pack includes a bandana for you to wear on day 2 / 3 as you travel home. I did wear it on the train to Brussels but when I go to the main train station I just embraced it and remove the bandana as it was kind of itchy. To be honest the one thing I learned doing that is that people are too damn busy and wrapped up in their own world to be worrying about what's going on on your head. Yes, some people went for a look and stared a little, but only a few. Everyone else whizzed by without even giving me a glance. That was an eye-opener for me! I arrived home to London at 8pm that night and began my 2 week hibernation and recovery mode!

Day 4 Nightmare

Day 0 - Day 3 was such a breeze for me. I had next to no pain, was able to get about 5 hours sleep each night, the rinsing of the scalp in the shower was no problem and all seemed to be going so well, too well in fact.

On day 4 however when I woke up that morning the donor area was on fire. It felt as if it was a combination of my scalp being scaled with boiling water with random pin pricks all over my scalp. The next 6 days were torture. I believe what I had experienced is something only 2% of patients get this bad with FUE and it's called Hyperesthesia. From day 4 - day 10 I had a miserable fu*$ing time. My donor area was in constant pain. I got maybe 8 hours sleep over those 5 days and was unable to let the back or sides of my head touch off anything. Nothing seemed to settle it. The meds from the doc, the ice pack, aloe vera - nothing. It was just this constant burning and sharp shoots of pain in random places as if I was getting an injections.

I emailed the clinic and they confirmed that there was no other treatment but to ride it out taking the meds supplied, using the ice pack and applying the aloe. I found many other threads online here discussing the same and many people said that by day 10 / 11 the issue subsides. Almost by magic overnight when I woke up on day 11 the pain had 90% subsided. It must simply be nerve damage that takes over a week to repair. THANKFULLY I'm now almost 95% pain free in the donor area, am not taking any meds and sleeping like a baby again. But be warned - this is a possible side effect of FUE and it leaves you pretty miserable for a week or so.

Day 12 onwards

Right now it's day 13, I had my op 2 weeks tomorrow and I am so happy with the results. To donor area is almost undetectable and should be well covered before I return to work next week. The scabs on my hairline have all fallen off in the shower over the last few days leaving my new hairs and some nice fresh pink skin. I so wish the hairs would stay in place as I LOVE seeing my new hairline but I know they must fall out soon and allow for new fresh growth. Such a pity but I'm ready for this stage.

Below are some pics for you guys over the last couple of weeks. I'll continue to update this thread with pics of my progress. All in all I have to say I LOVE the results and I am so happy I went though with this procedure. I can't wait for 6 months time when I can begin to see the real results shine through! Roll on my 30's :D :D

Hair Before

Front Hairline - 12 Days Post Op

Donor - 12 Days Post Op

Side - 12 Days Post Op

09-03-2014, 05:21 AM
Congrats - heal and grow well!

09-11-2014, 03:09 PM
Just wrote out a nice long post and my iPad deleted it !! Grrrr, so now I'm just gonna share a link to a pick of my hairline

As you can see I'm in the ugly duckling stage now. About 75% of hairs have fallen out leaving obvious pink skin. Donor area a bit messy in terms of how hair looks but getting that tidied up a the barber on Saturday.

Longer post and more pics (hairline and donor) to come this weekend !

All in all, aside from annoyance of ugly duckling stage which I've been prepared for, everything is going great. Just need to sit back and watch results come through :)

09-15-2014, 07:55 AM
Looking great buddy. Keep us updated through the ugly duckling and into the swan phase. :)

09-18-2014, 10:56 AM
Hey all,

Exactly 4 weeks post-op today so here's a little update.

Pros to report:

- No pain or sensitivity anywhere on my scalp now. From week 1 - week 3 it went from sever pain to mild pain to sensitivity to itching to back to normal.

- The recipient area is healing nicely. The skin is only mildly pink and I use a little bit of make-up as suggested from a friend. I purchased a tiny tub of 'concealer' by a popular brand among my lady friends which I apply to my pink areas and it makes such an amazing difference. I'm using this one thing here and just dab it on with fingers or a brush: http://ow.ly/BEyEd

- I'm actually thinking less and less about my hair which is funny as it's still very much in the ugly ducking stage and I imagined I'd be looking to see new growth every 5 minutes. I used to obsess over my hair loss before the HT, even checking windows walking by to see if my longer hair was out of place and exposing the recession I was so eager to hide. But now, I just feel like I've got to sit back, relax and watch the new growth as it arrives. Somehow just shaving my head and exposing it all has been liberating. A good feeling!

Cons to report:

- The donor area on the sides of my head are not looking so good. I feel / hope it's simply due to shock loss. I had originally been slated for 2,200 units but on the day Dr. Feriduni bumped it up to 2,569 to get the desired result. What has me slightly worried is that I remember those extra 369 units were taken exclusively from the sides (mostly the right), as I was lying on my back at the time. As you can see in the image below there's a stark contrast where the donor area meets normal hair, predominantly on the right side of my head. I'm not going to freak out as based on previous results I'm 99% confident this is temporary and will blend out over the next 2-3 months.... right!?!? :eek::confused:








Any questions or feedback welcome!

09-20-2014, 05:45 AM
Hey buddy, I am having my surgery with Dr Feriduni on the 30th Sept. I'm like you 50% excited and 50% terrified...

thanks for saying the injections hurt like a mofo hahaha that has tipped the terrified to 55%

great to see you are healing well.

I decided to write mine in a blog if you are interested.


be cool to keep in contact as we are on similar stages

09-20-2014, 08:49 AM
Hey buddy, I am having my surgery with Dr Feriduni on the 30th Sept. I'm like you 50% excited and 50% terrified...

thanks for saying the injections hurt like a mofo hahaha

Congrats ! He's a great doctor. Don't worry about the injections. It was the sorest part of the entire procedure but all in all the procedure itself is a walk in the park. Each injection is about 7 seconds long x 5. 35 seconds of discomfort for a new hairline - hell yes! It's over before you know it :)

Good luck with everything - excited to see how it goes !

09-21-2014, 02:48 AM
Thanks mate, I'm considering staying 3 nights after the surgery, is this too long in your opinion?

09-21-2014, 03:05 AM
Thanks for keeping this updated, it's very helpful for those of us who are going to get a procedure to prepare for what's in store! I'm sure it'll turn out great as you've picked a top notch clinic. Feriduni was in my top two along with Bisanga. I'm booked with Bisanga now but it could have been either one really..

09-21-2014, 04:27 AM
Thanks mate, I'm considering staying 3 nights after the surgery, is this too long in your opinion?

Personally I think so. I left the next day. Had my review with Dr Feriduni at 1pm and by 3pm was back on the train to Brussels to grab the Eurostar to London. I was thrilled to just get home to the comfort of my own house and begin my 2 weeks of hibernation.

Don't be scared of the journey. I had the bandana on and the hood of a large hoodie gently over it. Nobody even looked twice - prob just thought it was my style to wear a bandana and hoodie :) I took it off in Brussels as my head was itchy and I wanted to let it breathe. Got 1 or 2 funny looks but all in all people were too busy to notice my head.

Unless you love compact hotel rooms I suggest heading home as soon as Feriduni gives the all clear. There's not much to be done after that except get comfortable and heal.

09-23-2014, 05:29 AM
Thanks mate, I appreciate that!